spinning wheel

spinning wheel
Originally uploaded by The Knitting Fool.

I told you I have a spinning wheel. Here it is. Obviously, it's seen better days. I would love, love, love to learn to spin on it, but it's not put together, and I have no idea how to spin. I do have the foot pedal, it's just not pictured. I also think the bobbin thing isn't attached right, but I don't know how to fix it. Unfortunately, the amount of spinners in Central Iowa must be limited because no one has spinning wheels or supplies except a great little store I heard about an Ames. The problem is Ames is about an hour from where I live, and I don't always have the time to get out there on the weekends. Plus, that's a far drive for lessons - if they even have this wheel. I did buy two books, that seem to be somewhat helpful, but they haven't gotten me started yet. Oh well. I'm excited to start to try to spin. I just found out that there is an Alpaca farm DOWN THE STREET FROM ME so I'm going to go talk to them about buying some roving from them. I have to learn on something, so why not Alpaca!!

On another note, I am going to be in Chicago for the next three days - so I'll talk to you later. Thanks to everyone who has been visiting my blog and leaving comments. I'll get back to all of you soon!


i have a button!!!!!!!!

Do you see it over there? I have my secret pal 7 button FINALLY posted. Special thanks to my secret pal, who sent me an e-mail a few weeks ago explaining how to do this! I'm just now getting around to it though! I'm going to have many more buttons to add, I'm sure! YAY!!

baby blanket

Originally uploaded by The Knitting Fool.
I do have some knitting progress, although I've been traveling like a fool. This is a baby blanket that I'm making for my friend. She isn't due until September, but I needed to get a good head start. I would say I'm about half done. I posted a close-up of the blanket's stitch pattern a week or so ago - it's kind of like a basketweave. It's make with Lion Brand Baby Soft (only washable items for babies, please!) For this same friend, I am also going to make an attempt to knit my first pair of baby booties. It's going to be a while before I get to that point, but I'll definitely post progress there as well.

BTW, She does not know the sex of her baby, not is she going to find out. That's why I'm knitting the blankie in purple, blue and green - I thought it was fun, and good enough for a boy or girl.

I'm going to be pretty MIA again this week as I'll be gone Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Chicago for business. I'll try to post tomorrow before I leave, but we'll see!


a mememe to hold you over...

I feel bad not keeping up on posting, but I can't post photos from home, and what fun is a knitting blog without photos? So, I borrowed today's entry from this blog that I persue every once in a while.

Four jobs I've had in my life:
Waitress at the Green Oak Cafe (also know as the Green Choke Cafe)
Cosmetics Consultant at Dillards for Elizabeth Arden
Worked for a landfill doing their PR (no joke)
St. Louis International Airport

Four movies I can watch over and over:
Ten Things I Hate About You
Reality Bites
Dances With Wolves
The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Four Places I have lived
St. Louis, MO
Riverview, MO
Des Moines, IA
Norwalk, IA

Four TV shows I love to watch:
Gray's Anatomy
Desperate Housewives
The Office
Gilmore Girls

Four places I have been on vacation:
New York City
Key West, Floriday
Carmel, California

Four websites I visit daily:
USA Today
Page 6
Des Moines Register
St. Louis Post Dispatch

Four of my favorite foods:
White Castle (not available in Iowa, boo-hoo)
Caribou Coffee's Hot Cocoa (that is a food for me)
cheese and bacon potato skins

Four places I would rather be right now:
At home sleeping/watching Tv/Knitting
Outside because it's 55 degrees IN IOWA IN JANUARY right now!


where am i?

Work, work, work, work. Here's the deal - I'm out of town today and tomorrow for business. If I get in early enough, I'll post a photo/entry. I promise I'm not gone.


my secret pal did what?

