january 2012 raggz newsletter

happy 2012!  i hope everyone has recuperated from the holidays.  Are we ready to get down to some serious winter knitting projects?  what better thing to do then sit by the fire with soft warm wool in your lap?   what projects or new things do we want to learn  — perhaps a thrumming class? socks?  perhaps simply a knitters anonymous meeting with good company, hot coffee, and lots of yarn (and no more sweets!)?
check out this site:  http://knitmeter.com/    my daughter showed it to me and it is a way of keeping track of how much knitting you do in a year!
KA meeting on 12/19 was attended by 9 ladies, including first-time attendees (and hopefully not last time) laurel and holly holbein (sally’s daughters).  they tried their hand for the first time making the ruffled scarves and each made a beautiful scarf to wear with plans to make more!  with all that everyone had going on the week before christmas, i surely appreciate everyone taking the time to welcome me back  and spend some quality knitting time together! 
the KA meeting on 12/28 was fun as well.  everyone was more at ease with not having any projects to finish last minute and new projects were started.  maryann is anticipating a sweater for one of her beautiful granddaughters (perhaps a wallaby); monte is finishing socks, donna started two new projects – challenging herself on both of them (beth’s spiral hat, and a noro bag with a picot edge); ardis made a neckwarmer with a very unusual pattern but very simple (odd number of stitches worked as follows:  k2 p2 to the last 3 sts, end with k2 p1.  every row is the same but it gives it an entirely different appearance from k2p2 just by being off one stitch on the return row!)  she made it from red heart boutique treasure and it turned out just beautiful!  adam joined us from colorado and finished his first ever hat!  he will return to get another project started so he has something to work on on the flight home on new year’s day.  ali is making her first felted purse; monte is finishing a pair of socks for her daughter (her second complete pair almost done!!); maia is making her first hat as well with some lovely sublime yarn; beth is making another wallaby but this time an adult size for her daughter; and i am plugging along with my sweater/jacket from the organic mountain meadow and am still trying to finish my second pair of socks which were supposed to be a christmas birthday present.
the following is a link to a cable headband pattern my daughter made while i was in colorado.  this was her first cable and it turned out beautifully, so for those of you who havent cabled yet:  http://wistfulplying.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-first-pattern.html

thursday, january 12    1 to 3 purl’n gurls meet at raggz
knitters anonymous      tuesday january 10   1 to 8
    tuesday january 31   1 to 8
sock guru sally holbein will be teaching this class, which entails knitting only (no purling).  Thrumming is a technique where fleece is knitted into articles for added warmth. Common thrummed articles are socks/slippers, hats, and mittens.  In this class, students will knit a pair of thrummed slippers.  The slippers will be knitted flat using a size 11 circular needle.  Students will need two skeins of worsted weight yarn of their choice.  For thicker slipper one skein of bulky and one skein of worsted works well.  roving needed will be included in class fee.  if you are interested in this class, please notify me as soon as possible as to the daytime class or evening class.

tuesday january 17         3 to 5          6 to 8
tuesday january 14         3 to 5          6 to 8
cost of class:  $25 (includes roving)
pittsburgh knit and crochet festival is february 10, 11, and 12.  it will be held at the sheraton north in mars.  i attended one or two in the past and it was really fun – lots of yarn, demonstrations, classes, etc.  tickets are available at a discount if purchased in advance on their website.  several of us are planning on attending on friday and possibly we can ride together.  here is the link: http://www.pghknitandcrochet.com/registration.htm
after much anticipation, we are ringing in the new year with crystal palace yarn, which arrived early!!!!  donna charlesworth happened to be here knitting with me when tom came over and said (in a very matter of fact tone) ‘oh there are 3 boxes next door for you.’  we literally dropped our knitting (which was a big deal for donna who was working on that spiral hat) and ran outside to find 3 large boxes from crystal palace!  we tore open the boxes and had yarn scattered all over the kitchen.  we were like little piggies wallowing in that yarn.  i knitted a rainbow trout out of the mochi plus.  it is soft and beautiful and i am looking forward to making socks out of the mini mochi.  come check it out soon and to taunt you a little, check out this link for free patterns for their wonderful yarns:  http://www.straw.com/cpy/free_pattern_yarnssort.html#aria
we are also ringing in the new year with the shipment of red heart yarn, which arrived january 4th.  i guess its a good thing i was sick and running late with my newsletter so they could be added.  my head is spinning with all the projects i want to start but i MUST finish that vertical sweater and my son’s socks first……
so obviously i have been very occupied with stocking shelves, inventory, and generally rearranging things so the next time you visit you will see how things have changed.
remember last month when i was rambling on about why i love wool?  i neglected to mention something:  mountain meadow wool also makes eco friendly products for the home, one of which are wool cleaning pads.  the label states:
.  wash dishes
.  shine tarnished items
.  dust furniture and many other uses
.  renewable and sustainable
.  felt pad can be used over and over without washing, as wool inhibits bacteria
   growth.  pad will shrink with use in water.  simply air dry.
i have been using these pads for a couple of months now and i love them, as do my kids.  a pack contains 2 pads 8″x6″.  i cut one in half for washing dishes, hence making 4″x6″ pads.  they retail for $8 per pack.
a few more advantages to wool:  wool is naturally acid resistant, static resistant, soil resistant, UV resistant, and burn resistant.  wool is annually renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable.  wool lasts well beyond the life of most synthetics and other natural fabrics such as cotton.  wool is considered by the medical profession to be hypoallergenic and wool fibers inhibit bacteria growth.  wool readily absorbs AND gives off moisture.  wool can absorb almost 1/3 of its weight in moisture yet also evaporate it.  PHEW!  now do you see why i love wool so much?
the january 4th email issue of knitting daily spoke of a better buttonhole.  check it out as it explains the one-row buttonhole.  monte showed me a you tube months ago about a one-row buttonhole and it looks easy and the appearance is much nicer than a two-row buttonhole.  if you do not currently subscribe to these daily knitting tidbits, you can do so at http://www.knittingdaily.com/
the winner of december’s door prize “knitted flowers” is eugenia shipe.  as you all know, eugenia is a knitting machine and will probably have everything covered with knitted flowers as soon as she gets her needles going!
happy new year my friends – i hope 2012 proves to be a year full of love, peace, good health, and lots of fun knitting and practicing yoga.  and speaking of yoga, FYI, monte’s yoga teacher for the past 6+ years and mine for the past year is offering a beginner yoga class at beatty crossroads.  it is a 6 week class every monday from 1:30 to 2:30 beginning january 23.  the cost is $55.  if you are interested, let me know soon, as the class is filling up.  class is for men and women.  melissa marasia is a wonderful instructor with ten years of experience.  she has her own studio in ligonier on 711 north.  she teaches 16 classes a week on average and has graciously agreed to do a beginner class more in our area.  if you want to know more, melissa has a website at http://earthlotusyoga.com/.  monte and i both intend to take the class, as we not only enjoy yoga but melissa is a wonderful teacher.  i honestly tell folks that one of the best things i have ever done was take a yoga class so if you’ve been putting off like i did, give it a try.   i guarantee you won’t be sorry.
‘Life is a succession of lessons, which must be lived to be understood.’ (thomas carlyle)
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