Saturday, March 24, 2007

Kate's Here!

My sister's here this week for her Spring break. Next weekend we're going to hike Pine Mountain Trail. I'm so excited to get back outside! Just me, kate, and bears (eek). I started out as usual packing for the trip. Initially, only the basics, there were no frills going into my pack. (Note I said initially) I talked with my mom one day and she just couldn't help but to ask if I were packing any yarn. "No, absolutely not" I replied "this is a hiking trip, not a knitting expedition". There were a few moments of silence and then a slow and careful "Do you think you can go four days without knitting? I mean not even a sock?". "Of course I can go four days without knitting" I quickly answered. Then it sank in. All I could think about was four days, hmmm, that's 96 hours without knitting. What could I finish in that time? Loads of Lizard Ridge squares, a couple pairs of socks, scarves, lace....ahh how could I commit to something when I can't knit for days on end. I mean I guess I could grab some sticks and sharpen them, maybe knit with some grass or tree bark, not exactly ideal. After all of this ran through my head, "Well socks don't really count and they don't weigh much either". Yup I cracked, thus a pair of trekking socks will be thrown into my pack. I'll be sure to get pics of me on a mountian summit knitting a pair of socks. Oh come on, that sounds awesome!
On a completely different note, I just saw Little Children at the Lyric and I highly recommend seeing it; great acting, interesting plot, good movie. Gather up some friends, go to the movie, proceed to the nearest coffee shop (knitting in tow), and have some great conversation.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


First of all, Happy St Patty's day to all! I completely forgot to wear green today... o well. I haven't really posted in a while, because I have been working on formatting of the blog. Now if you want to see what I am knitting, the percent bars tell you how far I am and you can click on the project to get more info including: pics, where the pattern is from, what yarn I'm using, and any other useful tidbits of information.
The knitting love of my life right now is definitely my lace qiviut scarf. It's so deliciously light and airy. I adore the feel of it and the pattern is really nice too. For those of you who have no idea what qiviut is I'll give you a brief education... Qiviut (kiv-ee-ute) is from the down of a muskox and actually that's what qiviut literally means- down. It's an amazing fiber. It's eight times warming than wool, has a smaller micron count than cashmere (so it's softer once it's blocked and handled a bit), very strong, and is the lightest weight natural fiber known to man. It's very rare as well and also expensive! I can't remember how I initially heard of qiviut, but when I found out I was going to Alaska last summer I was determined to find and buy some.
I visited the Oomingmak Co-op, but they don't sell the yarn only premade garments. They are gorgeous though and each pattern they use is specific to a tribe of Native Americans in Alaska. My search continued and finally in Fairbanks, I found some Windy Valley Muskox. It is fabulous!
On a non-knitting note: I already loved Ikea, now I am sure that we are sole mates! They have started a new campaign called BYOB- bring your own bags. Ikea is going to charge customers five cents for every throw away plastic bag that they use and then the proceeds will be donated to American Forests. Why are they doing this here's why:
The amount of plastic shopping bags that we all use once and toss is overwhelming.
- The average family of 4 accumulates 1460 plastic shopping bags a year
- 100 billion are given away each year in the US
- Plus it can take up to 1,000 years for a plastic bag to break down in the environment.
I love the idea of this campaign! But let's all take it a step further. Knitters Unite! Let's knit our own bags and challenge ourselves and family members to use recyclable bags. Check out my hemp for knitting bag or the tote made from recyclable bags. It's great for the environment and it's instant gratificaition. I always use reusable bags and I generally get compliments from people in the grocery store, plus I feel like I'm saving the environment every time I buy groceries. That's one more reason to buy food, hooray!

Recycled plastic bag tote

Got tons of old plastic bags under the sink? Me too. Shred them and make a fun tote that you can reuse at the grocery or for an interesting purse. It's fun to save the colorful bags (like the ones from Gap) to add interesting stripes.

Hemp for Knitting Bag

This is a wonderful reuseable grocery bag. I am using three colors of Hemp for Knitting that I purchased in Maryland a while back. It will be great at the farmer's market, but just as practical everyday in the grocery. It's pretty compact when not full, but expands to an amazing size when filled. I love the feel of it of the hemp for knitting, super durable and still soft to touch. Here's an idea, try using Euroflax...just in at Mosaic!

