Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Not Quite SABLE, but I'm working on it...

Today's post includes a little lesson in knitting acronyms, complete with illustrations from my recent S.E.X., which (of course) stands for a Stash Enhancement eXpedition, to Wool-a-Palooza! I mentioned in my last post that this was our group's 6th eXpedition to this festival, and (as usual) we had a blast! First up, we all carpooled in to the festival in several Equinoxes (seriously, our group brought three of these SUV's in anticipation of the yarn and fiber haul!) and met up inside...I believe that ours was the first car to arrive, so in we went, and the shopping commenced! "Let the enabling begin!," shouted Crazy Jane, holding up some crazy puffs from the display...

...and she also checked out the mini-skeins of yarn, on sale for just this purpose, but she didn't buy any (I don't think)! I am currently the only one of our local group drinking the hexipuff kool-aide, and you'll find a Beekeeper's Quilt to prove it in my collection of UFOs (UnFinished Objects)...I expect that it will be there for at least the next couple years. It is a kinda crazy project! But rather than checking out my current level of crazy, let's check out an FO (Finished Object) on Pregnant Knitter!

Isn't the lace on her handknit, pink sweater pretty?!? I know it's not a belly picture, but from the front, you can definitely see her baby bump. From the back, she's just another! Following this motley crew, and sometimes breaking away from it, I managed to start working on SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy - as in, "I couldn't possibly spin or knit all of this before I die") pretty early in the day. For instance, within 10 minutes of entering the first barn, I had made my first purchase - a pound of blue merino to spin for a sweater!

Wow! I am normally not such a free and easy spender, and my goal for the entire day was a pound of fiber to spin for a sweater! I reached that goal in the first 10 minutes? That's something new, and I could have gone home pretty happy at this point, but I'm glad that I didn't! Just a few minutes after that purchase, I was the object of a celebrity in, "Ummm, are you PKJewelry? from Ravelry?" OMGosh! I'm a CELEBRITY!!! (Well, not IRL - In Real Life - but among the local knitters, I am a bit of a celeb!) It absolutely made my day, but I was so stunned that I did not think to write her name down or take a photo (Oops! Sorry!!!). I did, however, float out of that booth to another, where I made purchase number 2 almost immediately! Some purple merino to spin spin for...I need it for...well, nevermind. I am sure I will figure it out eventually...isn't it lovely?:

Also at that booth, I met up with an online and IRL friend that I haven't talked to in a long time...she and I have both been victims of the Too Busy, so we rarely see each other, even despite the fact that we don't live that far apart. I think it may be more than coincidence that we met up an hour away from both our homes at a fiber festival, so we stopped to visit and laugh together for a few minutes. That's one of the things I love about girlfriends...that common hobby, or past memory, or some other connection just stitches you together, so that when you do meet up, it's like you've never been apart! And, when you are surrounded by lovely fiber and yarn as well, it makes for a smiley, yarny reunion!

By the way, if you were the Raveler that spotted me on Saturday in that first barn, please leave me a comment!!! If you saw me but didn't say anything, please speak up next time! I think it will be my goal next year to get as many pictures with old and new friends as humanly possible! It'll be like an extra WIP (Work In Progress) for the next Palooza! Not that I don't have some WIPs going already, like the crazy puffs, and these socks...

I have both knitting and spinning WIPs, and that's a good thing! After all, it's always a good thing to have some knitting with you, especially for a big day like Wool-a-Palooza! In the middle of the day, there might be a stop at the food truck,

followed by a sit down in the sun for lunch,

some knitting,

and maybe even a nap!

A little sit'n knit in the middle of the shopping is totally appropriate, but it wasn't long until we were back to the shopping...and elbow deep in the yarn at Pollywogs!

Judging by the amount of Cotton Fine that was purchased this year, you'd think we all have a KAL (Knit-A-Long) planned! We don't, but even I couldn't let the Cotton Fine go by without a small purchase at least!

