Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Pattern ~

For those of you who have read your Spring Interweave Knits, did you get past the ad on the back of the front cover? I didn't.... the summer top shown was so pretty, and the ocean behind her was so inviting...that I obsessed over the pattern for two weeks before I broke down and ordered it....
It arrived Saturday, and I think my yarn from last summer's tank top project will be perfect. It is called Premiere by Classic Elite Yarns, and it 50% pima cotton and 50% tencel ~ and it feels so soft. I'm not sure I understand why the pattern says to knit on straight needles (and not circulars), plus I'd like to knit in the round, and am not sure if the pattern needs to change... we'll see.... I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Meet Sawyer ~

Here is Sawyer, the lucky guy who has a mom & grandma that knit for him. Yup, one lucky guy! Plus, he is oh~so~cute and his blue eyes are the perfect compliment to this amazing sweater knit by his grandma. Looking closely, you can still see the aura of love and blessings knit into each stitch of this intarsia masterpiece. It is easy to see that lucky Sawyer can feel all the love and blessings!

He is so darn cute!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Colors of Nature ~

I could have called this post, "Colors of Chickens" as they are beautiful in so many ways. Here is our Sussex, Lemony Snicket, so beautiful in her iridescent black & white polka dots and vibrant red comb, enhanced by the turquoise of rockin13's hoodie. These colors make me want spring to get here sooner, so there will be more vibrant greens and spring yellows for inspiration. I am knitting on my purple ribbon tank top these days, as the thought of knitting on the browns of the alpaca hat seems to be too "winter" and I need some spring...brought to me by my spring chickens!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Michigan State advances!

"Fighting with a vim!" Michigan State has a great fight song, as I don't know any other school that fights with "a vim" as I'm not sure what a "vim" really is.... but the team just squeaked a win tonight and are advancing to the Elite Eight! Yippee! No knitting during this game, but some knitting fantasy. If you don't have time to knit a Spartan's hat for the next game, check out this site to order one!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Windy City Complete ~

This Windy City Hat is a great pattern. Fun to knit, as the lace is easy to knit and easy to follow. My kids love the finished hat, and asked if I would knit them hats out of this same pattern. Quite a vote of confidence for this pattern!!! This is knit with 100% alpaca, purchased at my local yarn shop, Cultured Purls. The reason for the many pictures is to capture the deep purple color as well as the lace pattern (plus rockin'10 is so darn cute!).
This is chemo cap number 2 for my sister's co-worker. We are wishing her best hopes and health as she goes through her chemo treatments.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I can't resist ~

It seems that Cascade Cloud 9 is irresistible to me ~ especially "half price and free shipping". How can anyone refuse this yarn with this sale? I ask you, "Who can resist this?" What a great color, the promise of daffodils and tulips, and ~ dare I say ~ Spring.... it is really wonderful yarn, so soft and so great to knit....

I am now looking for more deals of 1/2 off and free shipping...just so I can do my part for the President's stimulus to our economy...
How great is this yarn with our chicken!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Mission ~

As I mentioned, while getting the yarn during the "Yarn Emergency" I picked up come beautiful yarn that was complementary to the "Emergency" yarn. The intent, I thought, was to use up the "Emergency" yarn with the complementary yarn in another hat.... good thinking, eh? This yarn is beautiful, 100% alpaca and deep purple. It will be another chemo cap for my sister's co-worker. I've heard this is a good pattern for comfortable chemo cap.
These pictures do not show how rich the colors are, so I'm showing two versions ~ one pic to show the lace, and one for the color. This pattern is on Ravelry, called the Windy City hat and has been great fun to knit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mission Accomplished ~

Anna's hat is beautiful! I finished it with alternating stripes of a soft alpaca blend that I found at my local yarn store, Cultured Purls. If you really study the hat, you can see where the yarn changes are, as the crown of the hat has a bit of an angora halo. The lace blocked out very well and the Pagewood Farms Yarn was great to work with. My sister is very pleased with it, too.

Since I only had to use a wee bit of the alpaca blend yarn, I also bought a matching yarn to make Anna another chemo cap in purples..... with a new pattern, too.....

Monday, March 23, 2009

March Madness ~

Yes, March Madness is upon us, and Michigan State is still in the dance! Hooray! We watched the game today, and cheered on our coach Tom Izzo, as we went to college together at Northern Michigan University ~ how cool is that? (very cool, indeed). Another very cool fact, is Izzo's roommate in college was Steve Mariucci... do you recognize that name from football coaching fame? Very cool, indeed! Another very cool fact, knitting can be done during basketball and football....
Very Cool, Indeed!!!!! (I'm knitting on the Bonnie ribbon tank top)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

AACK! Yarn Emergency!

