Saturday, December 8, 2012

Episode 34: And Chaos Ensues

Download | Duration: 01:04:49
Book Talk starts at 32:50

In Memoriam: KnitPurlGurl Karrie Steinmetz
What you can do:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Episode 32: Just Do It!

Download | Duration: 01:15:00
Book talk starts at 39:46

Donate to the Red Cross to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy
Leave a comment on our blog to win the KnitPicks Knitters’ Carry-All Kit!
Stitches West 2013 -  Santa Clara, CA - February 21-24
Tracie’s Winter Waves jacket from Knit Swirl by Sandra McIver
Barb’s 50 Shades of Teal by Brenda Castiel
Barb’s Coffee Club Cowl by by Ellen Donohoe

Ruby Slippers Shawlette by Wendy Weber
Tracie and Barb recommend: Columbine by Dave Cullen
Spotlight on Coming of Age Novels:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Win this Knit Picks Kit!

A few years ago, I bought a kit from Knit Picks to make a "Knitters' Handy Carry-All" - basically a project tote.  Well, as you can see...I have yet to knit it!  And realistically, I know I won't.  So my loss can be your gain!

Here is a picture of the bag (not a great picture because I took it through the plastic cover of the kit):

This kit has never been opened.  It includes the pattern for the bag (finished measurement will be 12" wide x 9" high; 30" opening circumference), the yarn (4 skeins of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes worsted weight wool), and heavyweight interfacing for the project.

If you are interested in winning the kit, leave a comment under this post to enter.  Please don't enter if you have no intention of knitting the bag...I want it to go to someone who will knit it up!

This contest has ended and the winner is MORGAN!  Congratulations Morgan!!

Good luck!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Meetup with the Yarniacs!

Tracie and I spent a day with Gayle and Sharlene - hosts of The Yarniacs Podcast!  We spent a delightful morning exploring A Verb For Keeping Warm in Oakland, then had a nice lunch.  They are two delightful (and stylish) ladies.  We did not lack for things to talk about.  Hey, we're all podcasters so we know how to talk!

If you haven't listened to their podcast, you're missing out.  I'm just sayin'.  Get on over there and give them a listen.  You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Episode 29: We Don't Do Humidity

Book Talk starts at 58:25

50 Shades of Teal is almost ready – price goes up to $6 on October 1 so hurry!
Artfibers in San Francisco – their yarn-tasting room and yarns are yummy!
Lambtown on October 6
CFR October 12-14
Stitches West Feb 21-24
Barb’s Click for Babies Hats 8, 9 and 10
For Holiday Gifts, Tracie Recommends:

And Barb recommends:

Tracie Does Not Recommend Never See Them Again by M. William Phelps
Barb Does Not Recommend Identity: Lost by Pascal Marco

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Rockefeller Rocks!

On July 13 2012, like thousands of other knitters, I cast on the Westkints Mystery Rockefeller shawl.  As the weeks went by, I went through the emotions of hating the design, loving the design, and looking forward with happy anticipation to the next clue.  I couldn't imagine what was coming next.  

For this project, I chose 2 yarns in my stash that I knew I probably couldn't get more of if I ran out.  I trusted Stephen West with his estimated yardages.  I love Stephen West!  I have met Stephen West and he is my boyfriend.  He doesn't know he's my boyfriend, because it is just that big of a secret.  But now YOU know.  Shhhhh...don't tell anyone.  

The yarns I chose were 1. Freckle Face Fibers (sadly, no longer dying yarn) Kimono Sock Yarn in the Tehachapi Moonshadow colorway, and 2. Ceallach Dyes Fingering in the Dusty Pink colorway - which was a custom-dyed colorway for the Yarn Boutique in Lafayette, one of my favorite LYS's.  I thought they went well together and I had well over the recommended amounts.

You know what's coming, don't you?  Like hundreds of others in this KAL, I ran out of yarn.  Both colors.  I could tell when I was doing the first striping "wing" that there would not be enough to finish.  There was no way to get more of the Ceallach Dyes color, but the Freckle Face Fibers was a custom colorway dyed specifically for the CogKNITive Fiber Retreat in 2011.  Our favorite website, Ravelry, to the rescue!  I was able to find a fellow retreat atendee that had 2 skeins in her stash and she graciously agreed to trade one for something out of my stash.  YAY StephieJo!  She is the best.  

So, I forged on, just winging it on the 2nd wing (ha ha)- making large colorblocks using the Techacapi Moonshadow.  I finished the shawl, tucking in all the ends, soaking it and blocking it.  Then I tried it on.  Wow.  I absolutely adore this shawl.  It fits so comfortably over my shoulders and just lies there looking beautiful.  I have worn it about 3 times in the last 2 weeks and love it more each time.  I normally don't just drape shawls over my shoulders, feeling like it is too much of a "grandma" look...and I can say that, being a grandma.  But with the stripes on one side, and the colorblocking on the other, well, I think it is a very cool shawl!

What do you think?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Too Much Inspiration

I've mentioned on the podcast that I resisted learning how to knit because some part of my brain had an inkling of what kind of knitter I would become: the obsessive kind.  That part of my brain was correct, and now, 2 1/2 years later, I can't remember what I used to do with the time that I now spend knitting.  That inkling, though, was not just about how much I would end up knitting, but about the kind of crazy I've experienced in the past few days since I returned from a weekend in San Francisco - the kind of knitting schizophrenia that afflicts me when an abundance of inspiration begets a crazy tornado of cast-on-itis, yarn stroking, swatching and pattern-stalking on Ravelry that is not unlike the proverbial chicken with its head cut off.

