knitnana: April 2008

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Answering the Call - To Craft!

Lousy title, huh?

I'm getting pretty bad at picking them - or perhaps my "muse" is on vacation?

Anyway, I promised you a few photos of needle cases - in this case it's a couple of Glady Interchangeables Cases...These are spoken for, but email me if you're interested in one of your very own, okay?

These two photos are of the Aqua Yin/Yang Kitties print that you've seen here before...there's only a little of this fabric left, sadly it's out of print now (I so hate when that happens to a good print!)


Above and below is a cool retro/nouveau print in brown, pink, and ivory...

I only put my Harmony set in this last one to show off the ability to house so many of your tips and cables - the larger pockets on the bottom back row (and the top row) have velcro tabs to hold your cables securely when you fold the case up for tucking into your knitting bag.

And I couldn't stand it, I had to have that electric pink OTN. My receptionist saw this sock today and dubbed it "The Bubblegum Sock" and so be it. THAT name will stick ... sorry...we had to clean gum off the bottom of DGS#1's shoe last night, so that's where that very bad pun came from...

I'm using my size 2 Susan Bates Quicksilvers for these...just because. These will be bedsocks - and Deb, you are so right, this yarn is, well...just NOT what I prefer to knit with...it's got no "spoing!" But they'll be fine for bedsocks. That's why I put the mock cable down to the toe - I don't like patterning on the feet of my socks inside shoes so I don't usually do this, but decided to throw caution to the wind for these!!

Yeah, that's my Mommie...a real daredevil...The Meezer

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday, Monday!

Back to work! And a busy day...But I did get to work on my Diamond Fantasy Shawl (can I just say again what a cool knit this is? So satisfying, such a fun pattern, and the yarn is a dream!)

Kat? You wondered how I avoided having the laceweight cut into my skin as I held it wrapped around my fingers? Well...I guess I knit pretty loosely, because I never have any yarn wrapped all that tightly around my fingers, regardless of the weight of the yarn - I'm a "thrower" not a "picker" so I suppose maybe that has something to do with it?

(btw...I ordered another Sivia Harding design today, and the yarn (and beads!) to make it - I'll share when they arrive, but I'm soooooo excited!)

Here are a couple of bags I made this weekend - the first is a Knitnana:

And I altered the 6 "Mera-style" pockets in this one - I made one of them into 4 pen/pencil/needle sleeves as requested by the new owner...

Then this one, I know you've seen in some variation or other over the years:

Yes, that's my favorite (okay, SECOND favorite) Siamese kitty - Michelle Meow - in the Mera size bag. This one is wending it's way to the Virginia Center of Siamese Rescue for a fundraiser this weekend. It's one of my favorite causes, and so I was delighted that Siri accepted my donation of this bag...

I've got some needle cases in process and I'll show them later in the week but I hope that, like me, your week began well, and hope it continues to sail along smoothly!
(((Hugs)))

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Laceweights & Brights...

The weekend has flown by again!

We had tickets to the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra's matinee today and heard an outstanding pianist, Elizabeth Batchelder (a local artist, too!) play the Schumann Piano Concerto in A Minor - three curtain calls and standing ovations all around...she is such a treasure!

As I picked up my Tebaldi DFS tonight, I suddenly realized that this is really laceweight - and there's a lot of difference in laceweights as I'm finding...the weight of this one isn't marked, but I thought I'd give you a little perspective:

The topmost example above is Knitpicks Shadow, a merino laceweight, the middle example is my Tebaldi 100% silk Andrea, and the bottom-most is Colourmart's Cashmere/Silk blend that is 3/45 weight (yes, I know it looks like thread...feels like it, too, when you're knitting with it...)

So the middle one is what I'm using for Diamond Fantasy, and the bottom one is what I'm using for Magickal Earth Shawl (which at the moment is only in the planning stages). And my finger is in there for scale. Of sorts. And to prove that I truly have given up my acrylic nails...

I also promised you that I'd show you the sock yarn I'm planning to use next...Deb will recognize this, I suspect...it is indeed elann's Sock-it-to-Me from 3 years ago...which she was very frustrated with when she knit her's up...I'm still going to try my own pair. I love this colorway! It can't be any splittier than Trekking can be...can it?

If all else fails, I have 3 other brights I can use...

Pretty, huh? Think they're cheery enough?

Hope your weekend has been delightful...I got a lot done. And got to enjoy some of my favorite things, too - that makes it a lovely weekend all around!
(((hugs)))

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What Do You Know? Knitting!

