Wednesday, March 28, 2007

KnittaPalooza 2007

We’ve all been to conferences. We’re greeted by “greeters” who give you a name tag, a tote bag with conference goodies, direct you to coffee and your meeting/class room and with a cheery “Let me know if you need anything!”, send you on your way. So off you go to your conference and during breaks, the “greeters” are still there and still “cheery” promising to find what you need…a fax a copy a skein of yarn a pattern. And 4 days later you’re exhausted and wonder if you can listen to much less understand your next meeting/class and those same “greeters” are still there with the same “cheery” smiles on their faces and you wonder………..What are they on?!?

My Story:

Thursday, March 13

Wake up 5:30 , walk Bailey, shower, eat, take Bailey to neighbor for babysitting, drive to Ewe Knit Kits, perform store opening procedures, wait on customers, learn I’m going to set up the Hotel Store at the hotel and not work at the Ewe Knits, panic!!!!, start pulling from shelves what I think has not gone to hotel, eat a chicken strip (happy I brought lunch from home), pull a few books, Bobbie tells me I have to be at hotel at 1:00, panic!!!!, pull a few books from shelf, Debbie says she’s going to hotel to help me, panic less, load Debbie’s SUV, drive to hotel, park in garage and walk across street to hotel, find room still has chairs and other stuff, find hotel staff who were GREAT jumping in and removing and bring table clothes and more tables, unpack boxes, setup what we have, wonder where Andrea is because her SUV has the rest of the boxes, setup more stuff, Andrea comes, we unload, setup what she has, 3:30 now, make list of what is missing, Debbie & I drive back to Ewe Knits and pack more Koigu, lace wt, books, help customers while we’re there, load SUV, drive to hotel, unload, setup rest of stuff, while gone Terry has found a table to use for “checkout” YIPPEE, Purled Llama has arrived with her yarns and is setting up, Fashion Show items are hung, look at watch, it’s 5:05…whew…KnittaPalooza participants begin to arrive, we hand out name tags, sell stuff, I run down and grab a tuna mini sandwich and some cheese, go back and sell more stuff, 7:15 arrives and we move hall items into the Hotel Store, lock the door and head to our homes, I arrive home at 7:50, walk B, chase him around the house to wear him out, watch the news and go to bed.

Friday, March 14

Wake up 5:30, walk Bailey, shower, eat, take Bailey to neighbor for babysitting, drive to hotel, …........................well you get the drift. Behind the scenes is hard work! But well worth it.

It wasn't all work, I was able to attend Sally Melville’s “Creativity” lecture.

Check out KimKrafty’s blog (on the left) for pictures and attendee point of view. Also, Bobbie should be posting pictures at Ewe Knit Kits and Yarn site soon.

2008 KnittaPalooz has been announced
Dates: March 13, 14, 15, 16, 2008
Instructors: Annie Modesitt, Melissa Leapman, Mryna Stahman and Margaret Fisher.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Am I the last knitter on earth to hear of Yarndex...the Yarn Index?

Do you know the miles I have walked around Ewe Knit Kits looking for yarn substitutions? Or the hours spent online looking up some obscure yarn to find what gauge or fiber content it is? Or reaching waaay over my head on the next to the top shelf to pull down one of the heavy binders containing color cards? The answer to all is too many.

But no more! I'm going to make sure Yarndex is in the favorites on every computer at Ewe Knit Kits.

Have you seen what it can do? Go any brand, lace, wool, red. Or how about: S R Kirtzer, worsted, acrylic. Or how about:...well you get the idea.

So go and search for yarn to your hearts content! not affiliated at all with the Yarndex.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A tale four and a half years in the making

In the Fall of 2002, October if I remember correctly, I began knitting the Dale of Norway 2002 Utah Olympics Sweater. In fact, I signed up for a class. It was my first sweater. My first stranded knitting attempt. The first time I had spent so much for yarn (Falk), pattern and class.

So I went to class and learned how to carry a yarn in each hand. How you should check several times to make sure your join isn't twisted. How to read a pattern in the round. Oh and to keep checking my gauge.

The first 6 week class wasn't long enough so I signed up for a second 6 weeks. I knit and I knit. When I got to the complicated part of the pattern I'd make sure I had a good hour where I would not be disturbed and knit and knit.

Sleeves were knit. All that remained was to join the shoulders and knit the neckline.

