Tracksy Web Stats A Knitter's Wonderland: July 2006

A Knitter's Wonderland

(To the tune of Winter Wonderland) Needles click, how they glisten, cozy sound, as you listen, they’re stuck everywhere, sit down if you dare, welcome to my knitter’s wonderland. Yarn abounds to overflowing, countless books increase my knowing. I need every bit; I care not a whit if there’s no pathway through my wonderland! In an evening I can make a mitten, start a shawl, a sweater, or a hat. But the question to ask any kitten, is “Do you think she’ll really finish that?”

Monday, July 31, 2006

Sugar's Blanket & The End of My Harlot Saga

As we were sitting, eating, and waiting for people to get through the book signing line with the Harlot, Shelly gave me this:

It's a blanket for Sugar to match mine! How sweet is that! I know Shelly made the striped square. There seems to be some confusion as to what this stitch is called. Shelly called it the star or daisy stitch, but I did hear someone call it the "marjuana" stitch. Hmmmm....

Polly knit one of the purple squares and now I don't remember who knit the other two. Hopefully one of you will take pity on me and let me know. I really like the stitch patterns.

And as I was looking at the square's stitch patterns, here came Sugar to claim her blanket. Can you see the little ear sticking through the crocheted square? She crawled right under the blanket, stretched out, and promptly went to sleep.

I couldn't sit there and hold her so even though I got up, she stayed asleep (or pretended she was). She likes the blanket and hopefully when she feels the need to chew on wool, she'll pick her blanket instead of mine.


After the book signing was over, several of us were fortunate enough to take Stephanie and Jayme out to a late dinner. We went to Louie's over on the lake and it was a little noisy but didn't keep us from visiting. Stephanie has a very interesting way of holding her needles and several of us were enthralled by the very little movement she used to move the yarn.

I asked her what method she was using (continental, throwing, lever, etc) and she said for speed, she uses the cottage method. This is where you tuck the right needle under your arm, between your legs, or use a holder of some sort. No wonder she is so fast! I haven't had a chance to really looked into it, but if that's where the speed is, then that's what I want to learn.

And there isn't much out there in Google-land on cottage (also called "process") knitting. I'm going to have to do more research. If you know of a good resouce, let me know - thanks!

So it was a wonderful event, we had a fabulous speaker, the chairpersons and volunteers performed heroically, both the library and GY were excellent and we will definitely do this again. In fact, be thinking about who YOU would like to come next. We'll be discussing this at guild next month.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Playing Catch-Up

OMG! The Yarn Harlot was here on Tuesday, my sister arrived on Wednesday (hadn't seen her in TEN years), we knitted straight for practically three days (with two runs to GY for project yarn), and she left this morning at 5:30 AM! So not only am I behind on posting, but I have TONS of things to post about! Think I'll break this up over the next several days so this post isn't 26 pages long.

Tuesday, July 25th, the Harlot comes to OKC! What a great event! I have been out following links and clicking on blog lines. First of all, there are knitters here in the city I didn't even know about, and second, there are some wonderful pictures on almost every site. Now if you read my posts once in a while, you know I ALWAYS take my camera. I just never manage to get it out of my bag. So do I have pictures of the Harlot - of course not! I recommend if you want to see some great pictures of the event, start down my sidebar. I think the best post is the Harlot's.

Here is the finished gift basket the guild gave her. I'm going to do a single post on the contents of this basket alone. We had some really awesome donations and I sure hope she liked it.

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Since I have no great photos to offer, how about some behind-the-scenes commentary. I really want to thank Kay, Emily, Anna Hester, Linette, Katie, Rosemary, Anita Roseler, and Margaret for the huge amount of work they did getting this event off the ground. You are the BEST!

And yes, we did have a couple of gliches but these people were able to fix them and move on. We learned a huge amount about putting on an event and will be much better prepared for the next one. Oh Yes, there will be a "next one." This one was way too much fun not to do it again. And what a great team GY and MOCKG makes.

One of my high points was getting to go with Margaret to pick up Stephanie and her publisher, Jayme at the hotel. As those of you know who met her at the book signing, Stephanie is even more delightful one-on-one than she is on her blog or even at the speaking event. I have to tell you, finding out 3.2 beer is "food" is the funniest thing I'd ever heard. I'm thinking of keeping a case in the pantry for those days I don't have time to cook! (just kidding - I don't drink, but I still think it's just too funny)

They told us about going to the Murrah Memorial and how it effected them. I'm glad they went and I'm glad I didn't have to take them (all these years and it still makes me cry). Once at the library, Stephanie went off to a vacant office to gather her thoughts and we went in to find seats. Of course Stephanie had the place howling with laughter within the first two minutes of her talk. Afterwards, (yes, the whole room DID sing "Oklahoma!") we zipped back over to GY and watched the long line of knitters with their copy of "Knittng Rules", in line to get her autograph.

Do you know, she visited with each and every one! She is so gracious and would make a GREAT Okie! I know she received some fun gifts. I saw a tiara, a tornado in a bottle, and stitch markers. There were probably other things but you can see these on the blogs if you have time to look.

