Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Most Dangerous Place in the U.S.

The most dangerous place to be today?

Standing in the space between my husband and the TV on Race Day Sunday.....which could also be Super Bowl Sunday or whatever hot sport game on any particular Sunday.....

Here are the two phases to the "YOU are blocking the TV" incident:

FIRST, If you wander into the space between Hubby and the TV you get good natured warning:

Game Time!

SECOND: If you just stand there and even think about trying to engage a conversation you get "The Look":

Game Time Comfort Kit

Is it any wonder that I got so excited when I found this beer at a speciality market in town?"

Arrogant Bastard Ale of course

What dangerous spot did you wander into this weekend?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Old Knitting Magazines

Not so long ago my husband, Grant, asked me this: "Is it really necessary that you keep all these OLD, outdated, knit magazines? You must subscribe to all of them and and get new ones almost monthly! "

Realizing that he is a non-knitter (his picking up knitting needles twice in 18 months does NOT make him a knitter) I took a deep breath and exercised patience and understanding when I delivered my response......."OMG, are you freakin kidding me? These knitting magazines are a treasure and very valuable!"

Concerned that my explanation of why I kept every back issue of various knitting magazines would not be convincing enough I started to thumb through them one afternoon.

In the Winter 1998 issue I found several patterns that really caught my eye.

Knitter's Winter 1998

The first one, a cabled hat named "Aran Top Knot" by Maureen Egan Emlet. I had the yarn in my stash so I knitted it over the weekend.

Aran Top Knot Aran Top Knot

Then in the same issue a sweater caught my eye. "Icelandic Traditions" by Lois Young. The pattern called for Plymouth Galway, but I substituted with Cascade 220 and started that sweater right after the completing the hat.

Icelandic Traditions

I have always gone back and rediscovered patterns that when I may have first glanced at them thought, "I wish I could make that", and then picked out what I thought of as a beginner project. But now when I rediscover a pattern, I love the fact that over the years I have developed the ability to just dive in and make what I like.

After finding these patterns in this old issue. What did Grant say when he saw me knitting on these projects?

Grant: "You are just knitting those old patterns on purpose!"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Knitting and Fondue Makes A Great Combo!

In the late summer of 2008, my niece Allyson and her daughter Hannah (making me a Great Aunt) decided to learn to knit. We started to get together more regularly to work on projects and so that I could help them if they had questions or got into a jam. Driving 2 hours to my house for our Family KnitFest started to become a regular thing.....which I think is a perfect way to spend a weekend day!

On one of these days, Grant had a rare day off and so not wanting to be left out, he pulled out his Knitting Supplies that he received at one of the Padre's Stitch N Pitch games.

Man knitting2 Knitting and fondue combo

FLASHBACK: At that particular game Petco Park handed out a beer cooler with two balls of yarn and a set of knitting needles to people for that Stitch N Pitch. Enough to make a scarf. I told Grant that since he received this knitter's pack he HAD to knit something. He immediately started knitting along with Janeva and later interviewed for an online magazine.

Not to be outdone by the rest of us knitting on our projects, Grant decided to prepare an elaborate Fondue to graze on during our Family KnitFest.

So knitting and grazing that day led to two completed projects. I finished the Rusted Root sweater for Hannah.

Rusted Root Mother daugther knitting

Allyson finished her first project, a baby blanket for one of her co-workers. More projects have been started since our Family KnitFests began and it looks like there will be more of us attending the Stitch N Pitch games this year too!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Winterberry Hat

I'm on a roll....another post about a knitting project!!!

In October 2008, I took a class for this Winterberry Hat at Lori's Frames Fibers and Frills in Alpine, CA. The pattern design was developed by Charlie Hada, one of THE best knitting mentors/teachers one could hope to find. I will say now that it has been a privilege to have had the opportunity to be in her class for 6 years and to continue on with Athena who started out as Charlie's assistant.

This is a perfect project if you want some instant gratification. It took less than a week to knit up and then with a little extra embellishing using French Knots, Duplicate Stitch and a Lazy Daisy or two it just looks like a intricate pattern that required so much more time.

This is a great project for winter gifting if you need something FAST.

Winterberry Hat - Crown Winterberry Hat Winterberry Hat

Hannah received this hat as a birthday gift and I was tickled to death by her reaction. Everyone should have a Hannah to knit for!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cabled Coat Survived

Started this project approx 2 weeks after receiving Vogue Knitting in the mail in 2007.

Fun knit, lots of pattern and texture going on. Ran into a few problems initially on the charting of one of the cables but it was fairly quick and easy to correct.

It took roughly 5 weeks for me to knit all the pieces. The problem I ran into was the constructing the pieces together. I would baste it all together and then the seaming would just look “off” and didn’t sew together as nicely and neatly as the knitting appeared. Frustrated I set this project aside and would occasionally pick it up and in frustration set it aside again.

Cable Coat crossed over - still basted Cable Coat side view with basting

Seriously, this project caused me a bad case of “Knitter’s Constipation”. I could finish it, hated not finishing it so I felt guilty when I’d start and finish projects while it sat in a corner of the closet.

November of 2008 I found out that a good friend and knitting mentor, Charlie Hada was starting a finishing service. She agreed to put this sweater together for me and NOW I LOVE IT! I felt vindicated too because she found it a challenge as well.

Charlie’s finishing is flawless, the seaming particularly around the collar and the center seam on the collar with matching the cable stitches perfectly just blow me away. I could never have imagined that this would come together so beautifully after all my attempts.

Side View with Collar - seams Front Collar View Front View of Cable Coat

Sadly, my photography doesn’t do it justice.