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Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm thankful for so much....especially my local yarn shop.

Baskets of Yarn.....or as my sweetie would call it, my crack house. I don't condone the use of illegal drugs in any sense and not that yarn is some kind of illegal drug, but it is definitely worth noting that if yarn were meth....I would have no teeth. It's just that simple.  A few weeks ago, I was looking through my friends projects on ravelry.com to see what everyone was working on and looking for some new ideas for projects, and I came across a patter called the Braided Pioneer Scarf. The first time I saw it I was lovestruck. This is one of the coolest scarves I have ever seen, I swear, and I have seen lots of cool scarves. I had to make it. So, I got some beautiful blue and purple yarn that didn't have a destination yet, and decided this would be a great project. Well, I downloaded the pattern and got started and and first 36 rows were easy peasey. Then I got to the set up row for the braid. Suddenly I was a knitting invalid. I could not figure this pattern out. I tried it on some practice yarn and still wasn't getting it. I set it aside and made a lovely brioche scarf for my mom for Christmas, and knitted 3 sweaters for Daniel. Fast forward a few weeks to black Friday. I'm not a big black Friday shopper. My dad is and plenty of my friends love going out to stores at ridiculous hours in search of the perfect present at the perfect price, but I'm content to sleep in and pay the extra few dollars for the gifts I want to buy. This year there was a sale that I wasn't going to miss for anything, though, and that was the stash buster sale at Baskets of Yarn. I see Judy, the shop's owner almost more than I see my mother, and for those of you who know me well, I see my mom a lot. I got to the store at about 9:30, a whole half hour after the sale started! I was delayed by having to drop off an Avon brochure to a lady with a mustache and 3 teeth. Yes, that would only happen to me. So anyways, I got to  Baskets of Yarn and the store was pretty full with members of the guild looking for good buys to add to their stashes. I was just browsing around and doing some brainstorming about what I might like to make next, when I saw the beautiful Braided Pioneer scarf that I had fallen in love with. I picked it up and felt like I was in the presence of a celebrity. I was touching it! This scarf was made with Plymouth Yarn Boku and the colors were deep and rich and I was in love again. I picked up 3 skeins and put them in my basket. In the end, I only ended up spending $45.00. I was quite proud of myself. I wanted to get right to work on the Pioneer scarf and I was clipping right along with it when I ran into a snag. I did a short row where I should have finished the row out and I ended up with a very odd shaped scarf. I decided not to be a hero, so I took it to the shop and Judy looked at it and right away saw where I had made my mistake. She helped me get back on track and I am hoping that I will be able to give it away for a gift this Christmas.

I have noticed that my knitting is a comforting balm not only to my soul, but to Daniel's. Every afternoon we do the same thing. I turn on the DVR to watch The Young and the Restless, Daniel rests his head on my shoulder until he is fast asleep, and I lay him down on the couch with his Elmo blanket where his little fit are always propped on my leg. When he stirs, he lifts his head up and listens for a few minutes in silence and when he hears the click of my knitting needles, he lays back down and is back to sleep. What better reason to knit than to lull a baby to sleep? It's practical and useful in many ways!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Enough touching it. Make it already.

The last several times that I have indulged my knitting addiction at Baskets of Yarn, I have admired this super cute baby sweater that Judy knitted up. It's a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern (#211) and every time I go to the shop, I walk directly to the sweater and touch it and examine the stitches and finally on Saturday, I decided enough is enough. It's time to make it. So, I bought three skeins of the wool that I will need to make it and I finally just bought the pattern as well. I'm very excited to get started on it, but first I am going to work hard to finish the feather and fan shawl that I have been working on for the last week. It's coming along really well but I still have a ways to go. It's nice to sit down at night with a diet root beer and some quiet time and work and watch this lacy shawl grow. I think about who will get it. Maybe someone I love. Maybe someone I don't know. I haven't decided yet but what I do know is that I love the yarn's color. It isn't the softest yarn I have ever used, so when I make another one I will probably go with I love this yarn from Hobby Lobby, or maybe even Caron Simply Soft. All in good time I'll figure it out. Now though, I need to take my comforter to be cleaned and then go to Mom and Dad's for homemade chili. Sounds like an A-okay day to me!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My name is Glena, and I am addicted to knitting.

