Tuesday, October 30, 2007

FO: They Just Keep Coming!

Once upon a time, Margie bought some blue yarn. (Yeah, I know, you've heard this story before, but this one has a different ending.) Margie bought Rowan Scottish Tweed to make a sweater, which she did. She knitted a beautiful cardigan with indigo button bands. But it wasn't quite right. Was it too big? Too small? Too hot? Not quite what she expected? All of these things have happened before to Margie's, so pick a reason and that's why she decided to rip it out. But what became of the yarn? Some of the yarn went on to be a French market bag with fair isle, but it was a disaster. Should she make another bonnet hat? Margie just wasn't sure.

But then her oldest son asked if she would make him a sweater vest. "Well, okay," Margie said. "But you better be satisfied with it, however it turns out!" (A strange request coming from Margie, but that's the difference between knitting for yourself and knitting for somebody else.)

Lucky for Marty, the sweater vest came out just fine!

He even stopped by the shop to show us. He even said, "Tell my mom I stopped by wearing the vest!"

He even brought Irene for a witness. Look at the two of them: those Mudds were just born to wear hats!

In other knitting news, Wendi came to last week's Stitch and Bitch wearing her Wicked sweater by Zephyr Style, knitted out of Art Yarns Merino.

And Pam stopped by in her Calmer vest. The pattern called for a wool tweed yarn, but Pam substituted a cotton/acrylic blend to make it a more versatile piece. And doesn't she look festive?

And here are Leslie and Heather showing off their fingerless gloves with a dainty Queen wave. Leslie's is made out of Mission Falls wool in one of the new tri-colors and Heather's is Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran. Don't they look Fetching?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Finished Objects and New Yarn!

Since the weather has cooled down a bit, a lot more hand knit sweaters have come out of hiding. Mitzi showed up in her Katia Jamaica pullover like it wasn't a big deal. She did such a good job, half the folks in the shop at the time didn't realize she had made her sweater.

Cindy has continued making Buttonhole Bags like there's no tomorrow. I love this combination of Gray and Yellow Lamb's Pride and the Louisa Harding Flotsam (now 30% off).

And remember the hat I started making from two failed and frogged projects? Heather loved it and decided to make it for a friend, with some Fetching fingerless mitts to match.

And now for the new yarn!
The Naturwolle is a beautiful variegated yarn that felts like a dream and works up to the same gauge as Lamb's Pride Bulky. (I made this felted bag last year at the movies. Literally. I knitted the bottom waiting for the lights to dim, picked up the stitches in time for the previews, and was knitting the straps in the car on the way to the pizza place.)

Just check out all the amazing colors.

And you may all remember the O-wool hat Cindy was working on before.

Well, the O-wool came in this week. Check out all the beautiful colors!

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Cavalcade of Pictures

I have taken so many pictures in the last two weeks that haven't found their way onto the blog yet. So instead of crafting individual blog entries to showcase one or two pictures, I decided to load up one entry with as many images as blogger will allow and just describe them. (If this isn't evidence that I need a Flickr account, I don't know what is. Plus, Ravelery won't let you post non-Flickr photos.) Let the Cavalcade begin!

Suzanne spent last weekend spinning at the Little Loom House booth at St. James.

She also tried to sell some of her crocheted items (like this beautiful skirt), but unfortunately it was 150 degrees outside so not many people were in the market with hats and gloves.

As you all may know, Ruth had her baby this week. As far as I know, Holly is babyless at the moment, but she does have this beautiful Berroco Plush sweater that Jane made for her. Maybe she can have Bob practice dressing the panda until Vowella is born (since the only clue Holly has given us is that her baby's name begins with a vowel, that's what I've been secretly calling her in my head--ridiculous since Vowella doesn't even begin with a vowel!)

Nicole came in last week with her new baby, Jillian. Look how happy and healthy they both look!

And Leo came back to visit. By now he's old hat at visiting the LYS. Figuring on how young he is, and how he's been to the shop two or three times totally a couple of hours, he has probably spent a significant percentage of his life at the store. I know how ya feel, buddy!

The hot weather has made a lot of folks dig out smaller projects out of their stash to finish. Shelley is doubling Pastorcita for this scarf. Isn't it amazing how it's patterning up?

We got a huge shipment of GGH yarn. Cindy decided to make another cabled hat out of Bel Air. It's very soft.

And finally, it's cold enough to wear those sweaters we made last spring and summer. Here's Mitizi in her Blue Sky Cotton Fitted Tank. (She refers to it as "The Great Pumpkin" but regardless looks absolutely adorable on her.)

And here is Colleen in her Central Park Hoodie made out of Cascade 220. This is what happens when you're a teacher and you spend all summer hanging out at the Knit Nook. You go back to school wearing one of these. (Just ask Irene; the same thing happened to her.)

And Cindy has been hard at work knitting felted bags. She's been coming up with interesting novelty yarn combinations. In this one, she's combined Lamb's Pride Bulky with Louisa Harding Coquette, a sequined yarn. It really looks fantastic!

There has been general Entrelac Hat craziness. Here is my latest one, knit out of three colors of Debbie Bliss Rialto.

And here are three more I made, two out of Noro Silk Garden and one out of Noro Kureyon.