And I am WORN OUT! But in a good way. I plan to rest up tomorrow. The steroid reduction program has me down to half a prednesone every day and I'll be calling my dr tomorrow to see what the next step is. I am so tired I've about lost my voice (okay, maybe Jan and I talking non-stop for three days had a LITTLE to do with it), but I know being tired certainly is contributing. So I'll be back in the groove probably by Tuesday and will catch up with emails then.

Well, blogger isn't letting me put up any other pictures tonight so will save the next fun thing for tomorrow.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday Evening

We had a terrific turnout for KC on Saturday. This is just such a fun group. Everyone is knitting something different and it all looks so nice. I took my camera but was unsteady enough I asked Kathy K. to take pics for me. Consequently you get to see eveyone but her (and Bette who won't let anyone take her picture - I have no idea why) .

And we are on the downhill run to the Harlot's arrival. I can't believe it will be tomorrow night. I hate to admit it but I don't know which I'm more excited about, the YH being here or getting to see my sister after so many years.

The steroid reduction continues. I'm now down to one a day which I take half in the morning and half at night. The symptoms are still the same with nothing changing. A good sign I guess. Wouldn't want any big changes at this late date.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Another Mail Surprise!

We had a lady from Austin Tx come to a guild meeting about two months ago. She was very nice and seemed to enjoy the group. Look what she sent us:

She made a burial bunting and blanket for our charity knitting and:

If you look close, you'll see it's an Oklahoma dishcloth. It was hard to get a picture of this but interesting that a lady in TX would knit a OK dishcloth to put in the Canadian Yarn Harlot's gift bag.

And speaking of the gift basket, we have been given some awesome handspun yarns, rovings, soaps, and something I've never seen before, silk cocoons! This is going to be one great gift basket. I got an xxxx large basket shaped like OK to put all the YH's gifts in. I hope she likes it.

I've been working on my felted hat. I have it almost done and am excited to get it felted. Should be very interesting. And I'll do the before and after like Carolyn did on Wednesday. It's already starting to look like a Dr. Suess hat.

AND one of my sister's is planning to come and visit. She should arrive the day after the YH leaves. I'm very excited as I haven't seen her in over 8 or 9 years. Family doesn't come out to visit much.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Felting Fun

Carolyn came over today to do some felting. I wanted to refelt both my large square market bag, and my little green handspun to see if I could get them to tighten up a little more. I was really unhappy with the market bag before, we'll see how I like it after it dries.

But who cares aout the bags. Carolyn made the cutest cloche hat but was not totally sure it would actually felt up the way it was suppose to. Why do you think she thought that - LOL! Here are two "before" pictures:

She said she was smiling for this picture. It's funny how we are all creatures of habit.

And here is the finished product. It turned out so cute and she only had to wear the wet hat a little bit to make sure it matched her head size.

Felting is like magic. We both had bags to felt, plus she had the hat. I have a fedora hat pattern I picked up about a year ago and am planning on making and felting that. Then I plan to get some Cascade 22o at Margaret's and make up the homespun Ali sent me, along with some black and steel blue.

Can you guess I got all the fruit caps done? Now I just have to make to rainbow sleep sets and I can get back to making another short sleeve tee for myself.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fruit Hats

Inspired by the Yarn Harlot, I too am making fruit hats for the multiple babies either here or getting ready to put in an appearance. I managed to make two apple hats and a watermelon hat. I plan to get the booties for the apple hats finished today or tomorrow and then make watermelon booties.

I mentioned at guild about not wanting floats on the inside of the toes of the booties and Anna Hester (creative woman that she is!) suggested buying fabric paint and just painting the seeds on. BRILLIANT! In fact, I may even make another watermelon hat and paint on the seeds. Duplicate stitching the seeds on the hat was a lot of work!

And look at this fur baby. Blue has completely burrowed into the quilt, turned around, and is asleep, I think. At any rate, she is ignoring me if she's awake. She is a funny little cat.

Sugar, on the other hand, likes to sleep on her back with everything exposed, totally trusting no one is going to do anything mean to her. Well, she sleeps like that with me and if I rub her tummy she starts talking in her sleep. She also feels she must spend every waking moment with me (especially if she can find a knitted boob laying around to chew on). I've been using my blanket as I get cold so easily. She loves the blanket also. She has finally stopped trying to "taste" it as this gets her kicked out of the bedroom rapidly.

We had a super turnout at Guild on Sunday. We are having about 25-30 people come to every meeting and it's not all the same people! If you haven't come you should, it's a great group, we learn something new every month and we get to KNIT!

I've started the great steroid reduction again. I'm now on prednesone and the plan is to be off the steroids completely in about two months. So symptoms are a little more weakness in the knees, balance is pretty bad, and eyes are really watery. The good news is I feel good even if I am having trouble walking.

And one of my old/new hobbies is making small books. I have called and looked everywhere in town for a small bookbinding awl to punch holes into pages to sew them together. If you know of any place that might have them, please let me know. I can tell you who DOESN'T have them - Hobby Lobby and Micheals, Lowes, Home Depot, Triangle A& E, and Ace.