It's Saturday, and I've been sewing, of course, and running errands, and also doing laundry and such...don't we all? (ok, maybe not the sewing part, but everything else?)
lol

Tonight, I'm having to give up the sewing every so often - we're having thunderstorms. I don't run either the computer or the Bernina during them. Can't really afford to replace these expensive computers...so...I took a few photos to share instead, okay?

I promised you I'd show you the Atomic 6 Feather and Fan socks when they were dry - so here they are!

I love them. Truly...but I finished them in time for warm weather, and I don't know that I'll get a lot of wear out of them till fall. But they're ready for then!

And I know I said I was going to start on something bright...pink...right? And lace? Well, I did do one of those things.

I kept thinking about the Schaeffer Andrea yarn I bought ages ago in the Renata Tebaldi colorway. I'd gotten Anne sock yarn in it, and didn't particularly care for the orange in it. But I found the Andrea (100% silk laceweight) and there wasn't a spec of that color to be found...this is all roses to merlot, smoky amethyst and toast. It took me a little while to think of a pattern I'd be happy with...and it suddenly came to me - Sivia's Diamond Fantasy Shawl! The one I just frogged in the KP Gossamer. Somehow I think the diamonds are perfect for a colorway named after my favorite opera star with the sparkling soprano. I started on size 5s as the pattern suggests, and immediately felt the knit was way too loose. I dropped back to 4s. And also switched to my Addi Naturas instead of the Addi Lace needles. I just couldn't control the silk on the brass finish...I needed the wood.

Here's the start on my 16-inch circs.

And here, pinned out to show the pattern better, having switched now to the 24-inch circs.

I think I'm in love.

And as I began this labor of love? I was listening to La Tebaldi as I knit her namesake colorway.

That's about as perfect a Friday night as I can think of right now...And if the t-storms continue, it might make for a perfect Saturday night, as well...

But I really do need to sew!
edited to add: I frogged The Meezer Trinity Shawl. I could not bear to work on that pattern, it was boring. The yarn deserves a nicer pattern, and I've kinda got my eye on Anne's new triangle shawl...Let me know what you think, okay?

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Friday List (b/c Margene Started IT!)

I asked Margene for a photo of her gorgeous mountains (I am such a mountain kinda gal...not so much for me the shoreline!)...and she not only delivered just that, but she also made me realize that this list series she and Carole have been doing is kinda cool.

So I give you MY Friday list (and it's All About Me, too, Margene!)

1. I started growing my hair out from it's short curly permanent back when the MFMP returned to my life some almost 3 years ago - MFMP stands for Man From My Past (who for awhile was also seeming to be a part of my Present & Future and eventually went by the acronym MFMPPF before dropping back to MFMP about a year ago - ah the progression of our lives is all over there in our blog archives, doncha know?). He was a semi-fixture on this blog for a couple of years, just in case you're new around here! My medium dark-brown hair is now half-way down my back, and streaked lightly with silver. I plan to keep it that way. Not for me, going back to the salon for hours of stinky solutions, or trying to stay on top of coloring! I'm lucky to remember to go in for a trim these days... lol!

2. My favorite attire is blue jeans...or black jeans...or whatever color of jeans I can get away with. In my world, "jeans" means elastic denim leggings. And Denim & Co and QVC rule! Oh. And I love t-shirts lightly sprinkled with sparkles...mostly rhinestones! And especially with cats or butterflies on them!

3. Margene also reminded me how much I love lace with my jeans. And since the season is upon us for air conditioning, I've ordered a couple of lace knitting books that I've had on my wishlist for awhile. Socks will remain my portable projects, but I am craving lace to knit at home! And light, bright, cheery colors, too...

4. I rarely wear makeup. I'm hyper-allergic to it, but still like the way I look with it...so on very special occasions, I'll put it on, lightly. And short-term!

5. I miss my Knails. But I'm not sure I miss them enough to start spending the money on them again. I like having that cash available for yarn and books! Hmmmm...and with the economy as it is? Well, that's pretty important, huh?