The first thing that happened was that I finished my second "rebuilt" bag (I promise there is a blog post including pictures and perhaps even a written-up pattern coming on this subject) - this was a project that I cast on full of excitement, allowed to slip to the bottom of the WIP pile for most of the summer, decided must be finished just to get it out of my life, spent more time than I had ever envisioned finishing it properly, and completed with a renewed sense that rebuilding old bags with new knitted shells was an exciting and unique pursuit I needed to continue.  I'd been thinking about the bags in my closet I want to remake, the yarns in my stash and the bag patterns in my Ravelry queue since I finished this bag two weeks ago.

This past weekend my husband and I traveled to San Francisco for a belated celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary in June, and in an attempt to keep the weekend from becoming too yarny, I left all but one project - the pair of socks I'm knitting for him - at home.  Even so, Saturday morning Ryan took off for the Apple store, and with some time to myself, I checked to see if there were any yarn stores within walking distance.  I was lucky enough to discover that the fabulous Artfibers studio was just a few blocks away.  From the moment the elevator doors opened to reveal their beautiful, third-floor "yarn-tasting cafe," I knew I wanted to move in and spend the next year or so playing with their beautiful ware.  Although I was only able to spend about 15 minutes there that afternoon, I made time to return the following day to spend a couple of hours fondling fibers, swatching, brain-storming and purchasing yarns that I thought would work well for knit bags.  My husband is a patient man.

On my iPad over the weekend was the catalog of classes for Stitches West 2013, over which I poured when I'd normally be reading an ebook.  Thinking hard about which classes I really wanted to take in February only led to dreaming up more about knitting possibilities.  So much for not letting yarn take over our weekend...

When we returned that afternoon, my mind was racing with all the things I wanted to do.  After unpacking, I excitedly got out my new yarns, looked at some patterns... and then ran in circles for several hours, unable to make a real start on anything.  In the past three days I have:

  • Poured over every bag pattern I ever queued, copied from a book or seen in a magazine, including purchasing two online
  • Found a hat pattern (Seedling by Alana Dakos) in my pattern file I forgotten I'd bought, selected yarn for it, cast it on three times because I made stupid errors the first two times, and now that I've knit an inch of the brim, I'm still not sure about the yarn because the fact that there's possum in it is kind of squicking me out and I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to bring myself to wear it on my head
  • Cast on for a bag I've wanted to knit for a couple of years in one of the new yarns I got at Artfibers, and continued knitting it even though it's clear that the pattern is barely detectable in the yarn I'm using
  • Spent a couple of hours looking at more bag patterns on Ravelry
  • Decided to go through my Ravelry queue and delete everything I'm unlikely to ever knit, but only got through about half of it before I came across a cowl pattern that's perfect for a skein of yarn I've been wanting to knit into a cowl, so I copied the pattern out of the book it's in and cast it on only to discover that the cheap size 3 circulars I had were horrible and would never work, prompting a trip to the LYS in Sacramento to buy new size 3 Addi Turbo Lace needles and some in size 9 as well (for the bag that's not going well) with what was left of my birthday gift certificate, which then made me wonder what happened to my only other pair of Addi Turbos, which remain missing in spite of the searching I did for them
  • Decided after knitting the cast-on cowl to the new needles that I needed to finish my Cedar Leaf Shawlette and in-progress Mother Bear #23 before I would allow myself to knit another stitch on any of the 3 new projects, spent the afternoon making good progress on the Cedar Leaf, and mostly finished the bear (he just needs a face and a scarf)
  • Probably more dithering and navel-gazing that I'm not remembering in my addled state

I should note that it's no fun to have no inspiration either - but at least I have a plan for that (knit a Mother Bear).  Too much inspiration is crazy-making because I'm unable to settle on a plan and nothing I come up with pleases me.  Even this blog post is failing to please me by not wrapping up in a satisfying way.  Please tell me I'm not the only one suffering from this sort of thing!  I'm usually pretty happy being a right-brained person, but some days I really wish I had the brain of an accountant.

Don't even get me started on the bag of beads and yarns I gathered together with the book I got about knitted jewelry a month or two ago.  Hey, maybe that's where my size 6 Addi Turbos are...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Episode 28: Finishing & Earworms

Book Talk starts at 52:56

Podiversary Giveaway Threads – Win a book or some yarn
Our Gradiant Shawl KAL will be October 1-December 1 - Check out the thread on our Ravelry group for pattern and yarn ideas, and to suggest your favorites!
Desert Vista Dyeworks 2 Knit Lit Chicks colorway! available for pre-orders 9/1-9/15 – includes a 5% discount! Plus, 20% discount with code 2KNITLIT20 on all yarn
50 Shades of Teal shawl designed by Brenda Castiel especially for our KAL – Until Sept 15, 2012, get this pattern for $3.00. From Sept 16-30, price is $4.00. From Oct 1 on, price is $6.00. Code is 2KNITLIT.
Ladies of the Knit Podcast with SusanVKnits and Shineon
We have a new email address:
Tracie’s Mother Bears 21 & 22
Tracie’s Click for Babies Simple Hats
Barb’s Click for Babies Hats