Here is what they look like

I guess I'm going to have to get a couple of corks and make my own using large needles. Now I just have to find some corks.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Gorgeous Socks!

I love getting surprises in the mail! When I was little, I used to save cereal boxtops, box bottoms, cut out the coupons, and even send money, just so I'd have a continual chance of a daily surprise in the mail. Times change and if I could, I would still do things like that but there doesn't seem anyway to make that happen. Except when someone sends you handmade socks! What a great surprise. This package came today from Ali:

Not only gorgeous socks, but she sent me a skein of her handspun. Her fourth skein to be exact. I have NEVER given any one any of my handspun. I keep every nanometer of it. I am so impressed. And her fourth skein of handspun looks great.

Look at how the colors are plied (well, it's kind of hard to see but there are a lot of colors in this).

The pictures just don't do it justice. It has plies that look like velvet, plies of two or three colors together, just too pretty. It's 96 yards of of blue faced Leister. I'm thinking I should be able to get a cloche or fedora to felt out of it. Would be very pretty I think.

She also included some English Breakfast tea, her favorite scone recipe and some yummy Classic Rose All Purpose Salve. It smells great and I've already rubbed it into my poor, raggidy cuticles.

Thank you Ali!

But before I could take pictures of all these things, Jim had to remove FIVE sparrows from the screen-in porch. Luckily the cats hadn't discovered them yet. Poor little things, they were so scared. Jim propped open the screen door, then walked around the out side and literally herded them to the open door. The phrase "bird brain" takes on greater meaning in situations like this. But they all managed to get out and both Sugar and Rimsky were a little unhappy no one invited them to help.

I'm going to see if our handy man can fix some kind of threshold up to keep them from coming in under the porch door. There's about a three inch gap and it looks about little bird size to me.

I'll be posting some actual knitting I've done tomorrow after guild but wanted you to see my latest socks and some fun handspun.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Oh My Gosh - You Have To See This....

I have the best group of friends! Friday night Kay called me and said "Come to Gourmet Yarns tomorrow at noon."

"Why?" I asked.

She said "I'm not telling you, just be here."

And, of course, I went. There are just a handful of people who, when they say do something, I just do it.

So I showed up a Gourmet Yarns at noon. A small knitting group, Rosemolly, Kay, Shelly, Terri, Emily, and Margaret (well, Margaret was working but it was nice to see her). And I'm thinking, this is really nice. I hadn't seen Terri, Shelly or Rosemolly in a long time. And this is just a fun group to knit with.

Then, Emily says, "We need to do this." And the next thing I know I've got my eyes closed. When I was told I could open them, this is what I saw:

Okay, the YI wasn't there but isn't this gorgeous!! Everyone made one or two squares or maybe three. I have a chart of who made which square and the stitich but Jim put it some place when I got home yesterday and I can't find it at the moment.

But there is a DW square (of course!) a several crocheted squares, a fiboroni number stripe sequence, a square with raised hearts, and some stitch patterns that are really cool but I don't know what they are.

Here it is again without the YI helping. She decided to come and sit with me on the sofa while I took this picture.

Unfortunately this picture managed to cut off just about all of the first row of squares.

As soon as Jim gets home, I'll update this with some close ups of the squares and stitch patterns. I just couldn't wait to get this up so you could see it.

And I understand there are pictures of the work in progress and some stories about clandestine knitting. I sure hope someone posts those - they sound like fun.

I don't know how you say "THANK YOU" for something like this. I know I will use when I'm cold whether the outside temperature is 98 degrees or 40 degrees and I will feel wrapped in LOVE! It's been a really hard month in more ways than one and this is just wonderful!

THANK YOU DEAR FRIENDS! I love each and every one of you!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

More Backyard Pictures

I thought I'd see if Blogger would let upload the rest of the backyard pics. We have the hose there to water the Buddleias. Wayne planted those last year and we are TRYING to keep them alive. This is also a pretty good picture of the screen in porch.

The Crepe Myrtle is almost at it's peak. I love the pink color, it just shines against all the green!I have one hosta under the tree. I have full ring around the tree out front but it looks like this is solitary survior. But it's in bloom and that's all that matters - lol.

I have some actual knitting to share. I'm making a baby sleep sack for one of my niece's who is pregnant. I decided to make in the colors of the rainbow. It's a fast knit but I'm going to have to set it aside so I can make a couple of fruit caps with matching booties for my dentist. She is just about due and I haven't even started anything yet. Anyway, here is the the sleep sack.

All in red heart. I'm to the point I'm knitting in the round. I may stop and finish the sleeves just so I know I have enough yarn to make it all work out.

The YI is never very far away. Although she really just wanted me to get the stuff out of her chair. She didn't seem all that interested in the sleep sack.

Last but not least, a good report from my oncologist. We will move to prednozone on Wednesday. Both tumors are shrinking with no inflamation or activitiy. Now I do meet with my radiology oncololgist tomorrow and he will have actually read the MRI. My Oncologist just received the results. But it still sounds pretty good to me!