6. I am painting my toenails now that sandals are back! Since that's something I can do without spending much cash.

7. The idea of cosmetic surgery is one I can't support for myself. For one, there's no money for that, but most important is that I like the way I look (as Margene says, "Thank goddess!"). Yes, things creep downwards slowly after 40...a bit more quickly after 50 (and speeds up more and more as we go from there!). But I think the character in an older woman's face and figure is too important to "tuck up." (and it's a really good thing I think that, b/c I'm surely not wanting to resemble Joan Van Ark someday. Frankly, I like the character in older men's faces and figures, too (but not pot bellies, oh please?) *wink* Hmm...guess I just really like the concept of the older gal as Crone! (at least Barbara Walker's version...) So my little looseness at the jaw-line, (not a wattle, just a bit of "jowls" I guess?) is just fine...

8. In spite of the pollen that's all over my part of the world, I'm feeling better than I have in months, and (fingers crossed) am hoping that continues. As a result, the Health Rider has been dusted off, and I'll be down in the basement searching for the free weights this weekend...Like Margene, I've had a rough winter and would like to try to build my stamina back. Trimming up a bit wouldn't be a bad thing, either!

9. I've decided that in the interest of feeling better, and saving a bit of cash, I'm going to plant a couple of patio tomatoes on my front porch this summer. And perhaps a trough of salad greens. Along with my favorite salad herbs. Not for me the flowers in the urns...I've not ever been one to use valuable garden space for flowers if vegetables would make more sense...and the sunny spots are at a premium under all those (oak) trees in my yard (hence the high pollen right now, doncha know). I don't mean that I don't like flowers, as I do. But right now, veggies sound smarter.

10. On that note, and with costs, and health issues in mind, I'm going to be eating at least 4 vegetarian dinners each week this summer. Hmmm...Maybe more. Wonder if DGS will be happy one evening a week with grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup?
lolol

OH. What lace books did I buy? I'll show you when they get here! Have a wonderful weekend!
(((hugs)))

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Socks Galore!

The STR Atomic 6 socks came off the needles tonight and straight into a white vinegar bath. Interestingly, it must have worked as there were no signs of dye in the bath...So I hope my feet don't turn purple! I'll show you the completed sock by the end of the weekend - once they're dry!

I'd cast on for the toe of this sock at the same time I started the STR socks:

And tonight I turned the heel. I'm still working on the gussets and contemplating what cuff to make. It may just end up being plain old vanilla stockinette. Sometimes I just want something easy, ya know what I mean?

And I've decided my next pair of socks will be hot pinks! I've got to get away from the dark and drab...I need cheer and I think PINK ought to fit the bill! lolol

I'm sure happy tomorrow is Friday!
(((hugs)))

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Two Posts in One Day!

But I couldn't resist showing you this!

Isn't this just adorable? What a terrific print!

Let me know if you'd like one, okay? This one has a home, and will soon be on it's way there, but I could make one for you, if you'd like! (Hint, hint...It's a Posy Sock Sack!)

Ten on Tuesday

Carole posted this today, and since I'm basically behind in blogging (I'm getting caught up on sewing and will have stuff to show you soon, promise!) I thought, I can do this...so I give you:

10 Things You Love About Your Life
1. I live in what I think just might be the very best small city in the whole world! Roanoke, VA:

2. I have a terrific family
3. and a wonderful group of like-minded friends
4. I have a stable job with respected colleagues and we do good work
5. My health is mostly good, in spite of a few challenges
6. I have two part-time businesses that I enjoy!
7. I have memories of wonderful relationships I would not trade
8. I have a comfortable home in a nice neighborhood
9. I have hobbies and interests I love - especially knitting, sewing & music.
10. I have the best Siamese in the whole world (and the best Calico, too)

Counting blessings is a good thing to do - especially after last week, when I complained a might too much! Thanks for hanging in with me - (I count all of you in #3 above!)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Quick Late Sunday Post!

No photos, just a note. Wanted to let you know that I'm much better today, (tho' still coughing and that'll probably go on for at least a couple of weeks, huh?) and even got to Opera Roanoke's concert production of Beethoven's Fidelio! Excellent performances by all the singers and only a couple of spots where I thought the orchestra could have toned down just a touch, so they're getting better!!!

And tonight? Well, I'm dancing around here listening to Michael Buble's Call Me Irresponsible!

Did you see his interview on Sunday Morning this morning? Yes, I know, a repeat, but still! What a voice. And such a sweetie, from the sound of it.

Ok...off to bed, and I'll touch base later in the week, perhaps with some knitting (or maybe a new bag or two to share?)!
(((hugs)))

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Weekend Chores...

It's Saturday. I'm wishing I felt better and could report more progress, but I can't. I'm still coughing and blowing. This one has been a witch. Yes. I said that.

