february 1 2013

“life is a stocking, grandma says and yours has just begun.
but i am knitting the toe of mine and my work is almost done.”          (19th century rhyme)
the best four-letter word ever —  D O N E!!!  i finished anthony’s socks! unfortunately, when i was doing the kitchener stitch for the toes, the unthinkable happened – the yarn broke!!!!!  un-kitchener stitching is not an easy task.  it took me a half hour just to undo it.  then i had to start a new strand to finish thus leaving me with two extra ends to weave in.  ah well after a mere 14 months, they are done and on their way to my son with a note stating that a little drop of love was knitted into each stitch. 
i’m so happy to have finished, i have decided to start another pair and teach myself the magic loop method doing both at the same time.  i will use a size 0 needle 40″ long.  monte is rolling her eyes about now but its totally understandable. these will be for my daughter with a lovely rainbow colored alpaca tye dyed yarn i purchased several years ago to make socks for her but, as is my usual MO, i realized after a couple of inches that they were big enough for an elephant.  so off they went into the corner not to be revisited until now.  but this time, i’m not telling her that i’m starting them thus no disappointment when and if it takes me two years (or more) to completion!
february is here and with it we celebrate groundhog day, valentine’s day, lambing season, and hopefully at the end of the month tree-tapping.  i am hoping those warm days havent tricked the trees into getting their sap running early – i missed tapping my trees last year because they budded in january and once they bud, the sap is bitter and rendered unusable.  this year you can be sure i’m keeping my eye on my maples.  2011 was only my second year tapping and i collected about 60 gallons of sap.  the ratio is 40:1 meaning 40 gallons of sap cooks down to 1 gallon of syrup but i had enough to last me all year and share some with my kids.

i am anxiously awaiting mathilda to lamb, which could be any time now but with all that fluffy wool, its hard to tell if its her fleece thats poofy or her!

upcoming dates to remember:
thursday feb. 7  purln girls at noon at the bean in latrobe
monday feb 11:  2-4 greensburg fiber arts meet up at panera in greensburg
tuesday feb 12   knitter’s anonymous 1-5
tuesday feb 5   close knit girls 6-8 panera
fridays open 10-6*
*note now open til six
WHAT’S NEW AT THE SHOP?
from hiya hiya:  new circular needles in assorted sizes as well as some interchangeable sets in both metal and bamboo.  the new thing now are the shorter needles, formerly called ‘lace tips’ and they are really much easier to work with, especially with the short 16″ cords.  hiya hiya also carries ‘sharps’ which have a sharper point.  its about time i carry a better variety of sizes.
what else is new?  pagewood farms has done it again with a funky, new thick yarn called ‘mo puffs, pictured below along with a new shipment of flora fina in every color available:
also if you are a fan of pagewood’s rustic spun (an especially thick/thin yarn which is not easy to find), they are discontinuing this line and i was able to secure 11 skeins of it, so when it’s gone, its gone.
and last but not least, raspberry hill alpacas has added a heavy weight natural light grey alpaca yarn to their selection, which is still being offered at 50% off for a limited time.
in keeping with my intent to carry unusual and artful yarns, i will soon be carrying ozark handspun as well as knit collage yarns.  these yarns are not readily found and i am very excited to offer them.  also soon to arrive will be fibro fibers.  i picked up a couple of skeins in north carolina and just finished a hitch hiker using nightfall.  check out this photo below and see how beautifully the color changes – all hand dyed by a young woman in north carolina.  stunning!  
i’ll keep you posted as soon as my shipment arrives.

as you may or may not know, i am a member of the pittsburgh fiber arts guild and they had a meeting and potluck last thursday at the pittsburgh center for the arts.  rhonda, cathy, donna, and roberta accompanied me and it was a lot of fun.  they had a stash-buster chinese auction and everyone brought things they no longer needed.  items ranged from yarns to fabrics to buttons and baskets.  tickets are purchased and you put them in the bag of your choice.  our darling donna kept complaining as we were perusing the tables ‘i never win anything….’  well guess who walked away with two HUGE bags of yarn and a bag of fabric????  she was smiling from ear to ear, like the cheshire cat.  it took all of us with full arms to get the loot we won up the stairs and into the car – which, by the way was filled to the gills.  i was lucky enough to get to talk to barb grossman (founder of the pittsburgh knit and crochet festival) and we were able to talk about my upcoming ad.  i’m very excited, as this is my first adventure in advertising.

once the weather breaks (march-april) i am going to try being open one evening a week to accommodate those who work weekdays.  right now i’m thinking the evening will be wednesday.
my patterns have all been three-hole punched and filed into appropriate binders, so next time you stop in, check them out — i have been collecting patterns for at least seven years and i am happy to share them with you. by the way, i’m still missing a few books from the lending library, so please double check to see if you may have one buried under some yarn somewhere.
my last completed project is a fair isle hat.  the hat will not be felted but seeing mary and paula’s fair isle knitting bags gave me the urger to do fair isle again.  as is usual for me, even though i went down a needle size and actually did a gauge swatch, the hat is a little big even for my gargantuan head.  so now to decide what to do with it – perhaps lightly felt it or find someone with a bigger head than me if that’s possible?
it looks like something out of a dr seuss book or perhaps alice in wonderland….  colorful though – keeping with my ‘winter doesnt have to be drab’ theme.  

i did learn something while making the decreases for the top of this hat.  instead of simply knitting 2 together, the pattern called for ‘slip 2 stitches, k1, p2sso’ thus decreasing two stitches at a time and it has a different look as well.  try it some time.  

also if you notice the blue picot edge?  that look is achieved by knitting 5 rows, doing one row of k2tog, yo,  then knit the next 5 rows and when the hat was done, it is folded at the yo row thus producing this picot edge!  
ok everyone, nuff said.  happy valentine’s day to you all!
t
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2 Responses to february 1 2013

  1. Hi, just found your site through the PGH fiber festival newsletter. I have enjoyed your blog. You will love doing socks two at a time with magic loop. Your shawl looks lovely. Ann

  2. thanks ann. i was very excited about my first ad; however it says pittsburgh, pa and i'm not in pittsburgh. oh well the phone number is right anyhow. thanks for the compliments and i cant wait to try the magic loop!
    thanks again!
    t

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