Sunday, March 30, 2008

Trunk Show

Me, with the yarnAs a preview for Knitting in the Heartland next weekend, I did a little trunk show yesterday for the Lee's Summit SSK group... The new worsted went over like gangbusters! I love dyeing yarn, I started doing it just because I enjoy playing with the colors, so am always a little surprised and gratified when everyone reacts so strongly to it. In fact I had a bit of a Sally Field moment yesterday -- "You like it, you really like it!" It was a fun day and I can't wait to see all the wonderful things once they are knit up.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Fun

Chelle tagged us all with a list of knitting-related questions!

Do you knit using the English or Continental Method? English. I've tried to re-teach myself Continental but I am actually slower at it, and I'm not willing to practice it long enough to build up speed.

Loose, normal or tight knitter? Normal. I have never NOT hit ball-band gauge on a swatch. As a result, I am very lazy about knitting test swatches, but it always fits anyway.

How long ago did you learn to knit? Thirty-six years ago.

Who taught you how? My grandmother. She had a really funny throwing style. I got home from the visit to Grandma's and realized I had already forgotten how to knit a week later, so I went to our trusty family copy of the World Book encyclopedia & cobbled together a functioning knit & purl stitch between week-old memories and inch-high illustrations. The rest is history, as they say. (Hey, there was no back in the seventies.)

What was your first FO? Besides the obligatory garter-stitch swatches? A yellow tank top in a cotton boucle, in high school. My mom wouldn't let me wear it because she thought it was too low-cut.

Favorite yarn? Worsted wool, hands down. So versatile!

Any yarn you don't like? Hemp. I just finished a hemp shopping bag project & boy, is that stuff hard on the hands. I loved the end product, though, enough that I might do another one after I take a little break.

Projects tend to be what color(s) if knitting for yourself? Greens, blues, browns.

If you knit socks, what is your preferred method (i.e. toe up/cuff down, double pointed needles, 2 circs, Magic Loop etc.) Two circs, cuff down.

Favorite pattern you've knit so far? Has to be Ragna.

Favorite pattern source? I love the pattern browser.

Favorite needles? Addi Turbos for wool, Brittanys for slippery stuff.

Favorite type of knitting? I am a nut for cables!

Are you on Ravelry? If so, favorite thing about it? Ravelry Screen Name: trivimp (what else?) I think I already said I love the pattern browser -- also I love stalking a project & seeing it done in different colors, sizes, etc. It's a big decision-making help!

Nicest thing you've ever knit: Again, Ragna.

Project you get the most compliments on: Ragna, not surprisingly, and Einstein.

Most hated project and why: Soleil and Cold-Weather Corset. I made both of them far too large and they just looked sloppy. I frogged them both.

Special Bonus Question:
If you could take only TWO books to a desert island with you 1) a technical reference; and 2) a book of patterns – which two would you bring? The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar. With the aid of these two books, I can pass as a designer when I wish. Shh, don't tell.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A nice reuseable shopping bag for the farmer's market

Hemp bagI knit this up for a swap on Ravelry -- it went to Samantha in New York. It's made from 100% hemp in DK weight. I liked it so much I may just have to make another one for myself! Pattern is the very cool Everlasting Bagstopper.

For my out-of-state readers, let me hasten to assure you that we are fine. Flooding is pretty bad to the south of us, but the entire state of Missouri is not under water, despite what the evening news says.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Skeinwinder mark II

Skeinwinder, mark IIThat Guy has struck again. After watching me struggle with clamping the skeinwinder to a kitchen chair a few times (an operation that really required three hands), Mike modified it. Presenting... The New And Improved Skeinwinder! Still butt-ugly, but now even MORE utilitarian!

Beware, skeinwinder in useBasically he just mounted it on the baker's rack that stands in the corner of the living room and stores all of my yarn bins and stuff for the store. Yes, I should probably buy stock in Rubbermaid because I have so many of their totes, but anyway. The winder now swings down like one of those foldaway ironing boards. When I want to use it, I just have to swing it down and tighten one bolt, and I'm ready to go. When I'm not using it, it folds back up next to the rack and stays relatively out of the way. Ingenious.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring forward?

Spring is sprungCrap, it's snowing again. Spring is teasing us this year. Just when we think we've seen the last of the ice and snow, we get hit with another blast. At least it's been too warm for any of this to stick.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Skeining awayLife as a small-potatoes indy dyer is nothing if not challenging. I'm preparing for my first stint as a vendor at a knitting show next month, and the rigors of reskeining were starting to get to me. I have been reskeining from a swift to a niddy-noddy (none other than the B.U.B.P.U. niddy that Mike made for me a couple years ago,) but this method was both time-consuming and hard on the shoulder. Wanting to avoid a) another whole month of sleep deprivation from staying up way too late skeining, and b) a repetitive-motion injury to my rotator cuff, I begged Mike for a skeinwinder. I showed him a couple fiber catalogs that were lying around, with $400 motorized skeinwinders, and told him I didn't need anything fancy, but could he pleeeeeze make something with a hand crank.

Then he went out in the garage & built one for me. Just like the niddy, it is butt-ugly but perfectly utilitarian -- it's PVC and wood, which clamps to a kitchen chair. It's got a, shall we say, trailer-trash vibe, but I can skein from the swift to the skeinwinder in about a quarter of the time that it was taking me on the niddy. Hurray for That Guy.