Still there are things that have to be done, life continues to roll on, doncha know? So...Early this a.m., ok...about noon, I finished loading up the car with the recyclables and trundled myself off to the drop-off. Fortunately, it's only about 2 blocks from my house (doesn't that sound awful? But it's really not). Once the back of the Forester was unloaded, I could continue on with errands. Stop at one shop for necessities, another for groceries, and AC Moore to use a coupon for a nice little frame for the vintage French postcard I bought when we drove to Greenberry House after the Chateau Morrisette event two weekends ago (really? Only two?).

See?

I'd love to translate for you, but the handwriting is such that I can't get it all - I can see "flowers for me." Which is plenty for my taste, I bought it for the rose anyway!

I also picked up this:

In this new (relative term, I've been in this house more than a year!) place, I've not settled yet on a decorating theme for the bedroom, because with all that's happened since I got here, I've not fully unpacked. I know. We won't go there, but it's been a very, very busy 13 months or so. I wasn't in the mood for navy in this room, as I have it heavily in the living room. About a month ago, I had my son-in-law bring my Health Rider up from the basement (there are honking huge spiders down there when it's warm and I'm not riding it down there!) to my bedroom, and I needed a rug to put under it to spare the hardwood floors. So...off to Wally World, where I fell in love with the runner that is the mate to this one.

Guess I've got a decorating scheme for the bedroom now (it helps that I'd already put up - about 13 months ago, thankfully - burgundy curtains at the windows!)

The Meezer isn't impressed (but please note that the quilt she's on is a rose floral one? I've had it forever...).

Well, since you gave me something to play with finally, THAT will impress me, Mommie!

And yes, I did a little knitting last night - turned the heel of the Feather & Fan Atomic 6 (STR) second sock, and another repeat of The Meezer shawl. (I'm still not loving that shawl...but I haven't frogged it yet)

Now it's off to do the vet's books and laundry, too...
(((hugs)))

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Thinkings - Or Trivia - VERY

The brain cells haven't picked back up to normal (there's evidence they're not completely dead, tho' as I got my client's payroll done tonight) but I'm easily exhausted by half a flight of stairs, coughing like an elderly 2-pack a day, 40-year veteran smoker (which I'm not!), and just in general clawing my way back from the brink (without my knails, too! No Fair!).

But here are a few things I can comment on tonight (and I have no photos, so if that's what you're looking for, you don't have to continue to read my drivel):

1. There is the most divine shawl here, at Anne's that I would love to find the perfect yarn for - okay, it's probably BMFA's Laci in Mustang Sally (didn't you know I'd say that?) and I'm seriously regretting beginning The Meezer shawl as it's boring - the pattern, not the yarn - yawn...yawn...boring! and I can't imagine anything of Anne's ever being boring. While I'm at it, and dreaming away, I'd love to knit Irtfa'a in BFMA's Laci in Valkyrie. Ah ANNE. You know I love your stuff, gal!

2. Then there is another divine shawl HERE or here if you're on Ravelry. I know exactly what yarn I'll use for it if I decide that square shawls are now something I'd like to try...(no, I'm not sharing that particular piece of information with you - yet.)

okay...changing gears here from knitting to ...

3. I think the entire world has gone mad while I was sick. This week, all heck has broken loose. I had a perfectly good description of what I mean here and decided to delete it. You all hear the news. Are you all as sick of it as I am? Am I maybe just touched in the head by the bug? Please tell me I am, okay? Things aren't really this bad???? I'm truly writing in Dolores in 08 on the ticket. Fiber for all!

And uh, Laura, it was really, really declasse for you to show up yesterday in white behind the Pope...especially when you look so ravishing in RED.

(wonder whose head is gonna be on the block for that protocol faux pas?)

Now. I'm going back to my vaporizer. Maybe if I get enough oxygen by the weekend I can make a bit more sense?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Five Lost Days...

First, thank you for all your well-wishes.

Second, yes, I think I've finally turned a corner. But for the past few days...this is what my world has been reduced to:

Fun, huh? No. Not.

But there was this....

My best friend in the whole world, I think. Who else will cuddle under the covers with you, lie right smack against you (playing mini-furnace!), in spite of all the coughing and blowing? Ok. I did have to feed her. But that's fairly easy, and I was up getting water and juice for me, anyway, right?

Mom...this is boring...But I'm glad you've been here...it gets lonely without you during the day. That CC isn't any fun, she just wants to hiss at me.