By the end of the day, I had really enhanced my stash quite a bit, with 4 oz. of art batts (alpaca and silk) from my friends at That'll Do Farms...

and some Ashland Bay fiber (merino and silk), another pound here...

...and even a new spindle from 7 Yaks! Lynn actually lives in my hometown, and I've been drooling over her Etsy shop for years! But sometimes I just wanna see stuff in person before I buy, and I knew she'd be in Wooster, so I even almost planned on this purchase...

It was such a fun day, and the knitters and spinners were happy and tired and all shopped out at the end of the trip...

Check out the back of the Equinox I rode home in...

Most excellent, and I am glad we had a big car to haul it home in, but it's not SABLE...yet! (Not for this Pretty anyway!) Still, this year my haul was one of my largest yet, including 2-and-a-half pounds of fiber to spin and 5 skeins of Cotton Fine!

Even though I was on my feet most of the day, and I was definitely tired when I got home, I was not too tired to spend time with two of my most favorite people!

Just about the only thing that can top a day full of yarn and fiber is an evening full of toddler Peanut fun! As a matter of fact, I think the only one who ended this day on a sour note was White Cat...

"Settle down, Pretty," says White Cat. "I'm sure it wasn't that's just wool and a kid...and the kid is always sticky. Keep her away from me, wouldja?"

Wow!, White're a bit of a Negative Nellie, ya know?!?

I hope that you had a fun holiday weekend, free of sour notes and grumpy cats...and I hope that you took a little time to reflect on Memorial Day and it's meaning. Maybe you even had a burger or some ribs, yummm! Whatever your weekend brought, and whatever this week brings, I hope that you find time for the things (and the people) you hold most dear!

Thanks for stopping by today, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cleveland Knits West goes WILD!

That's right, "X" marks the spot...for Wool-a-Palooza! It's today, baby! This is the 6th year that Cleveland Knits West will be going as a group, and I am so excited to spend a day in the sun, surrounded by friends and fiber, as well as the animals and vendors that make it all possible! (If you are anywhere close, you should totally stop in and see this bunch "in the wild!" There's nothing quite like it, and you will not be disappointed, I promise!) I'll be on my feet all day, and then I'll get an evening full of this...

Friends. Fiber. Peanut snuggles... I am as close to heaven as I can get!

More details later, including fiber acquisition and toddler tales! Until then, thanks for stopping by and Knit in Good Health, friends!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Not a Dancing Queen...

It is true. As much as I love the song, I am pretty far past the point in this life where I might consider myself a Dancing Queen...but lately, I have been a plying queen! I actually finished that 4oz. rainbow of BFL that started as this:

Last week, it looked like this:

Now, it is luscious, and it looks like this:

Yummy! Now, all that's left is to figure out what this 480 yds. of light fingering weight yarn wants to be...I'm definitely thinking shawl or shawlette (I don't think it is twisty enough to hold up as socks...)...maybe a pair of fingerless mitts or a hat. What do you think...should I go with something lacy? Or just show off all that color in another hitchhiker? Maybe a lacy hitchhiker, or a sort of symmetrical hitchhiker, a la my friend Corrie? Decisions, decisions...

For right now, I'm going to bask in the sunshine that handspun rainbow yarn creates in this knitter's life, and I'll decide what to cast on another day. :) Today, I'm going to keep on keepin' on with the regular stuff of life, possibly trying my hand at a supported spindle.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope that you are the queen (or king) of something in your life!

PS - for those interested, I did NOT sit down on Saturday...but I slept very well that night! lol!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday night's alright for...

