After a while (o.k., it was a week) I had to learn how to knit. So, I went to a local gift shop that happened to have a yarn room in it. I signed up for a basic knitting class. Apparently, I was far ahead of the crowd, because I could knit like there was no tomorrow. Then, when the instructor, June told me how to get to the next row by just turning the thing over, I was thrilled!! I took me about 5 hours to complete my first scarf, which I still have, and have never worn. (It was hideous.)
At that moment, I was totally hooked. One strange thing that happened while I was knitting my first scarf is that I had a two-hour drive with my boyfriend to our friend Kathy's mom's funeral. I hadn't seen Kathy in a really long time, and when I saw her, she had a knit scarf on. I asked her if she started knitting, and told her that I was knitting, too. That kind of re-kindled our friendship and from then on, Thursdays have been our TV/knitting night.
Anyway, I went to New York city for work in October of 2004. I went with my at-the-time boss, who was about three years older than me. (I was 25 then!) So, she knew I was a knitting freak, and she wanted to learn. We looked up yarn stores that were near where we were staying, but they had strange hours and with the business conference we were at, it wasn't easy for us to find a shop.
Then, on the last day of the conference, she told me we were going to skip to go yarn shopping!! I was so excited! We went to Seaport Yarn - an office (literally) crammed with yarn everywhere. Floor to ceiling - hanging from the walls, stuffed behind doors and making it so that only one person can walk in the hall at once. What can I say - it was yarn nirvana.
Of course, I was new to this knitting thing, so scarves were my drug of choice. But, I was exposed to a whole new world of yarn. You see, in Iowa, at that time, the yarn stores were limited, as in Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Michael's and Donna's. Donna's was nice, but had mostly novelty yarn because they really only taught scarf knitting classes. I just didn't know the world had so many other fibers in it.
So, I spent a lot of money at Seaport Yarn. Too much money. So much money that the owner offered to ship me the yarn for free because I had so much I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get it in my bags for the plane ride home. My boss bought a ton of yarn, and she didn't even know how to knit yet - and I didn't teach her for almost three months.
The beginning of my stash is pictured above. Of those things, all I have left is the Lantern Moon needle case. Pretty much everything you see was knitted into a scarf, except for the Noro, which was made into my first felted bag. I don't know the names of a lot of those yarns, or who made them. I affectionately called those two furry looking balls of yarn "dead parrot" and "dead skunk" That hank of yarn just next to those that looks kind of like a fuzzy sunset is the only yarn I didn't keep. Kathy wanted it, so I gave it her. The yarn all the way to the right was a super-soft chenille that I made a multi-directional diagonal scarf with, but it was hell to knit with!! My hands were screaming when it was over, and the yarn smelled like bleach (still does actually, and I've washed it a couple of times!!)
My yarn stash now is not quite so novelty - it's more of a fiber loving festival of goodness. I love wool, cotton, soft yarn, fun stripy yarn (I'm dying to get my hands on Jamaica by Katia!!) the thing I have learned is that I love yarn for its color, its texture, for the fact that it lets me create.
Well, my first package from my Secret Pal arrived in the mail yesterday. At 6:15 this morning, I went outside and took photos (I had an early breakfast meeting, so it was then or not until next week!)
You know, it always amazes me that I seem to get packages from Secret Pals on the days that I'm really having a hard time. Secret Pals really have a tendency to brighten up the day, don't they!
So, on to the goods: One skein of Artful Yarns' Broadway. (Can I just say that sparkles and yarn is always a good idea - I think this one will become a fun and funky scarf) and one of my personal favorite yarn right now, Blue Sky Cotton - I love how soft it is. I also got a little package of Burt's Bees lotions and some stitch markers (close-up below.) Then finally, my pal is from Alaska, so I got a "Bear Hugs from Alaska" peanut butter and chocolate bar! My favorite combination is peanut butter and chocolate, so YUMMY!!!!!