Yes, I think The Meezer has been very glad to have me here. But you know? I'd like the last 5 days of my life back.

OH. I really WAS too sick to knit. Even a few rows on a sock were too much for my brain. I knew I was headed back when I sat down this afternoon and repaired the beading on one of my Quacker Factory t-shirts...but I haven't been able to sew or knit in days...

My office is glad I managed to get in and do the payroll yesterday morning at least! (I'm a responsible soul...)
*wink*

We Will Never Forget

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Good Thing I Filed 3 Weeks Ago...

Because I'd have missed the income tax deadline if I'd waited...

Sorry, I'll be back soon (I hope!) - this sinus infection is miserable even WITH the meds...I can't even knit! (I'd have to be able to breathe first)
(((hugs)))

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Paying For My Fun

While I was very busy the past week, I also was very aware that the possibility existed that I would pay for the fun - I do have an autoimmune disease, and whenever I push too hard, I usually end up with something! Sure enough, I woke this a.m. (after an incredibly challenging - and unusual - day at work yesterday), with lots of flu symptoms - and I have been very lucky not to get the flu this year. I don't think I really have it. It's probably a sinus infection, and the muscular problems are no doubt from over-tiredness, tension, inactivity (like sitting in a car for hours!), and general SLE muscle stuff. Plus we have major weather changes going on which always affects me...

(sigh)
It's okay, It really was worth it all...

So today, in between long streches in bed snoozing, I finished this:

The Atomic 6 Feather & Fan #1 sock - and you can see I immediately cast on for the second one (Thanks, Miss Muffin, for modeling so sweetly)...

Here's a closeup of the colorway. I really LOVE this yarn - STR lightweight - but I'll warn you that it does discolor: my fingers, my bamboo needles! I can wash it off, and I'll try to set the socks with vinegar before I wear them, but be forewarned!

And yesterday evening, I finally broke down and cast on for this:

That's the Meezer yarn from Zen Yarn Garden. Roxanne custom dyed this yarn for me back in 2006 and I've been waiting for the right project (and to get Big Sis's Catharina shawl off the needles, too!).

I've only done 2 repeats of the center triangle, and I don't think I have quite enough yarn to do the entire shawl. I've decided that I won't do the hypotenuse lace edging, and depending on where I stand with yardage at the completion of the center triangle, I may make the other two sides of the triangle a narrower edging than the pattern calls for! It's fine...I hear the shawls in VLT are huge and tend to run a bit over on yardage from what's recommended.

(and may I just say that I LOVE Ravelry for the wealth of information it provides on such things...?)

I'm heading to bed early tonight...Keep fingers crossed it helps this "bug?"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Resurfacing...

Hi
Well. I went to work today.

That in and of itself shouldn't suprise anyone who knows me. I do that a lot.

But you know what? I'm a different person from the one who left on Tuesday afternoon to drive to Charlotte:

I.AM.A.KNITTER.NOW.

You thought I already was???? HA!

No. I was a knitter.
(I can't figure out how to reduce the font size...if I could, it would be miniscule and quite faint.)

How do I explain what I mean by that?

Do you remember (those of you "of a certain age") when Helen Reddy first sang I am Woman, Hear me Roar? (ok...the rest of you bear with me here)

The first time I heard that song (actually I really saw Helen sing it on TV) - I felt powerful. It was an anthem of sorts, a song of strength. I was actually a member of a consciousness raising group at that time, and I remember how it felt to have that connection with other women, lots of women, different ages, different socio-economic levels, educational levels, colors, creeds. That song can take me back there so fast.

It was "sisterhood."

(Forget the feminist connotations of the song, forget the negativity of the times, please? Just for a bit? Give me a minute to try to make the analogy?)

Being at Stephanie's talk on Tuesday night, spending time with KNITTERS (and knitters, too), women AND men - well, it was empowering. Stephanie talked about wanting to validate us as knitters (since so many folks in this world trivialize what we do...and she's right - oh wow is she right).

Well, my boss - whom I adore, okay? - had a good chuckle when she learned where I was going on my mid-week "vacation." As did my landlady and a lot of other non-knitters. Not many people could understand why on earth I'd go so far, drive the hours we did, into the wee-small hours of the night...for a KNITTING HUMORIST? ("oh, what's that?")

Okay. But you know what? I came back a KNITTER.

And I'll never be the same again.

So what did I do when I got home tonight? Remember this?