As the song goes, Saturday night's alright for fighting. In my world, however, Saturday night is only good for Saturdays have been super busy lately, and I have been dog-tired at the end of the day! In fact, they have been so busy that I have been writing the blog in advance, and barely finding time to post a link on Facebook when it actually goes live! This is ironic, because my last few weekend blog posts have suggested that I am enjoying a leisurely spring, full of handknitting, spinning and napping! Despite that, two Saturdays ago, I managed 5 loads of laundry (including hanging all of it out to dry on the line), a 7 mile walk/run with my hubby and daughter, dinner with Snake and Dollface, and then an evening of cards and laughter! All of that, and I blogged about lazy naps and slackers.

Then last Saturday, I posted about a Super Baby on the way, and a little bit of knitting that I got into the mail for his new mommy and daddy. There was also a LOT of talk about watching TV and general laziness...but when the blog went live, I was actually finished with 3 loads of laundry, and I was on my way to Dollface's college graduation (magna cum laude, not too shabby!). Those of you who know me in real life have seen this photo, but please indulge me anyway? Thanks.

After the driving, and the picture taking, and the waiting, and the knitting,

and the waiting, and the phone reading and games,

and the commencement ceremony, and the picture taking,

and the driving, and the celebration dinner, we finally got home so that I could clean the house and start the preparations to have everyone over for Mother's Day/Congratulations to Dollface on Sunday! Oh, and Sweetie and I did our walk/run for the weekend, too (on a full stomach...this was not wise, by the way, but I survived). I slept hard last Saturday night!

Next Saturday is The annual Wool-A-Palooza in my neck of the woods, so it promises to be another day of on-my-feet and busy, but I am really looking forward to it. I don't think there are words strong enough to express how much I am looking forward to this day of yarn and fiber, food and friends! But for today, I think I will actually try to sit a bit. I don't know if it will work, but I am going to give it my best shot! Maybe, after today's walk/run I can even finish that Gemini...wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by my busy blogworld today! I hope that you get to put your feet up a bit this weekend, and that you will Knit in Good Health through it all!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Horse is a Horse

Of course, of course...
That is, of course, unless the horse is a sea monster! (or a hump-less camel...) Of course, this horse is a horse!

Yes, even though I did not buy the pattern, it turned out to be a horse! (I still call her Nessie, but I don't think she appreciates it!) I know it's a horse, and even White Cat agrees...

After White Cat took a really close look, Nessie took a turn at the investigative process...

All in all, I'd say it's true love!

It is a WEIRD love, for sure...but true, just the same...because how could anyone NOT love this horse?!? 

I know I love her, and so does just about everyone who has seen her...and, as it turns out, wild horses couldn't keep from finishing Nessie! 

What knitting are YOU wild about these days? I hope that your knitting time is plentiful, and that your fiber supply is endless, so that you can Knit in Good Health all summer long!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rooting for the Underdog!

So, I have a friend. She was a teenager or pre-teen when I started attending the church where I currently worship and work...and now, she is going to be a MOMMY(Where, oh where, has the time gone???)  She and her husband, who I totally approved of way before the wedding, by the way (she says, as though she were a key component to this match, which she was not)...they are going to be great parents! Right now, the birth of their first child is just around the corner, and they have made a bold move on the Nursery Decorating Front. Super Heroes!!!

They are both fans of the comic book graphic novel, and of many artsy endeavors (music, writing, etc.), so this is very fitting for their family! However, there are not too many patterns (that I have found anyway) for baby sweaters and blankets in the Super Hero theme. But, fear not, faithful citizen! It's Super Pretty Knitter to the rescue with this set!!!

I took two of my favorite patterns, the Simple Set-In Sleeve sweater pattern from, and the Baby Blocks blanket pattern from one of Debbie Macomber's Blossom Street novels. I knew that this red was the right red, even though I also knew that it would be a problem to photograph...but, heck! I even found buttons to match the yarn almost exactly!

Then, once I picked the blue and started knitting, I realized that these truly were the perfect, super-hero colors. After all, Superman, Spiderman and Wonder Woman have all chosen these colors, as well as my own favorite, childhood superhero...Underdog!