After a while, other projects began to tempt me and the Utah Sweater lived in a basket beside the sofa.

After a few years of living next to the sofa, it moved to the guest room.

In the winter of 2006, the Winter Olympic Knit-a-long was announced. I knew what I would do! I'd finish Utah 2002! I rethought putting in a zipper (I can duplicate stitch over those stitches) and decided on a different neckline. And I watched the Olympics

And I did it!!
the frontFront See the mountains and snowflakes and trees

backBack the kids holding hands and the Olympic flame?

finishedand the sleeves

But then I needed to steek for the sleeves. And that means using a sewing machine (just not sure about the crochet steek) Sewing machines scare me. That needle going up and down, bobbins, different stitches....nope not for me.

So in February 2007...yep a year later....Guild Secretary Jackie (Norwegian knitter extraordinaire) agreed to demonstrate Steeking at the March Guild meeting.

Jokingly I said "If you need something to steek, let me know" And guess what...She did! So she took home the sweater and sewed in the armholes.

outsideSee the white thread outlining the armhole?

insideAnd from the inside of the sweater

And at the meeting Jackie talked about what she had done, how she measured, how to leave an inch or so at the shoulder, how the wool will help hold the stitches together.....Jackie

And then I cut.....cutting

And in a matter of seconds me croppedArmhole!

And yesterday while watching the first disk of BBC/PBS Duchess of Duke Street, I sewed in sleeves. sleeves attached And they fit in perfectly.

And then I tried it on.......let me tell you about gauge. You should really pay attention to it. The bottom of the sweater is big.....and the top is small. But I knew that before the cutting began. I know what size I wear. And I knew if I tinked it would never be knit again. And I needed to finish it.

So my next steps will be to wet the top and pull and tug and tug and pull until the wool relaxes a bit. But I'm in no rush. Spring is around the corner and besides, this October it will be 5 years and that might be a good way to celebrate an anniversary!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pillow 1

Dale of Norway publishes a group of patterns that include information for LYS to use in a class. This is one such pattern. Sedestal Pillows. Two patterns, the same in a single color, the other in 2 color stranded.

Since I will offer a class this Spring using this and some of the other Dale Pillow Patterns I thought I should knit one. click on the picture to open it to a larger size.

Here is the solid color.

Dale Pillow 3

And a close up

Dale Pillow 2

Because Ewe Knit can only hold so much yarn, we didn't order the worsted Free Style called for in the pattern. I mean we have a TON of worsted weight. So I chose Berroco's new Love It. And boy do I! Cotton/Acrylic blend that is very soft, didn't make my hands sweat, and light weight after knitted. I used exactly 5 skeins. Had about 2 yards left.

So tonight I will cast on for the 2 color version using Dale's Falk. It's not the worsted weight called for but I'm going to fudge it so I can use some of the pretty colors we received.

And this weekend is KnittaPalooza (spots still available in 3 of the classes). I'll be working at the store most of the weekend but will head down to the Hilton Gardens (or is it Garden Hilton?) for some of the special events.... fashion show on Friday and Sally Melville's discussion on Saturday night. Friday night we'll have dessert from the make-it-and-take-it-home restaurant 2 doors down. I can't remember the name but they're getting great reviews from our customers who purchase meals from them. Since Friday night events will be at the store, I'll already be there.

I've also signed up for Sally's class on Sunday morning.

So why did I get off on this tangent????? Oh, yeah I need to retest the My Favorite Shawl pattern so I thought I'd use Dale's Svale. And since it's a pretty simple pattern I can knit it during this weekend's events.

I've also allll most finished the Dale of Norway 2002 Olympic sweater. And boy have I learned lots since I started knitting that sweater. Check gauge for one thing!

More on that tomorrow.

Hickory Dickery Doc

I'm glad daylight savings begins early this year. It's going to take me until the end of March to change my watches!


These are the ones that don't need new batteries. I use to collect watches. Now I realize I only have one wrist...well actually two wrists but I only wear one watch at a time.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Dale is in the House!

Received a phone call from Bobbie this afternoon. Boxes of Dale of Norway/Dalegarn yarns and patterns have arrived. I understand there is no room to move around the stock room.

I may have to make a trip to Va Beach tomorrow.

On the knitting front...the scarf in KnittaPalooza colors has been put on the back burner for a pillow cover (see above) knit in Berroco's Love It. And I am Loving It. Cotton blend that's working up nicely.

Picture soon.