It's been in hibernation for a long, long time. There are too many mistakes, as it was a very early lace project. I tried to rip it completely out and ended up with knots all over it.

It's frogged. And since I really love the pattern (but not so much the yarn), I'm going to find another pretty yarn to make it in...

Because?
Thanks to a wonderful batch of terrific, like-minded people on Tuesday?

I AM KNITTER HEAR ME ROAR!!!
Muwahhaaaahhaaaa!!!
(((Hugs)))

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

She Knew Me? Wow!

It's a small world when you're blogging, a very, very small world. It amazes me that I've now met several knitbloggers from afar that I didn't think I would ever (and all in the space of 4 days!)...the most astonishing of these was one of my most esteemed (yes, I really DO use that word) knitbloggers - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee! And when I told her who I was, she KNEW me!

(at least she said she did, and I have no reason to believe that she would lie...right? OK...PINCH ME??? I'm dreaming, right?)
lolol

Our little roadtrip began about 12:45 yesterday as we headed out from Roanoke, and evenutally careened down I-77 towards Charlotte, NC:

Sandra's sock was enjoying the view from the side of the car, over the ridgetops, looking WAY down (yes, way, WAY down) into the valley below...Yours truly was getting a touch queasy at the sight...I don't do heights well, but the camera was fine, and it's a point and shoot!).

We finally arrived at Borders about 15 minutes later than we'd planned and learned that we could get our wristbands for the book signing, but NOT be seated till 5. So off we went for a snack, vowing to eat a better meal after the event was over...

When we got back, seats were set up and we were forced to realize that the front row wasn't to be ours...(sigh). Still we got seats that weren't too far away, and settled in to wait and knit...

That's Lynette in lavender, then Sandra, and Becky from Knitter's Knook on the right...(Sandra disappeared to take a brisk walk around the mall, reappearing after Becky and I had done some damage in the Borders bookstore...we'll, I think they were happy about the damage we did to our credit cards, at least! (more on that in a bit)

Here you can see those sitting behind us, waiting...

And those sitting in front of us...

(The crowd got bigger - I didn't get a good shot of the cafe in the balcony, but there were knitters up there, as well as below - and that was where I ran into several bloggers I hadn't expected to meet! You know it probably helps that my car clearly identifies who I am...people could see that Knitnana was present and accounted for! Yes, I am a geek!!)

When Stephanie arrived, my camera decided to take only dark, grainy photos that were clearly NOT complimentary...so I won't show those...You'll see shots from others, I'm sure...

She was hysterically funny, there were times I laughed till I cried...I must say I worry about her on this trip as I can't see how on earth she'll get any rest. They've got her running every day, for crying out loud. Reminds me of the old saying "if it's Tuesday this must be Belgium" and how she can be sharp and witty and not falling down in a puddle of exhausted tears is beyond me. Of course, she's younger than I am, so that probably helps a lot, huh?

Still...the Knitnana hopes she gets a good opportunity for a break somewhere in all this!

When her talk was over, we lined up for the book signing, and photos. Just ahead of me, a lovely young gal had her first steek with her. She asked Stephanie to help her...
The poor gal was trembling so (I'd have been petrified!). The knitting in this vest was just so impressive - gorgeous work, and with Stephanie's encouragement and support, the steeks were cut! I held my breath in support - we all did!

Finally, it was my turn, and like I said, when she heard me say "I'm Sallee, I'm Knitnana" and she looked up with surprise and said, "You're Knitnana? Oh! Hello!" I was so surprised!!! She graciously signed every one of her books that I'd brought with me and one for a friend who couldn't attend, then took my sock and I took hers, for this shot!
(I gave her a little something from Kimberly (her stalker), and another little something from me...then as I started to turn away, she called after me, "That's a lovely shawl, isn't it from Folks Shawls?

You know what, folks? That Stephanie...she doesn't just know her stuff. She knows EXACTLY what to say and how to say it to make you feel as if you're really special and such an accomplished knitter (I'd guess she can do this even if she can tell you're really only a so-so-knitter, or a newbie, or whatever). I was so pleased (because I'd been a rough-around-the-edges newbie when I knit that shawl!). I almost danced right there...

And yes, it was from Folk Shawls - my favorite knit of all time (so far), my Highland Triangle Shawl. Stephanie you made my night, just by noticing...(((hugs)))

Here we all are after the signing...the Roanoke Contingent posing for the camera:


We headed over to Fridays for dinner (at 10:30!) and then finally got back on the road...

