Saturday, July 14, 2007

Stash Enhancement!!

Is there anything harder than waaaaaaaaaaiiiitinnnnnng for your yarn once you've pored over pages and possibilities, taken the plunge and placed a purchase order?

The wait is ovah! In the middle of sunny Meheeco, I have finally gotten my yarn! Here's your pr0n:

Whole haul: Knit Picks circular needles (sizes 0, 1 & 2, 32" second set of each for either 2 on 2 circs or Magic Loop so I can have 2 socks going at once), Knit Picks Felici in Pebble and Arugula, Knit Picks Gloss in Pumpkin and... Lorna's Laces in Rainbow and Apple Laine Apple Pie in Funny Girl from The Loopy Ewe. Oh. My. Good. Lord.

Knit Picks New Felici Sock Yarn in Pebble (not as grey as the pic, but wonderful browns)

...and in Arugula (yes, good enough to eat, and again, not as grey-ish as the pic).

Gloss in Pumpkin (yum-o!)

Apple Laine Apple Pie in Funny Girl (the pic hardly does it justice, folks)

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Rainbow.

Now. I know that many Knitters out there have hauls like these delivered to their doorsteps on a regular basis, but although I have been knitting (get this!) for 29 years (okay, more "off" than "on"), I have been a knitter, rather than a Knitter, until just about a year ago. I never knew what I was missing. Then my dear, dear Grandmother got me a gift certificate to a real live Yarn Shop. A good one. Now I'm hooked (and enjoying getting to know all of the fab yarns that so many of you already love--getting to know it all for the first time ... *sigh*)

Let me back up a bit. You see, I took up knitting again, like so many of us, when I was pregnant with my son, roughly 6 years ago. I was living in the middle of Mexico, where the only yarn shop in town sells only acrylic (and not the "good" kind) that they wind into cakes for you from cones or huge whe-+els. The selection was sketchy at best, but I wanted to knit, so I made do. On trips to the "city" (about an hour away) I could find better yarns at (gasp!) WalMart. Yes, my friends MUCH better yarns. That should put things into perspective.

It's not that I enjoyed knitting with that crap, but it was the only crap I had. After a while, I finally found the outskirts of the online knitting community, but I couldn't order good yarn because it was way out of my price range (I was living on a peso budget) and the shipping alone would have killed it for me.

Long story short (read: a divorce, online classes in the middle of the night and a move to Austin later) I was finally walking in to my first real-live yarn store. I actually felt faint and giddy at the same time. I stayed until it was clear they had to close and get home to their families, and I couldn't even buy anything that first trip because I was so overwhelmed. I knew I wanted to knit a lace stole or shawl for a dear friend, and I knew I wanted a particular shade of purple (that being her signature colour). I went home and pored the internet for days, as all of the knitting books I'd accumulated over the years were in storage in Mexico (I could only bring what I could fit into a van). I found Eunny Jang's Print O' the Wave Stole and knew it was the one. On the next trip to the yarn shop I found the perfect yarn in the perfect shade: Suri Elegance in Purple Mountain Majesty. It had enough yardage in one skein, which was good, as it was the only skein they had in that colour. It was the most expensive yarn I'd ever bought. $48 dollars per skein. I found out later that the retail price for that yarn is far, far lower, but it really was worth it. That project changed me from a knitter to a Knitter.

I knit good wishes, health and joy for my friend into every stitch. I would wake up an hour early on occasion to sit and watch the sunrise in silence to knit on it (and I am a night-owl kinda gal--I normally don't do mornings). I loved every minute of it. And then I got to block it.

Seriously, if you've never knit lace, you owe it to yourself, if for nothing else, then for the blocking. You feel like a magician or a faerie. It catches your breath. You visit it in the middle of the night to pet it as it dries. It is astounding.

I didn't realize that I was going to get into all of this in this post. In fact, it was meant to just be an update to show off the yarn and to say "Hey, I'm sewing the seams on Butterfly and she'll be done soon." Who knew all this was in there?