secret pal gift 1
Originally uploaded by The Knitting Fool.
I'm in awe. I'm dumbfounded. I'm shocked. I'm surprised. I'm excited! You see, I already got a package from my secret pal. Already- can you believe it??!!!! I got it yesterday. Is this person on the ball or what? Am I the lucky recipient of gifts from the BEST SECRET PAL EVER?? I think I just might be. Take a look at the goods. I got three balls of Lion Brand Landscapes yarn. (I'm proud to say that I am NOT a yarn snob, thank you) in an awesome pink blend colorway (the official name being "Rose Garden".) The choco-peanut-butter-holic in me is super excited about the LOAD of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (they aren't all pictured because I had to sample a few to make sure they were fit for the photo shoot.) I am also the lucky recipient of a CHIBI needle holder. For those who don't have one - you need one...or more. I love it! It's so cute and chubby! Folks, the gifts don't stop there. You'll also note the vanilla-scented candles, knitter note-cards and a letter from my pal! Not pictured is a few ideas she/he gave me for what to do with my new yarn. One idea was to make a little purse, which she/he included a photo of and another was to make this scarf. I'm so excited, I don't know what to knit with my yarn! I'm spoiled! I'm absolutely spoiled. Thank you so much, secret pal! That really made my day because I had a BAD day at work yesterday, I get home and saw an "anonymous" package in the mail and it made my day - it really did. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope everyone else has a secret pal as super cool as mine. This is going to motivate me to spoil my secret pal even more!


crazy girl yarn shop in muscatine, iowa

Here is the promised review of the Crazy Girl Yarn Shop in Muscatine, Iowa. While their Web site is not done particularly well, it packs a lot of information into it. The store itself is beautiful! I did not take interior photos, but here is a shot of the outside. That ball of yarn is HUGE! I would say it has to be at least 4 feet wide (that's just the yarn, not the needles!) The store is set in an old button factory, so one of the coolest things ever is that they MAKE THEIR OWN BUTTONS!! I have never seen such beautiful buttons in my life! The store has personality like you wouldn't believe - hardwood floors - huge ceilings, and exposed brick. There is also a little cafe in the back!

They carry a lot of yarn, but not a ton of variety as far as vendors go. For example, they carry just about every imaginable color of Cascade 220, and they even have their own line of custom dyed Cascade yarns for sale. The carry an extensive selection of patterns and yarns for Dale of Norway, and even sell the sweaters in the store. Their needle needle selection was nice also - Addis in every variety, and bamboo straights and circulars. I even found 000s. They have lots of Schaefer yarns as well - some left in hanks hanging beautifully on the wall, some pre-wound into balls so you don't have to worry about it. I actually ended up purchasing some Schaefer yarn there, just because I thought the colors were OUTSTANDING. Of course, my camera doesn't do this yarn justice. Those are actually very deep colors, not as pastel as they look in the photo. They remind me of the sunset. They also carry some Noro Kureyon, at about $9 ball - a little higher than I would pay, but much cheaper than my LYS here in Des Moines which charges $12 a ball, but that's for another post.

Crazy Girls Yarn Shop doesn't stop there, though. They have lots of fun yarns, including a baby section, and a whole section in the back brimming with every variety you can imagine! I wasn't planning on writing a review of the store, so I didn't write everything down, but they do have a great selection of "fun" yarn. They also sell their own line of project bags, t-shirts and needles cases, each emblazoned with their "crazy girl" mascot. Of course I couldn't resist a purchase. That little sticker has the mascot on it and says something like, "handknit for you by a crazy girl." You gotta love it!

Then you go to the second floor. On your way up, they have a little loft area that you can stop at and pick up a drink (coffee/water.) And sometimes, on this little landing, they LET YOU MAKE YOUR OWN BUTTONS!! I would take a trip back there just to make my own buttons if it weren't for one other thing that I LOVED about the store: the second floor.

You see, I accidentally entered the store from the second floor when I got there, and I was greet by spinning wheels, and lots and lots of roving. Then, I saw it. The YARN CLEARANCE SECTION! They have a HUGE yarn clearance section. It's worth a visit just for that part...really it is. But on to the spinning wheels - they hold a spinning meet the first Saturday of every month. The owner told me to bring in my wheel, and she will try to help me fix it and learn to use it! It's going to be really hard to refuse that offer, and that makes the 3 hour drive there so worth it!

So, that is my review of the store. I loved it. They were helpful, nice, knowledgable, and let me gawk at their store for about two hours. Definitely worth a visit if you're even remotely in that area.