We determined that Borders has to make out like a bandit whenever our Stephanie shows up...Here are the two books I picked up:

The Cokie Roberts book I'd heard about on NPR yesterday morning and made a note to look for when I got to Borders...it was 30% off, so I was pleased...

And this one has been in my shopping cart for some time...it wasn't on special, but I still decided I wanted it - there are so many patterns I think I might consider knitting (um...yes, I DO think I might try one of these SWEATERS!)

Isn't that cable action great?

And this one is just so flattering...

There are also a couple of shawl patterns there I'd consider - overall, probably 3/4 of the book is something I think I'd seriously add to my queue!

We got back to town about 3:30 this morning (um...I think we probably were a touch nuts to attempt this just this way, but I'm SOOOOOOO glad we did - we had so much fun!)...and I finally realized just how far I got on my STR Atomic 6 sock during the evening last night...and knitting in the car when Lynette was driving (we shared the duties). Here's a shot of the sock, and Stephanie's new book, signed by my heroine!


And yes, there were disgruntled kitties in the house upon my arrival...food was dispensed...snoozes next to the MIP (most important person) were allowed during the "night" (I woke up at 11 this a.m. with a Meezer curled under the covers with me)

I think CC is especially glad I'm back!

Just a note - if you have the chance and can even go a bit out of your way? Go see this lovely ambassador for our people? Stephanie is so very special, and I think it's wonderful that she allows us into her life for even a little bit. She's funny and she's cool.

It will be well worth your time and effort. And when you see her? Give her an extra little squeeze - because this has to be one of the most gruelling ways to make a living ... a book tour? Blogging is so much easier! Perhaps we can lend her a little strength if we just hug her a little extra bit?

Bless you Stephanie!
(((Hugs)))

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Charlotte NC Bound...

I'll touch base tomorrow (and I promise LOTS of photos!)...today we travel to see the Yarn Harlot in Charlotte NC! Four of us from Roanoke are going, meeting up with more wild and crazy knitters in NC...I'm so excited I can barely think straight...

And I've turned the heel on the STR Atomic 6 Sock!

If you're going to Charlotte, look for us there! *wink*

Sunday, April 06, 2008

It's All About the Socks!

Today's been busy, what with trying to finish up orders for Nana Sadie Rose in advance of taking a couple of days off, but I still wanted to update you on my knitting...

Big Sis's socks are finished! This, you may remember, is yarn she bought at Knit Happens in Alexandria and mailed to me to make her a pair of socks. The yarn is C*eye*ber Fiber, the colorway is Augustus. I used my Harmony size 1s (my standard sock needle) with Judy's Magic Cast On. The Mock Cable pattern is one I've used many times from the Toe-Up sock class I took through NeedleCraft U a couple of years ago...I have to tell you, I wasn't in love with the merino/tencel blend yarn. It's very similar to one I got from Zen Yarn Garden in the Art Walk Sock Club. The yarn feels yummy as can be. But it's really soft and slippery to work with, and splits rather easily with the Harmony's sharp tips. Perhaps if I used regular bamboo needles? The other thing that worried me, tho' I don't see a problem with the completed socks, is that my fingers are very dry and can snag on yarn this soft when I don't have enough lotion on them. (ok...whose problem is that? The yarn's? Or mine? lol!)

I can't tell you I didn't enjoy the knit. The yarn feels lovely. But I am not sure I'll pick a merino tencel blend in the future.

Now...because I was getting close to finishing my sister's socks and I really knew that I needed a pair of blue/brown socks of my own, I cast on my old standby favorite all around sock yarn - Yup. Trekking XXL in color 176. It has a bit more mustardy-gold in it that I usually wear, but it's a pretty tweedy yarn (and I do so love my tweeds!). I've just been knitting on it a little here and there...

and I haven't decided on a cuff pattern yet. I might have to break out the stitch guides and find something new!

But this one? STR Atomic 6 is the yarn and the colorway...all that gorgeous purpley-fushia-teal is just, well, it's absolutely my favorite. I started it this weekend for my trip yesterday to Chateau Morrisette, and also to have a really gorgeous sock OTN for photos with the Yarn Harlot on Tuesday. My plan is to do my old stand-by, absolutely favorite all-time pattern Feather & Fan on the cuff...and yes, I'm vain enough to color coordinate what I'm knitting to what I was wearing yesterday! It also coordinates with my new Posy...oh! I'll have to show you THAT, too!

