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Archive for February, 2012

More of Stitches West! It’s nearing 11 a.m. ….Karen and I have managed to leave Ellen 1/2 Pint booth and cross the aisle to the Great Yarns! booth. This vendor travels from Everett, WA each year to show their wares at Stitches West….they do an incredibly good job….great designs and models. We were captivated with several designs but in particular with a garment that another customer/friend of Great Yarns! encouraged us to try on! Now neither of us would have thought that we would fall in love with Flowers and Ruffles that is featured in the April 2012 issue of Knit N Style.  This garment was seen the night before  on the runway of the Stitches Fashion Show.

Flowers and Ruffles Knee-length Vest

We each tried it on….and OMG I want to knit this…so does Karen. We were prudent…wrote the information down…and I know I will be ordering the yarn soon. …just need to finish a couple more UFO’s in queue. The details of this garment as published online for Knit N Style are: “Sandi Prosser designed a knee-length vest featuring three fibers from Trendsetter Yarns. The body of the vest is knit in Garter stitch using Merino 8 Shadow. Cha Cha is worked together with Merino 8 Shadow to create a ruffle effect on the turn-back collar, which is then adorned with Bodega flowers.”

It’s now nearing noon and we must move on….we had only “surfed” two aisles…and there was so much yarn and so many friends to see!

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Much to say!

I have much to say about my day at Stitches West….it was a knitting homecoming!  Karen H (good friend from Friday knitting workshop) and I shared the journey and the day. We lunched with Cameron and Merle of our knitting circle.

What a fun day….saw so many old friends…saw so much wonderful yarn! I had dreams of a marathon blog post on Saturday night when I got home…and wouldn’t you know it life “got in the way” and I am still dreaming about this blog/post….which will now appear in several installments. Reminds me of my childhood stories that I use to listen to on the wireless. I lived in Australia as a young child at a time when Australia was 25 years industrially behind the United States. I am the only person my age I know that grew up for a few years with a wood burning stove for cooking, a dry-ice refrigerator, an out-house, a wireless radio (my three favorite childhood serials were heard on that wireless)…..my parents had a Model T Ford and then a Model A Ford……I’ve never understood how T came before A….uh oh, more research ahead.

Back to knitting and the wonderful “knitting homecoming”! Karen and I were just getting into line to enter the market when we ran into Megan and her mother Sulvana (drats I know I don’t have the spelling of her name correct). Megan use to work for me when Skein Lane had a store-front and her mother was a wonderful customer. Great to see them both!

Karen

Karen and I entered the market with the other folks in a huge line which moved very quickly. We were barely in the door when we came upon Ellen 1/2 Pint’s booth. When I was a retailer at Stitches West Ellen 1/2 Pint was often the vendor across the aisle from Skein Lane. This vendor stop was nostalgic, exciting and sobering! I loved connecting with Carol and…..,I fell in love with a capelet shawl (Whimsey) and bought the kit… spent a few minutes talking with Carol about her health journey. She went to the doctor for concerns about a mole…. she had many more things wrong. She is now a cancer survivor and strong! I was so glad to reconnect with her.

Drats..must go to bed….this is the end of part of the serial for this week…much to share…stay tuned for next “installment”.

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I gave up chocolate (that one is big)….I gave up desserts (only kind of big)….but I couldn’t give up yarn! Tonight I attended the event which Kimberly organized through K2tog that featured Knitted Wit and Fickle Knitter Designs. I missed Michelle Miller of Fickle Knitter speak but I came in time to hear Lorajean Kelly of Knitted Wit speak.

Lorajean is passionate about her all consuming work…the yarn that she dyes and makes available for us…the knitter. Here is what she does with yarn…..spin, wind, dye, rewind, label…take to market! I wasn’t in the market to buy…..we all know how much I have in my stash as well as projects in queue to finish….nevertheless, I became possessed and bought some of her yarn…..2 skeins of Silky ‘N” Plied (60% Merino, 40% Silk) @ 225 yards…1 colorway Beaujolais and the 2nd colorway Orchid. Not quite sure of my vision for this yarn yet…but with 450 yards I have many options. I love wool and silk blends!

If you are going to Stitches West in Santa Clara, you just might want to look for these two – Knitted Wit and Fickle Knitter Designs.

