Today I received a box of beautiful yarn from my secret pal, who turned out to be Karrie.
She bought the yarn, that was dyed and spun by the owner of a local yarn shop. On the one skein there are tiny beads woven into the yarn. I tried to take a close up shot, but it doesn't do the yarn justice.
The yarn is very soft and the subtle color changes in it is beautiful. I will be seeking out a pattern to use it for something very special for me! Karrie was a wonderful secret pal and sent me lots of fun knitting treats. Thank you Karrie! I really enjoyed the secret pal exchange and am looking forward to participating again in the next one.
The knitter that I had for the Secret Pal 2 was Julie, a very talented and creative woman from New England. I have had a blast shopping and knitting for her and have also enjoyed keeping up with her blog. She and her husband are amazing cooks! Be sure to check out her site.
These are the mohair mittens I knit for her, since it gets pretty darn cold during New England winters:
I added this cute "bubbles" yarn to the cuffs to give them some color. She almost didn't get them--I love how they feel. I started knitting a pair for myself, but have to complete the second mitten, hopefully before it snows here this year!
Chris and I went out to dinner with our friend Walt and his new girlfriend tonight. It was the first time for us meeting her and Walt was very nervous about what we would think. They met on match.com. Both of them had been having a hard time meeting people to date. They have clicked so well that he thinks they are getting serious. They were so cute together--almost like a high school couple newly in love. I thought she was a great match for him. He deserves to find someone sweet and good to him. It was fun to be able to go out with him as part of a couple. I guess it goes to show that there is something to be said for internet dating. It follows the philosophy I had when I was dating before I met Chris: you have to go on a lot of bad first dates before you find the right person. (or, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince/princess!) I wish them the best of luck together and look forward to going out with them more in the future.
It is Halloween weekend. I think I will go visit the babies at my sister's house on Sunday to see if they are getting dressed up. Last I heard, Isabel wasn't too sure of her ladybug costume her grandmother got her. I'm not sure if baby Nicholas will be getting dressed up--at two months, I don't think he will care.
Here are the mice that I knit for my secret pal's kitties:
I had knitted some mice in the past for charity using Wendy's mice pattern. This time I created the pattern myself, which didn't take much, considering the simplicity of the thing.
Using worsted yarn and size 6 needles, cast on 24 stitches.
Row 1: K, Row 2: K, Row 3: K2tog, K to last 2 sts, SSk last two sts, Row 4: K,
Row 5: repeat row 3, Row 6: repeat row 4.
Continue decreases until there are two sts left, K2tog, bind off remaining stitch.
You will now have a small triangle. Fold it in half and stitch up the seam, leaving the end open for stuffing. I used one cotton ball torn in half to stuff the face, filled the body with catnip, and then stuffed the other half of cotton in to plug up the bottom. Sew the end seam shut. I made a single chain for the tail for these three, but I have done a three stitch I-cord also for a tail. Sew on some whiskers if you want using yarn scraps. Viola! You have mice.
Of the three mice pictured, the blue/green one was knitted using Encore Bulky yarn. I reduced the cast on sts to 22. The other two mice are knit from fisherman's wool dyed with Kool Aid.
On Sunday, Chris and I took his mom out for brunch. She is recovering from eye surgery and not feeling all that great. Her church is having a pumpkin patch sale as a fund raiser for their much needed roof. We weren't planning to do the pumpkin thing this year, but how could we resist such a good cause? Here is a shot of the "patch."
I thought these gooseneck gourds were very festive. I didn't buy one, but I did get a few small gourds to fill a cornacopia basket as a centerpiece for my table.
And here is Chris, refusing to look at me, holding our pumpkin.
I have been busy knitting mice for some kitties. I tested the pattern, which really isn't a pattern, just a knitted triangle sewn up and stuffed with cat nip, on Teakie, my mother in law's cat. She approved, so I knitted a few more for my Secret Pal's trio of cats. I will have to take a picture of them tonight before I pack them up and mail them to her.