I didn't realize that Pagewood Farms yarn is a small scale hand dyer operation and difficult to find... as I am not going to have enough to finish Anna's hat... Friend Lisa tried 8 local yarn shops and I tried one.....so now I am on the hunt for matching yarn... The pattern is turning out well, the lace was easy and will block well too (I think). I will try our local yarn store, too, Cultured Purls.
P.S. Can you believe this snow?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Knitting and not knitting ~

I would like to be knitting on the chemo cap. However, I am not knitting on that.... I am knitting on the Dashed Square #4. Now that I've found some matching yarn for the chemo cap, I will begin knitting that again very shortly, as it needs to be done quickly so my sister can deliver it to Anna.
Pictured here (behind my cable coffee cup) is what I'm knitting, and the two luscious purple yarns (in front of my chicken) are what I am not knitting. (I will be knitting them soon... I promise!)

Friday, March 20, 2009

A new mission ~

I love a new knitting mission. I love the chance to knit for someone that needs my knitting. I love knitting each stitch knowing that the care and love in each row will seep into the person wearing it. My sister asked me to knit a chemo hat for her co-worker, Anna. She even gave me some Pagewood Farms yarn that she had been knitting into a scarf, but it was speaking to her that it didn't want to be a scarf... so she asked if I would knit the Pagewood Farms yarn into a hat for Anna. Of course I will......

Pagewood Farms is a beautiful yarn, part silk and part camel, I never did see the tag, but the yarn is oh~so~soft! I'm using a pattern from friend Lisa, and she says this is a good chemo cap pattern.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sawyer is so lucky ~

I cannot express how amazing this sweater is. The glow you see around it is made from the angels hovering around it, singing praises to this beautifully done intarsia masterpiece. Wee Sawyer is going to be the lucky owner of this sweater, and he is a lucky boy. Here's a secret for you... do you know what you find when you look on the inside of this sweater? There is love ~ strands and strands of beautiful love, so very neatly and thoughtfully woven in between the knitted stitches, holding those thoughts and prayers of his dear and delightful Grandma so close to his heart ~ wearing a constant hug of love and Karma....P.S. Grandma has enough left over yarn to make "truck sweaters" for many years to come.... Rumor has it that Sawyer will be wearing a Truck Sweater in his High School Graduation photo!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Google for more hats ~

Have you ever tried the Google Alerts for knitting? This is a great for learning about new patterns, yarn and techniques. I have a Google Alert for "knit hats" and "knit socks" and I'm thinking of adding "knit sweaters" just in case I'm missing some great patterns out there! Every day Google e-mails me all the Internet sitings of "knit hats" and blogs that include "knit hats" and its been a source for finding great blogs and patterns! Signing up for a Google Alert is easy to do, too, and easy to cancel. I had a Google Alert for "new yarn" and became overwhelmed with all the posts and sitings!!!!
Here is the latest Great Blog with great hats that I found from my Google Alerts! Check her out!

This is one of her hats ~ I LOVE the braided part and how it blends with the cables ~ and hand spun too - She is a great discovery!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Back in the hat groove ~

Using the Pure Luxury alpaca yarn that my sister couldn't use due to the small size, I cast on another hat from the Hats On book. This one is the Lusekofte Cap and is turning out OK, given the small yarn on size 6 needles. I knit the band of K1b P1 while on the road to and from the Sewing Expo, so I made some progress this weekend. I do hope that it works out, as it is thinner than the Cascade Cloud 9 hats I've finished. The yarn is soft and lovely, just smaller gauge....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cha Cha is gone ~

We interrupt our knitting today to tell about the passing of one of chickens. I'm not sure I've told you about our delightful chickens, so a bit of history before going on. Two years ago, on Earth Day, our family did our part to becoming more sustainable by getting 8 little chicks at our Grange. My husband grew up on a farm and had chickens, but I'm a city girl. Our oldest daughter did tons of research on which chickens were prolific egg layers, and easiest to have around....and my husband began building a coop and aviary that would keep out raccoons (and probably bears... it is deluxe and secure). As part of the learning experience, we were to name our chickens after favorite authors. I named "my" two chickens, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (surprise, eh?) and JK Rowling. My husband named "his" chicken Julia Child (don't say it...). We realized that the kids didn't realize that these chicks were female, as they named "their" chickens Charles Dickens, Jasper Tompkins, Lemony Snicket, Doctor Seuss and Richard Peck. Early on, Charles, who we call Cha Cha (since that sounds more feminine) became distinct because she was the first to greet us when we would visit the coop. She was so curious and chatty and seemed to be trying to tell us stories. She learned how to jump on our outstretched arms, and was very social. She was also great at posing for pictures, even with my knitted hats! She's the one that would come into the coop while we were cleaning it, and chat the entire time. As we filled the nesting boxes with new straw, one at a time, she would investigate the newly filled box, one at a time, and chat about that too.