So I love knitting. And crocheting. And talking about knitting and crocheting. And reading books about people who knit and crochet and own yarn shops, and I love joining groups of other people who share this love of wrapping and turning and pulling yarn and turning it into a beautiful item to be treasured by the recipient or the creator for years.  I have a few projects on the needles right now. On my newest set of Addi's, I am making a really pretty green wool brioche scarf. It's coming along quite nicely, and the yarn I chose for this scarf is Lion Brand Wool Ease. It feels really nice in my hands and it works up great. I was wandering around Wal Mart today and I always find myself in the yarn aisle at some point when I shop at Wal Mart, even if I'm there for diapers or groceries or some other necessity. Diapers are essential for my son, my daughter has her special shampoo and chap stick needs that must be filled every so often, and I find myself needing to at least be in the presence of yarn. I love the smell. I love being surrounded by the soft feel of the skeins and the various colors. It's quite a euphoric experience for me. Today I was looking at the selection of Red Heart Super Saver. They make so many wonderful colors, and the yarn is quite soft and nice to work with. I do prefer Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn! but Hobby Lobby was closed, and there was a beautiful shade of aqua called Aruba Sea on the shelf today, and immediately when I saw it, a pattern came to me right away and I knew I had to have it. Then I realized a small dilemma in my urge to knit. For the first time in a very long time, I found myself without any knitting needles. My heart skipped a beat. I felt as though I had left the house without pants on. I am ADDICTED to Addi Turbo needles and have become quite spoiled by their smooth surface and how easy and quick my projects fly off of them, but in a pinch Boye circular needles would do. Wal Mart only had size 8 or 10.5. I went for the 10.5 and even though the cord is a little too stiff for my taste, like I said, in a pinch they will do. I decided on some red ones because I didn't have red knitting needles in my stash and I thought it would add something to my collection. Even though I really wished that they carried Susan Bates circulars because I really like the elasticity of the cord on the circular needles, I knew in my heart that as long as I was knitting, at the end of the day what else really mattered? I could barely wait to get into the car and cast on the stitches for the beautiful new shawl I was planning with this beautiful yarn.  First I met back up with my sweetie and we collected the rest of our stuff. Furniture polish, laundry spot remover, a new long sleeved tee for Julie and some new sippy cups for Daniel. Finally, I was in the passenger seat and before we were through the stop light, I had my stitches cast on, and I was happily clicking away with my new knitting needles. I got the first 4 rows done and decided to stop so I could be reunited with my row clicker before going any further. Just to be on the safe side, even though this pattern is only a 4 row repeat, it's still helpful for me to know for sure which row I am on so I don't go too far in stockinette or have too much garter stitch, and of course the increase and decrease row needs to be placed at the correct intervals. I just want it to look beautiful! I had never heard of the feather and fan stitch, until one day I was surfing through my friends profiles on Ravelry.com to see what they were working on, and this beautiful, stunning, GORGEOUS green shawl made by my new friend Abigail caught my eye. I had it on the brain from the time I saw it until I finally looked up the instructions. I was amazed at how easy it actually is, but it looks very complex and intricate. I have made it almost half way through the first skein of Aruba Sea yarn and I'm prayerful that whoever receives it will feel the warmth and prayers and love that is in each stitch.  I'm amazed that I have taken this long of a break from this beautiful shawl to write this much, but I guess that is just a testament to how much I love knitting and how hopeful I am that I never develop carpel tunnel syndrome because I would probably have to be sedated heavily if told that I had to go even one afternoon without my needles and some kind of yarn.

Last Wednesday, I attended the monthly meeting of the Three River's Knitting Guild. I am so excited and grateful that this organization has been formed. I have met a lot of very talented knitters and crocheters of all skill levels and ages. I look forward to these meetings so much. I don't spend very much time away from Julie and Daniel, and even though I don't like spending time away from them, taking this hour each month and going to do what I love and share what I love with other people who understand my excitement over new addi clicks or a good buy on merino wool is like chicken soup for this girl's soul. Anyways, at October's knitting guild meeting, we were so fortunate to listen to Carol Anderson, a very talented pattern designer. She was so funny and witty and informative. I was mesmerized by her stories. I felt like a little kid listening to a favorite story as she spoke about how different patterns came to be and the time and effort that went in to her knitting. I was surprised to learn that she was just a little younger than I was when she started knitting. She was 16 when she began and I was 19. I started knitting so I would have something to do while I would wait in the waiting room for my grandma at her weekly doctor's appointments. I know I could have red, but knitting was something that would keep my fidgety hands busy and I could still have a conversation with my super terrific grandma. I knitted on and off for years until just before I turned 27 and I became the fanatic that you see today. When I joined the prayer shawl ministry at church in 2006, I picked up crochet and fell in love with that for a few years. It's a love that I still nurture and return to now and then, but knitting is my number one these days. Anyways! (I get off topic a lot) I really enjoyed Carol's stories and I hope to be as talented some day. I used to think that since I didn't start knitting at 4, I could only be mediocre, but I am finding that is definitely not true, and I'm so satisfied to watch my talent grow a little bit each time I knit something.
I'm reading a book right now by Barbara Delinsky. I usually read Debbie Macomber because I really enjoy the patterns in her books, and the storylines and how knitting comes in to the story in many of her books, but when I read the back of this new book, it was mentioned that the main character knits so that was all I really needed to know, right?

I guess now is as good a place as any to close this entry. I'm going to go and treat myself to a nice warm shower and put on my fuzzy pink slippers and my Twilight Woods lotion from Bath and Body Works and enjoy a few more clicks before reading a chapter or two and falling asleep.

Good night to everyone and have a blessed week!