Chaco Trekking Socks

These are basically a sock that you can wear with a thong sandal. The idea behind these was to create a sock that I could wear with my Chaco's which have a toe loop. I love to wear them, but it's too cold in the morning and at night to wear them without socks, thus I created the Chaco Sock. I made up the pattern myself and I used Trekking, because it's a nice sturdy wool and I will put a lot of wear and tear on these socks.

Leaf and Trellis Rectangular Shawl

I started this shawl a while ago. I was to stop knitting on it over Christmas when I had loads of gifts to finish. It is knit out of Egyptian Mercerized Cotton in color Leaf. The pattern is from Victorian Lace, my absolute favorite lace book, on page . I'll be doing a lot of work on this, so that I can finish it and wear it in Spring and Summer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lizard Ridge Afghan

I love this pattern! It's a free pattern on Knitty and it uses Noro Kureyon. I have 18 squares done and I'm just going to keep making squares until it covers my bed. I LOVE IT! If you want to see it in person, it's at Mosaic.

Qiviut Lace Scarf

I bought 3 skeins of Windy Valley Muskox qiviut when I was in Alaska this summer. I gave one skein to my mom for Christmas, one I kept and we're splitting one. I finally picked a pattern from the Arctic lace book. I chose the Skeleton Scarf on page 132. I love knitting with qiviut, but I can't wait to block it. That's when it'll get really soft.

Dream Swatch

For my Dream Swatch, I used SWTC Twize in color number 330, Twocean. I love the feel of this yarn! It's soft and durable. The pattern is fairly simple and knits up fast.

Ecowool Sweater

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Nobody puts my yarn in the corner

Over winter break my roommate called my house in Delaware. She wanted to know if it was ok to rearrange a bit. I said it was fine. I could tell she was nesting and I wanted her to comfortable in the apartment. She moved my cd player which was fine, it was ok that she moved my craft table (in my non-knitting craft life I also scrapbook and sew a little bit), although she moved it away from its convenient spot by the TV in the livingroom. She crossed the line when I noticed she moved my yarn. I trotted into my apartment after a month of estrangement, skipped up to my former yarn spot and it was gone! It had been gorgeously displayed in an old steamer trunk (the kind that they took on the Titanic). It used to be open and on a large wall for all eyes to see. I turned quickly to find my yarn and it was stuffed in an odd corner and I could hardly get the drawers open. It got worse when our couch finally arrived and then I couldn't even see my yarn anymore.
When I asked her why she moved it, she said she wanted to put a day bed there. I know you can't see the layout of the apartment, but you're going to have to trust me on made absolutely no sense. You can't see the TV from there, it would be like sitting in the middle of the apartment with a gorgeous view of the kitchen...not exactly ideal. This is the same girl who wanted to bring a grand piano into a tiny two bedroom apartment. I had to put my foot down on that one.
So, for the last two months I have tried to live with it, my most cherished possession stuffed in the corner. I cracked before spring break. I was cleaning the apartment and I just couldn't take it anymore. I was trying to dig through all of my UFO's and I couldn't get the flippin drawers open. The night before about 7 of her friends slept over. I ended up cleaning there mess up and she hadn't even warned me that she was having so many people over. That was it! My yarn was going back! Back I say! I would return it to it's former glory and display it for all eyes to see, damn it!
That's just what I did too. I put my wicker chair in it's place, which makes more sense. That's one more chair for all her friends that are always there.
Later that day, I was doing the dishes. I unloaded the dishwasher and what did I double pointed knitting needles in the dishwasher, which I suppose she thought were chopsticks! This could be an honest mistake, but almost every sweater she owns is handknitted by her mom and she knits too. She knows what needles look like! My double points also say "Brittany US size 7", I'm positive that her chopsticks don't say that. I know she means well, but come on.
On another note, I've been on Spring break for three days and I've already bought some yarn. I bought some Trekking at Still Water Fibers in Oxford, PA. I really liked the shop. It's not very big, but there were some yarns in there that I hadn't seen. I managed to restrain myself and just by the one skein of sock yarn. I should reward myself for that, hey maybe another skein of yarn!