Just testing something out. Sorry for the wasted space!

new old project

Well, I've picked up an old project that I got about half way through and starting on it again. It's a baby blanket - knit with three strands of Lion Brand Baby Soft held together on Size 15 needles. I did my own little pattern, which you can see in this shot:

It's your basic K10, P10 across the row, then flip it. Garter stitch border. I like the blanket a lot, I have a friend who is pregnant (maybe with twins) who I am going to give it to. I think the colors are nice - not too baby, or overtly boy or girl. I worry about the purple, but I think it will be o.k. More photos when the blankie is done!

On another note, I promised photos of my visit to a yarn store. I'm going to save that for my next post simply because I have a lot to say, and not enough time to write right now. I hope everyone's Monday is going well!

Edited to ask if there is anyone out there willing to teach me how to add buttons to my blog so I can link to Secret Pal 7 and some other groups that I am trying to join...HELP!


yarn store overload

Holy cow! I had client meeting this morning three hours from where I live, so I decided to use stop at the LYS in Muscatine, Iowa (where my meeting was) and it was GREAT! Of course, I have some photos, which I can't post from home (darn dial-up.)

I will post them on Monday. Suffice to say that I spent too much money there, on me and the secret pal that I hope to spoil over the next few months.

And, I got an e-mail again today from my secret pal! Her enthusiasm is insane! I love it. I have have to say that she is keeping me intersted and exciting not only about getting spoiled, but about spoiling someone else! Thanks, secret pal!!


what am i working on today

See this beautiful stockinette stitch? I'm going to destroy it at some point.

I'm going to destroy it only because I'm making another felted bag. I'm so original. One day when I figure out how to post all of my finished objects, I'll show everyone my gallery of felted bags...some would call them disasters, but I'm still hopeful that I'm going to get a useable one some day.

My first felted bag was a shot at the ever-popular Booga Bag, but mine didn't look like everyone else's:

Granted, that is a side shot, but notice that mine doesn't have the same straps, or shape. Before you start laughing really, really hard, consider that I made this a mere 6 weeks after teaching myself to knit. So, it's not too bad.


i spoke too soon!

Oh my gosh! It's starting already! I just got an e-card from my Secret Pal! This is going to be so fun! I got my match today as well, and sent an e-mail letting my pal know that I'm here! How exciting! I just want to shout out to all Secret Pals in round 7 - and if anyone from the group visits my blog, please leave a comment!

sp7 questions

Here it is! I haven't heard from my pal or recieved my match yet (it's a little early) but I'm so excited!!! Lots of typos, I'm sure. Pardon the grammar issues.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? I wouldn’t call myself a yarn snob, because I will with anything. However, when given the choice, I will always go with the better fiber/brand.

2. Do you spin? Crochet? I have a spinning wheel, but it doesn’t work because it is missing pieces. I would like to learn to spin at some point – I have no idea how to right now. I can’t crochet to save my life. Several people have tried to teach me. It just doesn’t work.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Various containers, make-up brush holders and just in the bottom of my knitting bag.

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have been knitting about a year and a half. I would say that if I had more patience, I would be intermediate. I can do the harder stuff, but I like easy quick knits that I don’t have to concentrate too much on.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes. It can be found here.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) Vanilla or sweat pea. I do have some allergies to bath/body products, but usually stuff from Bath and Body Works doesn’t bother me.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Yes, I have a chocolate tooth, and I love, love, love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I like to scrapbook, I recently got back into sewing. I like to cook and garden.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I have iTunes, so I can play MP3s. My taste in music varies artist-to-artist. But I’m usually grooving right along to the Top 40 stations. I love every type of music!

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? I like warm colors best, so reds, browns, pretty oranges and yellows or anything that looks like the colors of a sunset are nice. But I’m also a fan of blues and pinks. I cannot stand “electric” colors – especially green.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I live with my boyfriend of 6.5 years. I have farm cats, but no indoor animals, my boyfriend is highly allergic. Those cats, although they live outside, are highly spoiled. I would love to have a dog one day though.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I wear hats and scarves and mittens. I prefer ponchos on babies, not adults.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? I love anything by Noro or Berroco. Anything that stripes itself or has subtle color changes it nice as well.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Anything scratchy. Yarn that tries to be something that it is not, like “suede” yarn. It just doesn’t feel right to me. Also, I don’t like novelty yarns that have those “flag” things on them. I hate knitting with them!!!