Wendi is making something that shall remain nameless (to protect the innocent).

While Mitzi is starting a Central Park Hoodie.

In fact, Rebecca caught the Central Park Hoodie bug as well. They are both making theirs out of Cascade 220 (see the bit about Colleen to get the appropriate hyperlinks).

Rebecca also made a few Umbilical Cord Hats from Stitch & Bitch out of the Mission Falls 1824 Cotton.

And she is working on a very collegiate Harry Potter-ish scarf out of Cascade 220.

Margie finished her Spiral Boot Socks. In fact, in other Margie/knee sock related news, she is salvaging the infamous Flame sock so that it will fit her son. Now she's talking about adjusting the gauge on her second knee sock. Godspeed, Margie!

And Jess spent last Stitch and Bitch cutting up plastic bags to make this. I always find knitting with things besides yarn very difficult. (I also feel that knitting with yarn is sometimes difficult). Good luck, Jess!

Whew! That's all I got.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ruth had her baby!

We got word in the shop today that Ruth had her baby yesterday, October 8. Our information is second hand, but here's what we know: the baby was 9 lbs + and she had a c-section, but both mother and baby are doing fine. And his name is Samuel. Pictures to come!

And if you hear anything about Holly, let us know!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Another Blue Ribbon

As you are all well aware, Knit Nook customers were well represented at the Kentucky State Fair. But last week, we discovered another one, a blue ribbon winner no less! Here he is, with his blue afghan and his blue ribbon. Congratulations, Jared!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

One Good Thing About Hot & Humid October

I think we can blame it on the weather. Despite the unrelenting 90 degree heat, it's October. My allergies are blazing, my nose is running, and I'm sweating. I can barely drink hot coffee. A sweater is out of the question. Last week at the shop, we got to talking about how much knitting we've finished but have yet to wear. Whole sweaters, washed and blocked since last spring, waiting for a crisp fall day.

And while plenty of folks are even starting new sweaters and finishing those, I just can't bring myself to do it. So I started digging around in my stash.

This is a sweater I started last spring out of Katia Linen and Noro Tidiori. I made it up, meaning it didn't look nearly as awesome in real life as it did in my head.

So I tore it out and started knitting this. I paired the Tidiori with some Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran that used to be a vest. (I bought it when I worked at my old yarn store and it's been five years at least.) I'm thinking about recycling the Linen as a bag, maybe the one from No Sheep for You everybody seems to be making.

I've decided that until the weather cools off, I'm just going to raid my stash and knit small things. It's the only thing I think I can tolerate in this heat.

Knitting for babies

It seems like the last year has been overflowing with babies. I would almost bet that every knitter I know has knitted at least one baby thing in the last twelve months. I'll go one step further: I would say at least one in three of all new or returning knitters walk into the yarn shop because of a baby. (I've also heard that 73% of all statistics are made up on the spot.)

But for all the baby knitting enthusiasm, the anxiety can be equally overwhelming. Will I be able to learn how to do this? Is this yarn washable? Will the mother spend the time handwashing when the baby has thrown up on it? Do I even want to give this nice yarn to a puking baby in the first place? Will I finish this in time? What if I labor on this pink blanket and the baby ends up being a boy? What if the baby is huge and doesn't fit in the 0-3 month size? Should I make a 12 month size? Two year size, just to be sure?
But we do it anyway. Embark on the impossible tasks like the steeked fair isle baby cardigan or the intarsia alphabet blanket (holla, Tonya!). I've got a few theories about this.
1. Babies are a reason for celebration. This means presents. Knitters will find any reason to knit their presents, spending $30 on yarn for cashmere baby booties rather than $5 on a pack of onesies. Knitters are very practical people.
2. Babies are small. Ask any knitter if they would rather make a sweater for somebody 8 lbs. or somebody pushing 200 lbs, use up 2 skeins or 20. The math works out in a baby's favor.
3. Babies are defenseless. You can make them wear anything. They haven't reached "But the Hollister sweatshirt is softer than the Target one!" or "This makes me look fat!" phases. They haven't even reached "This is itchy!" yet, mostly because they don't know how to talk. Babies will wear hats with faces and ears on them. You know, all the stuff that is really fun to knit.
4. Babies are cute. And what better way to accentuate the adorableness of your own knitted item than to have an equally adorable baby wear it?

But knitting can be a struggle. Some people will give up. The half finished basketweave blanket will end up in a Kroger bag at the back of the closet for "next time." The organic cotton will be forfeited for something more "practical" like squeaky acrylic. Or even worse, handknits will be accomplished, only to be lost in the flurry of the new baby, never to appear in person. Not even in a picture.

But that didn't happen to Ellana. After laboring over the cotton fleece and lace charts, the duplicate stitch and I-cords, she finished the Frog Princess outfit. And getting this picture in her email made it all worth while.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Charity Knitting: Afghans for Afghans

The Duduza dolls and the Red Scarves have been sent. Thanks to everyone for participating!

Our next charity knit will be Afghans for Afghans. While they accept lots of knitted and crocheted items, we will be collecting squares for blankets. Make your squares 9 x 9 inches. Any pattern goes, but please do not include faces or animals since Islam prohibits depicting likenesses. For more information, please visit their website.