Cha Cha was a delightful companion, and I will miss her terribly.

(Here she is with Lemony, our black Sussex)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Three is a charm?

Perhaps not really a "charm" when one is knitting squares... I've knit 3 of them, and am happy to be almost done with my assignment. Then I can get back to all the projects that I'm dreaming about.....
(in fact, I've just had a request to knit a hat with some beautiful yarn that didn't work out for my sister, plus I scored some left over Frog Tree Alpaca from Miss L!!!!! Way to go!!!!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Coffee Cables ~

These knitting mugs from Christmas went on sale at Starbucks, so I decided I could afford one. This one has cables on it, and helped me stay awake while knitting my "Dashed" project. The mug is perfectly matched with our fireplace and my rocking chair for a perfect knitting spot for a perfect knitting fantasy (while knitting something that is not one's fantasy)!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Dashed Deux ~

Ok, so now I've knit two of these squares. One completed during a road trip, and one completed in front of our fireplace...not very exciting knitting, but...it is for a good cause.... I do love the way the yarn matches my plates!

(check out that snow!!!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Project Pattern ~

Did I tell you what the Dashes are for? They are for a secret project for a secret person for their secret baby....(actually the baby is not a secret).
We are using this book.

We are using this pattern..... and now the team is thinking we should knit more than four squares each... I may never get back to my previously scheduled knitting...

I'm Dashed ~

In My Fair Lady, one of my favorite scenes is when Colonel Pickering and Henry Higgins are shocked at what Eliza has done, and Colonel Pickering exclaims, "I'm Dashed!"

Well, I'm Dashed too.....as that is the pattern of this block....One down, three more to go....

(Whose idea was this, anyway?????)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Whose Idea?

How many projects are you thinking about? How many great yarns do you have in your stash that are waiting patiently to be knit ~ those alpacas ~ those merinos ~ those mixes with a bit of cashmere ~ those angora blends... In how many knitting fantasies are you engaged?

Let me ask, how many of your knitting fantasies involve acrylic blends? How many of your knitting fantasies include big swatch blocks?
If you answered, "zero" to both of these questions, then whose idea was this next project?

I have pictured this yarn with rockin10's, The Pig of Pandemonium.......cute, eh?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Expo bargains ~

During the Sewing Expo, Pacific Fabrics always has major sales in their local store. My sister and I went on Friday night and came away with some great deals. My deal is 5 balls of Jo Sharp Silkroad in "sky" at 30% off! It is 85% wool, 10% silk and 5% cashmere. I had never knit with this before, but used it that night practicing continental knitting and loved the twist and the feel...so I was tempted to go back to Pacific Fabrics on Saturday night and get the other colors that had only one or two balls.... but I didn't......(I probably should have....)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Confused Spring ~

We had a snow fall yesterday and it lasted through the night and into the morning. It confused my spring flowers that were making their March debut, but they are beautiful anyway.

We had Yarn Yoga this weekend, and it was great! Full of friends and creativity and lots of laughs! Projects included an intarsia sweater, a fair isle sweater, a mobieus, sewing together pieces of a completed sweater, a spring top, a mohair scarf, an alpaca scarf, a swirly scarf, a fair isle hat and a very scary "drop stitch" scarf that turned out Great!! I was very lucky because I came home with some "left over" Frog Tree Alpaca, plus some beautiful purple yarn that didn't work out for my sister's scarf! SCORE!!! (more yarn!)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Reacquainted Love ~

At the Sewing Expo we also were reunited with Miski by Mirasol ~ a lovely 100% llama yarn that is so soft and melts in your hands while knitting. I knit a blueberry hat last summer out of Miski, as my sister and I found some at the Stitchin' Post in Oregon. I had not found this yarn in any of our local shops but found it at Roberta's shop (Fibers Etc in Tacoma, WA) at the Expo. I bought the creme color and the midnight blue. If you haven't knit with this yet, do yourself a favor and meet a new love.....or become reacquainted with a past love. This yarn is wonderful and the story of the shepherds in Peru that the yarn purchase is supporting makes it more lovely! I think you'll start using this yarn for all your soft and lovelies!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Continental Knitting Lesson ~

At the Sewing Expo we took a class on continental knitting by Becky at the Gita Maria shop (if you stop by her website, there is a picture of exactly what her vendor booth looked like!). The class of 30 ladies learned the knit stitch on Lantern Moon "Palm" wood, size 15 needles and we had a blast for 45 minutes! She is a patient teacher and it seemed that all of us "got it" by the end of the class. At the end of class, someone asked if she could show us the purl stitch, and she said that she is not well versed in the purl stitch, as all of her designs in her shop use only the knit stitch. Her "show special" was Lantern Moon Palm needles for $14 (with pictured instructions for continental knitting) and I think all 30 of us went back to her booth after her class so we could keep practicing! The needles are lovely and warm in one's hands while knitting, plus they are a great teaching aid for continental knitting!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dyeing Silk ~