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? Felting. Knitting purses and bags. Trying to find a great Noro pattern for a sweater that I would actually wear.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I don’t have a favorite I guess. I like things simple.

17. What are you knitting right now? A felted bag, a fingerless mitt, a knitted purse.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? I never have before, but I bet that I do!

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Depends on the project, but if I can get away with straights, I will.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Bamboo, unless I’m using Addis.

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Both!

22. How did you learn to knit? I taught myself out of a book, then went to a class to verify that I was doing it right.

23. How old is your oldest UFO? Over a year old. It’s a sweater that I started for my cousin’s baby boy. He’s too big now to fit into it even if I finished it, and I have no idea what to do with the yarn anymore.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? I don’t really have favorites, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.

25. What is your favorite holiday? Memorial Day because my whole family gets together at my house to hang out for the weekend. We all live in different states, so it’s nice to have everyone in one place.

26. Is there anything that you collect? I sort of collect really cool colored glass vases – I started doing that when I went to Italy 6 years ago. My boyfriend would tell you I collect yarn. He’s probably right.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? None.

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? I love knitting books, and I have a lot. But I could always have more. I’m also looking at expanding my collection of Noro Pattern books.

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I’d like to learn to knit socks. I think that would be really cool!

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I’m not a sock knitter…yet. My foot is a women’s size 10.

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) June 27.


what i'm working on these days

So, last night and my attempt to begin knitting a cute little bag went bust. I just couldn't get into the mood. I do have a finished object to show, or I guess it's partly finished. I used Wendy Knits' Fingerless Mitts pattern with Berroco Foliage yarn and got this:

The good news is that I love my fingerless mitt! I knit with Size 9 needles, and one ball had more than enough for one mitt. The bad news is that I seem to be suffering from second-sock-syndrome and I can't bring myself to get started on the next one. AAHHH!! Everyone I show this to just loves it, and wants me to make them a pair, but if I can't even knit the matching part of the one I have, how am I going to do that for anyone else???

Then today, I received Berroco's free patterns e-mail. There is already another project I want to start, so I'm going to buy the yarn for that today. YIKES!!


nifty needle case

Look at me, another post! I'm really starting to like this! So, I was trying to sew myself a needle case last month and I broke my sewing machine - split ten (yes, I said 10) sewing machine needles on it. Got fed up, and went shopping.

Thought I might find something at a LYS that wasn't riduculously overpriced...that didn't happen. And then I just happened to stop by a local Mall to browse for whatever came my way.

I found this nice little number at The Body Shop. It's actually a make-up brush holder, but it seems to hold my dpn's quite well, don't you think? It was a gift with purchase, and had some brushes in it. I keep my brushed in a jar, so figured this makes a nice home for my needles.

The needles on the left are pretty big - 11's and 10 1/2's and they fit 5 per pocket. The little needles towards the right are about 4's (for the socks that I still haven't tried to knit) and they fit in the smaller pockets. I love this little case! I didn't take a photo of it, but Sephora had this nice little cylinder-shaped makeup bag that I keep all my stitch markers and trinkets in as well, for only $10!! I am a thrifty shopper!!!


what i found under the tree

I'm back! My New Year's Resolution is to post here at least three times a week, with two of those having photos. One problem I have with photos is that I can't post them from home (it's a dial-up connection, I live in the country with no high-speed options...I've checked many times to find one.)

So, I post the photos from work. I hope that's not a problem, but who knows. Can everyone out there see my photos? If not, I have a problem (if there even is anyone out there...)

Anyway, for Christmas this year, I didn't get the yarn store gift certificate that my mom usually gives me. This year, she felt that would be stupid. But instead, I got my calendar! Well, it's not my calendar, but it's one that I was waiting until 2006 to purchase at half price. I'm really excited that I got it. I had the 2005 version, and I know that there is a lot of criticism out there about the patterns being widely available for free and stuff, but I really like have that on my desk to see something new everyday. Plus, I'm just now going through the 2005 version and pulling out my favorite patterns to keep!

So, that's my photo for today. I've taken some other photos as well, but they didn't turn out so hot, so please tune in later this week to check more photos!!