I have been busy working on my Opal brasil socks that I started back in March when I was flying to France. I have just completed the heel and am ready to pick up the gussett stitches on the second sock.
I work on the socks at work during lunch and at the knitter's meetup/SnB. Just the foot and toes to go!
At home I have been working on the AbFab throw. I just finished the second pattern repeat. I think I have to complete one more and then half of one.
I also was checking out some of my stash today. I keep a basket full of yarn in my living room as a reminder of the projects that need to be knitted--plus it looks pretty to me!
This weekend has been beautiful fall weather. There is a crisp chill in the air and the leaves are really starting to change colors. Maybe tomorrow I will remember to take my camera out with me to take a few shots of the leaves.
Tonight was the knitting night at the Barnes and Noble. Four of us met, plus two little ones, for some gabbing and knitting. I used Meetup.com to set up the group, since the previous weeks people were ignoring Denise's email attempts at organizing. Using meetup makes it a bit easier, since the site automatically reminds people who sign up of the meetings and Denise, or anyone else, doesn't have to be bothered with individual reminders or the frustration of people saying they are interested, but not actually responding. We are planning to meet twice a month. It was a good break from work and the rest of life's chaos. I worked on the second sock of my Opal Brasil socks that I started back when I was flying to France. I am up to the heel flap. Hopefully these will be finished in time to wear for winter.
Gotta run and finish making dinner, since Chris just walked in. Sorry, no pics tonight!
Hey, it's October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the US. I fully support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which is a wonderful organization that raises money to support research to help find a cure to this horrible disease. Check out their website to find out more info of what you can do to help out.
In regards to knitting, one thing you could do is knit these pink ribbon socks! They are beautiful and would make a great gift. Lisa Loyd is offering this free pattern that she designed. Kudos to her for such a fantastic pattern.
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.
Today I came home from work to find a big box of goodies from my secret pal! What excitement, which brightened an otherwise rainy, yucky day. This was inside the box:
She even wrapped the gifts--which made opening them even more fun. I found a copy of the Knitters Stash, a book that I have been eyeing for a while now and some sock shaped point protectors, which is perfect, since I am forever stabbing myself with those little sock needles. She also included a de-fuzzer for sweaters and other knitted fabrics--what a great idea! And finally, a tin of Knitters Little Helper, a balm for my dried out hands. I love the smell of it, very soothing.
Thank you so much, secret pal. I love it all! Can't wait to find out who you are.
As I stated earlier, today was crappy out--rainy and muggy. Plus, my allergies have been annoying me lately so I haven't been feeling great. I woke up an hour early today, which is unusual for me, since I am not a morning person, whatsoever! Instead of doing something highly productive, like laundry, exercise, etc., I stayed in bed, watching Good Morning America, and taught myself a new cast-on technique. Ok, not new as in revolutionary, but new for me. I was taught how to cast-on using the long tail method. I recently learned that there is more than one way to cast-on, and I decided that I needed to know at least one other way. Someone told me about knitting on the needle, so I sat this morning at 6:00am and played around with some yarn and needles and I figured it out. I actually think it is easier, as there is no risk of running out of yarn if I misjudge the length I need when doing the long-tail method. Anyway, I suppose it isn't rocket science, but I was happy with myself.
I have been toying with the idea of knitting up a swatch of fabric with the leftover yarn from my AbFab throw (which isn't finished yet) and framing it and hanging it in my office. I have seen other textiles framed as art work, why couldn't knitting be included? I'm sure this isn't a unique idea, but I have never seen it, so I may just try it. When/If I do it, I will post a photo.
Tomorrow I am going to the Sugarloaf juried fine art and craft show in Fort Washington with my mom. We went last year and found some great holiday gifts there. One of my favorite print medium artists is going to be there: Susan Loy. She incorporates calligraphy with paintings. I used to be a calligrapher, and still can do it if I practice enough. I really admire her creativity. Check her out at Literary Calligraphy. I also like to check out the glass pieces at Folio Art Glass, a family of fused glass makers.