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I have two themes to celebrate in this morning’s post…birthdays and knitting.

Mom 1945 - Martha aka Marty

First….My mother shared the same birth date of February 22 with our first President George Washington. Guess who Mom was named after? Yes…George’s wife Martha. My mom and George Washington didn’t knit…but they were surrounded throughout their lives with the clicking of needles. In the case of my mom she was surrounded by the constant clicking of my knitting needles and sometimes those of my sister’s. While President George might not have been directly surrounded by the clicking of those needles, it is well known that Martha’s needles could almost always be heard clicking.

My second thought of this post….Did you notice I said Washington’s birthday and not Presidents Day? I’ve always known that my mom and our first president shared the same birth date…and I remember being more than a little annoyed that the day to honor the first President’s birth date was changed to the 3rd Monday in February so that we could celebrate it with a 3-day weekend. I don’t like messing with tradition! At the time we also stopped honoring Lincoln’s birthdate on February 12 and like many of us I believed that it was rolled into Presidents Day to jointly celebrate the birthdays. Tonight I was reading the Albany Patch and was enlightened to the fact in the federal register it is written into law that the third Monday is celebrated as Washington’s birthday. However, some states choose to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday along with Washington’s birthday and thus we have Presidents Day. You can read about this at news release in the LA Times. There are a few states including California which chose not to retain the federal title but to call it Presidents Day.

Yesterday we celebrated Presidents Day….tomorrow we celebrate the birth of George Washington and my mom. Happy Birthday!

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Grandma's knitting book

My first knitting book was my grandmother’s knitting book….the one she used to knit toddler clothes for me. I coveted that book and when I was about 10 or 11 she gave it to me. Starting this post has just reminded me that somewhere in my “archives” I have my very first knitting books….I treasured those and when I stumble upon them I will have to share.

I’ve always loved to read….and as a kid this knitting book was a regular read along with my novels. Yep, I was already a “knitting geek”! As a young adult it remained my “go to” reference book for knitting instruction and inspiration. The details….

Complete Guide to Modern Knitting and Crocheting by Alice Carroll published in 1949.

The knitters - my maternal grandma and me!

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Baby Surprise Sweater - "Prototype"

I remember the first time I saw the beginnings of a “Baby Surprise” Sweater.….a customer came into my retail shop – Skein Lane – with the sweater in progress and a copy of the recently “released” pattern (Knitter’s Magazine 1999 I believe). The original pattern designed by knitting guru Elizabeth Zimmerman was first published in 1968.

Well….I have to tell you I was more than a little puzzled about how that this strange piece of knitted fabric was going to fold up into a such a great baby sweater. Thus, I knit my “Baby Surprise” prototype in 1999….I needed to understand what my customer was experiencing. I chose Noro yarn….a wonderfully variegated wool….I was so excited that after I got the first ball knit I headed over to my store (I was the shop owner and I had the keys)….it was 9 at night…it was dark. I chose what I thought was the same color way…it wasn’t and that mistake was one of the best I’ve made. It added more life to the project. I trimmed it with Brown Sheep’s old offering of Prairie Silk yarn.

Baby Surprise "folded/molded" into sweater!

I’ve knit several since then and have seen renditions from customers. The  most recent creations to share are the two knit by Connie (Friday morning Skein Lane knit workshop) and the one I just completed for Bill’s recently born great grandson Conner.

Be sure to check out ravelry.com for more renditions of this great design! And Kimberly just completed her rendition of this great design that  you can see on her blog.

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As so often happens my wants and time do not mesh up….which means I often  post things a beat off…kind of the way I hear music!

Maurie and the Rose Heart Afghan

Have been thinking of Valentine’s Day…just a day past…and what could I share to show appreciation for all…particularly the knitting circle of friends……thus this post is dedicated to a showing of hearts  and love to share  friendship!

Enjoy the work and love of some (and I mean just some) of our talented knitters! This is truly just a sampling….I see so much more each week, month, etc! I’ve barely tapped the depth of what I see and what you all do! You are all an inspiration…and continue to inspire the love of knitting! My needles are clicking…I just finished a baby surprise sweater for Bill’s newly born grandson and now knitting a sweater for my young nephew soon to be two…and a hat for Sara!

A day-after Happy Valentines to all….and a trip down Skein Lane’s memory lane! More gifts of love to follow!

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