This is also the first time I've tried to coordinate my sock bag to my handbag (the first Knitnana) which also goes with the majority of my clothes.

I'm sure it's a little odd to think that I don't do that as a matter of course? Well, I think it's a little like the cobbler's children. Nana Sadie Rose makes lots of bags for everyone else, and seldom has taken the time to make something for herself...What I usually do, is adopt a bag that I like, but for whatever reason hasn't sold. That usually means it isn't something I'd have chosen to make for myself, but will do!

I kinda like carrying a coordinating set!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Stitchin' With The Dogs...

(If you're on dial-up...this is a picture-heavy post, so be forewarned!)
Today was the Virginia Fiber Folk (a Ravelry group) trip to Chateau Morrisette for "Stitching With The Dogs" (the dogs are an integral part of the history of the winery - and the wines - hence the name of our event!

We began the day with lunch (oh my what food!) and knitting in the restaurant...

What a great group! And we chatted and enjoyed what otherwise would have been a pretty dreary day...The other diners probably wondered about us - in fact a couple of older ladies stopped by to see about this crowd of women knitting and laughing at a dining room table with wine all around us!

Upon leaving the restaurant we took a short walk across the parking lot to the winery building:

We entered here (there's a gift shop, and they not only sell their lovely wines, but great cooking sauces and condiments, too, many made with the wines they produce). There's every conceivable wine accoutrement available in the shop.

Not being one who knows a thing about wine-making (do they still stomp on the grapes? well...not exactly) I was amazed to see these towering stainless casks (?) that the wines process in...

And frankly these oak barrels made a lot more sense to me...but I'm really a dry red-wine gal so of course, oak barrels are necessary for the flavor...Notice the pawprint on the casts - that's in honor of The Dogs, doncha know!


We left the winery late in the afternoon after participating in a tasting of a selection of 10 of their wines. I have a list of 1-2 white wines (yes, I liked a couple) and 2-3 reds that I'll be trying (or gifting) over the next few months...

And we drove down to Meadows of Dan to Greenberry House for yarn, fiber, knitting paraphenalia, vintage books, quilts, and an assortment of oddments. Leslie's shop is delightful - I'll show you the spoils of the trip in a minute.

On our way back to Roanoke, I was riding in Kimberly's car. It was very foggy, which was unsettling. It was a first for her, driving north on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is high on the ridgetops...way out in the country. Every few minutes we were either slamming on brakes for crossing herds of deer, or because there were so many of them on the side of the road, that Kimberly couldn't help herself! Here, a shot of one (I hope her photos are better!) who seemed as curious about us as we were about them...


And here? You can see, if you look closely, their white tails as they fled back into the trees. There was a herd of 7-9 of them, but some are already out of the picture by the time I snapped it...

Once back in Roanoke, the four of us stopped at Taaja, our newest Indian restaurant, for dinner. The waiter kindly took this photo of the four of us:
Left to right: Stephanie, Nikki, Kimberly, and MOI!

We had a delightful day. This was my first time meeting a fellow blogger that isn't from my state! Kimberly and I have been pals and communicating with each other for over a year, and always hoping that our common ties of knitting and Virginia Tech would bring us together more than just in cyber-space. What fun!

Stephanie and Nikki, who were my friends from RVSpinnerKnitters Group before this, are better friends now, as we learned more about each other and had a laugh a minute.

Such is the company of knitters. My day lasted 13 hours (which is entirely too long for someone like me who wears out fast nowadays...) and I wouldn't have traded a minute of it!

Pam we so missed having you with us! (she had to cancel at the last minute for childcare reasons - boohoo!)

Now...I gotta rest up, do a little bit of sewing, and get ready for another trip - this time to be a groupie for the Yarn Harlot!
(((hugs)))

OH! I almost forgot - this is what I got today:

A complimentary wine glass with the Chateau Morrisette crest, The Magic Loop book, a size G crochet hook in Forest Palmwood (for the Earth Stripe Wrap edging, if I ever get started on that project!), a "door prize" from Liz of Swizzle sock yarn - I love the royal blue, Liz! The Coffee Syrup is a gift from Kimberly, too. (oh...and that's my name tag - didn't Liz do a wonderful job? We each had our names and our Ravelry "handles" on them as well as the event title - which I used as my blog post title, too)

Now...off to bed!

Namaste

I honor the place in you,

which is of love, truth, light, and peace.

When you are centered in that place in you,

and I am centered in that place in me,

we are one.

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