That Sweet Polly Purebred really got herself into a pickle more times than I can count! But our hero was always there, in his signature red and blue, to save the day...and Polly!

"When Polly's in trouble, I am not slow,
It's Hip, Hip, Hip, and away I go!" 
Because, of course...
"There's no need to fear! Underdog is here!"

Clearly, I spent far too much time in front of the television during my childhood...I get a LOT of my inspiration from "vintage" TV shows and cartoons. But, now that this set is on it's way to the parents-to-be, I think I will turn off the TV today, and head outside for a bit. First, just one more look...

I hope they like it! 
Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Buy the Pattern...

If You Don't Buy the Pattern
by Pretty Knitty

If you want to knit a scarf, but you don't buy the pattern,
what you will usually get is a scarf.
If you want to knit a hat, but you don't buy the pattern,
you will probably still get a hat.
If you want to knit socks, but you don't buy the pattern,
you might just end up with fingerless mitts.

But, if you want to knit a horse, you should buy the pattern.
If you don't buy the pattern, your horse may end up looking more like a hump-less camel...or maybe a sea-monster...creepy!
Lesson learned, I guess...? (sigh!) Probably not...

Still, I am truly hoping that I can redeem this poor, wannabe horse by adding ears, legs, a mane and tail. In the meantime, pray for this poor creature, knitters!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!
(But do me a favor...if it's a complicated knit, just buy the pattern.)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

It's hard to soar like an Eagle when you work with Turkeys.

I don't work with turkeys., they are not turkeys. I like my coworkers. I do.'s hard to be productive when you live with slackers.

Exhibit 1:
When I came home from knitting, I noticed that Dolly Draft Dodger (crocheted before my rav days, I have not notes, sorry...), she was laying down on the job. Definitely not pulling her weight.
"What?," she said.
"It's not even cold outside...sheeesh!"
I did not get very far when I complained to White Cat yesterday morning. As a matter of fact, I think the word for her reaction is indignant. Can you say in-dig-nant?!? 
"No. No I can't," said White Cat.
"Cat's don't talk, silly Pretty!"
Wait...whaaat?!? Nevermind. (sigh!) I really wanted to be productive today. I have things to do! Sweaters to knit! Yarn to spin!...but it's hard not to just take a nap around here! Even just this morning, I was confronted with slacker #3...
"Pretty," said Black Cat softly,
"Why your face looks like that?"
That's it. I give up. I'm going to go take a nap. Everything else will have to wait. I hope that your Saturday will be more productive than mine, and that your slackers are just as cute. =D

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Auditioning Lace Patterns

So, you know that I am spinning this...

...and it is going rather well. I have spun 90 grams of this fiber...

...into pretty fine singles, then wound them into a pretty large plying ball, like this...

Some of my friends have suggested that I may be slightly obsessed with the spinning. They may be right.

I started with a total of 117 grams (4.1 oz.), and I wondered how long it would take to spindle spin all of it. I started spinning on April 13, and if I keep my current pace, I'll be done in another week or so! I'm excited, because the next step is turning these very fine, thread-like strands of fiber into a 3 ply yarn! Even using three plies, I think I'm still headed for a lace-weight yarn, but it might be a little thicker than my last yarn, which wanted to be a scarf!

So, what will this new yarn want to be? I'm thinking something lacy...perhaps a shawl, or shawlette? (I wonder how many yards I'll end up with...) Maybe it will be fingerless gloves and a scarf? (I am currently spending way too much time looking at patterns on Ravelry, and elsewhere...) I just wonder and wonder what it wants to be...

What do you think? Does it want to be lace, or something else? I mean, I know it's not yarn yet, but looking at the colors, and considering that it will be pretty thin, can I get any suggestions? (It's 100% BFL, not superwash.) Please comment with your suggestions! 

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

(And thanks in advance for your pattern suggestions. I can't wait to have this yarn in hand, and to knit it into something wonderful!)