One of the classes we took at the Sewing Expo was dyeing with natural dyes. The teacher was Roberta from Fiber Etc and she is an amazing woman. She weaves, dyes, knits, spins and has an amazing fiber shop in Tacoma. Since there is no website for her store, here is the information:
Fibers Etc (253) 572-1859
705 Court C, #301, Tacoma, WA 98402

We took a class from her last year on knitting with unusual yarns, and she had samples of yarns out of metal, corn, soy, crab shells, milk, jade, paper and some other materials that were very creative and fun to experiment with. This year we learned to dye with natural extracts from bugs (cochineal), plants and trees. She gave us a skein of silk, a white silk scarf and a silk ribbon to practice with, and we had a blast! These pictures were taken after I "set" my colors in our microwave and now they are curing in the laundry room for a week or so before I can wash out the color. They look pretty yucky now, but I wanted a "before" picture for you.... (yuk, eh?)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sewing Expo ~

The Sewing Expo occurred this weekend and we had a great time! My sister and I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday taking classes, checking out the new techniques and products and being inspired by all the energy at the show. Here is a picture of some of the vendor booths. The vendors do not like close up pictures in case the picture taker is trying to steal their designs. This picture is taken a distance away from the Philosopher's Wool booth, and their beautiful sweaters are hanging from the display poles, plus all along the sides of their booth. Ann and Eugene are great people and their yarn and sweaters are fabulous. Since I finished my sweater in 2008, I was excited to tell them I had finished!
More Expo news this week!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Visting Knitters ~

My daughter is pretty clever with her blogging, and I've enjoyed learning from her as she tries out new gadgets. Well, last week she posted a gadget that shows locations (states or countries) of those who have checked out the blog. Wow ~ very cool, indeed! She was getting hits from Massachusetts, Utah, Missouri and California. So, I had to try this, as I wondered if there was anyone out there checking out More Yarn Please. For several days there were only local hits. Then a hit from St. Louis, that must be my sweet Secret Pal! Yesterday, my daughter had a hit from Singapore! This morning I had a hit from Malaysia! I am wondering if they are knitters, or have just stumbled on my blog through another venue.... I am going to include, "They are all knitters" in my knitting fantasy.

Yarn World Photo found at http://www.lakesidebearsandfriends.com/contact.html
P.S. check out my daughter's blog at: http://12chickentracks.blogspot.com/ and she'll be thrilled!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Doing my part (again) ~

It seems I can't refuse half off and free shipping on yarn that I really love. I am still obsessed with Cascade Cloud 9 that I've been using to knit my hats. The place I ordered from sells on eBay as they shop is now closed. On EBay it is called Knitting Shack from Wyoming, Michigan. She is delightful and has great deals on yarn (obviously, as I can't resist this place!) if you are feeling lucky on scoring some yarn!

So, I'm (again) doing my part to help the President to get the economy jump started with personal spending.

P.S. These little chickens are part of the family of the big chicken on our mantel, below.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Meet Bonnie ~

Since we're all family here, I feel bad that you've not met my dear Bonnie. She is a lovely tank top in progress, knit out of some beautiful ribbon yarn (named Bonnie) that I scored last year on eBay for 99 cents. There are some magical times on eBay when no one, absolutely no one, bids against me... and I do love those deals....This was such a deal ~ a bag of ribbon yarn (12 balls) for 99 cents. Crazy deal...anyway, Bonnie is one of my 4 "on the needles" that I cast on last summer and is still waiting to be complete. Given my waxing poetic on Friend L's many lovely & inspiring projects, I thought I'd find Bonnie to see if she still gave my heart a thrill. Although no alpaca or silk, nor any complicated lace or fair isle, I think Bonnie & I will be friends again soon, seeing a lot of each other & catching up on past events. This is good to be reunited again, I hope you'll enjoy our time together.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Vacation acquisitions ~

As I mentioned before, I only bought 2 skeins of yarn on vacation (40% off), however, I came home with an additional 2 skeins of beautifully soft alpaca that my sister purchased in a Seattle yarn shop before we arrived at our vacation destination. She tried to knit a scarf with it while we were on vacation, but she didn't like the thinness of the yarn and the texture of the scarf fabric knit on size 13 (or 11?) needles. As I read the tag, this alpaca is 100% certified organic superfine alpaca and just 99 yards per skein called Pure Luxury ~ website: http://www.cottageindustry.net/
She asked me to knit one of my Norwegian snowflake hats for her out of this yarn ~ and I hope I have enough! The yarn is lovely and so soft! What are the chances she'll forget about it and leave me with this treasure!