Anyhoo, since I waxed poetic about my first Print O' the Wave, here she is:

Post-Block on my son's bed

Obligatory window shot.

My friend cried when she saw it. But somehow, I feel like I got the real gift.

Friday, July 6, 2007

I Got the Fever!!

I am soooo loving the Mystery Stole 3! There are over 6,300 members and counting! Actually, in the time it took me to post this, the number jumped from 6,328 to 6,391 (Hey, gimme a break, I'm new at this!) I did have to go on digest, as there were over 1,000 emails in the account I created just for the MS3 (sheesh!). Anyhoo, I wanted to get started on Clue 2, but I promised AnnaMarie I would post a pic of the MS3 in Lane Borgosesia Baruffa Cashwool.

I tried a close-up, too.

In other knitting news (not world-wide, big, important, earth-shattering news, but private, big, important, earth-shattering news) I blocked the back and fronts of Noro Butterfly, and it's gorgeous. I didn't even take a pic before I sewed the shoulder seams. But here she is, ready for the collar, which I will start today. (the laundry be damned).

Here's a comparison pic of the sleeves (unblocked) and the fronts (blocked) just for you non-blocking-believers still out there.

It's like magic, people.

Hmm... my pictures are lookin' crappy in the preview. I wonder what that's about. Lemme post and see if it publishes that way. And if so, then I've got to fart around with photos instead of KNIT, which is really what I'd rather be doing. Here's hoping!

...I FIXED IT!! And it didn't take more than 3 minutes! (How dorky is it that I'm so excited about that?)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Random Craziness on the Homefront

Okay, so my 5-year-old son looked at my Mom and said "Oops!!!!" He was watching TV, eating pudding and, taking after his mother, he spilled a dollop of pudding right on my Mom's dachshund, Woody's head (Yes, my mother named the wiener dog Woody). My dad caught Woody and Mom, being the quick-thinking woman that she is, called my Beagle, Lucy, to the scene. She licked the pudding off of Woody's head and all was well.

This is how we problem-solve around here....

...and people wonder why I have issues.

Knitting in San Miguel de Allende

Well, who woulda thunk it? I was knitting at a restaurant and a lovely lady approached me and told me that there is a knitting group here in gorgeous San Miguel de Allende, that meets Monday nights. I went and there were a few women there that I knew from when I lived here. It was great to see them. When I took Print O' the Wave out of my knitting bag, they all told me that due to the amount of chatter and drinking that goes on, they only bring their mindless knitting to group. Well, all I have OTN with me are three lace stoles and my Noro Butterfly Cardigan, which I need to block before I attach the collar--but the sleeves are now done!:

Print O' the Wave, by Eunny Jang in Karabella Lace Mohair

Stripes and Torchon Lace, from Victorian Lace Today in Colourmart's 100% Silk 2/34 (Note the boo-boo on the second repeat. I'm planning on putting in a lifeline there and making that my provisional cast-on, removing the first two repeats.) This is the "secret stole" I mentioned in the previous post.

Swatches for Mystery Stole 3 by Melanie from Pink Lemon Knits. I'm using Lane Borgosesia Cashwool in a light-ish grey. You can still join (until this Friday) here on Yahoo Groups. There are over 4000 of us now. I created an email account just for this purpose, and I'm glad I did! I'm getting tons of emails per day! Too many to read, really. I have started the stole, but I'll wait until I've finished Clue 1 to post pics.

Here's the back of Butterfly

And the fronts. No pics of finished sleeves yet, but I hope to block by Thursday, so I should be able to get some pics and get started on the collar by then.

Now... did I get pictures of the lovely setting where we had our group? In a stained-glass gazebo? Aw, hell, no... While I remembered the projects I meant to take and moolah for the wine, typical of my ADD-self, I forgot the camera. Well, there's always next week. Oh, I found a link to the La Jacaranda where we had the group. We were in the restaurant of the hotel. Here's the gazebo,where we met, which they oddly call a "Kiosk".