The stitch markers are really, really pretty, and the first ones that I have ever owned that aren't plastic rings! I don't know if my secret pal made them herself, but I already know what I'm going to use them for: Clapotis!! I just haven't started knitting Clapotis yet!
And then, just because I was up so darn early today, I took a picture of the sunrise because it looked so pretty.
I hope that everyone has a good weekend, especially my secret pal! And by the way, Secret Pal, thank you so much for the package. It made my day. Really it did.
Knitting has been slow. Now that the log cabin blanket is getting bigger, it's harder and harder to knit because one row takes FOREVER. Oh well, at least I have until September to get it done!!
Went to an Avon store the other day and found the neatest new product: dry nail enamel strips. You just peel them off, stick them on your nails, and Voila! - a manicure. To give you an idea of how easy there are to use, I just gave myself a manicure and I'm at work. No one noticed, and it took minutes. I would take a photo and post it, but I'm at work. Maybe a photo tomorrow would be nice.
Anyway, I bought those things at an Avon store for $10 - I thought it was a little expensive, but I wanted to try them. I got online today, and they're on sale for two for $8.99. Go buy some for yourself here.
I've been knitting, but it's been going painfully slow. Very painfully slow. So slow that a progress photo will do nothing but piss you off more than the lack of progress pisses me off.
Tonight, I'm having a few friends over for Grey's Anatomy's season finale. Best. Show. Ever. Seriously.
Maybe once my obsession with that show is over, I can continute knitting. Maybe not.
So, Sunday night is going to be knitting night #2. I'm also going to watch several TV finale's that night as well.
Oh, and my friend Monica just found out that her baby on the way is actually two babies!! Two boys!! Thank goodness she's not due until October - I'll have plenty of time to knit for two!
I posted this over at the Mason Dixon Knitalong site, but thought I would put it here as well. Here is some progress on the blanket. I will say that I got the first six or so colors done fast, then it started slowing down because it gets bigger as you go. I really like it though - nice and bright.
The colors are in the following order: Yellow, Blue, Pink, Green, Purple, Orange. If I was smart, I would have swapped the Pink and Orange for a little more variety in color.
I've done two full color repeats. I knit on this every Thursday night, so hopefully I'll have something more to show. A friend of mine just had a baby boy, and I want to knit him a pair of booties, so I might have to do those this Thursday. I guess we'll see !
Left to right - Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in Jungle strip (I think??), Artyarns supermerino sock yarn (color unknown), some kind of hemp yarn, and Rown denim.
I don't even knit socks, and I bought sock yarn. What is wrong with me??
I just had to cash in the reward points for my credit card to use for a statement credit!!! I wanted to use them to get an iPod. Oh well.
I guess I should stay away from the yarn store....
It's fun to go over there. I look forward to Thursdays. I'm still plugging away on the baby blanket. I actually got into an old UFO and frogged it. That would be my purple felted bag. I had used two of the five skeins I bought, but I took the three unused skeins back to a LYS, and bought some other fun yarn! I want to get this blanket done, then I'll move on to other projects. This weekend, I'm hoping to take a project inventory of what I want to get knitting on. We'll see how that works!
On another note, if there is anyone out there that can help me fix my sidebar, it would be much appreciated! I can't get those stupid buttons to line up!
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? On my love it list right now is blue sky cotton (they come in awesome colors!!), anything noro and anything soft! I’m not a yarn snob, so I’ll actually knit with just about anything that isn’t to rough, except I hate yarns that have those flags on them. The only thing I can think of that I don't like are tweed-like yarns.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? An old make-up bag, and a metal tube thing.
3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I’ve been knitting about two years, I’m an advanced beginner, and if I tried harder I think I would say intermediate. I just like really mindless knitting right now.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes! I’ll have to link to it once it’s updated!
5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) I’m very sensitive to stuff unless it’s really natural. Burt’s Bees is always good, and so is most any light scents (think vanilla) from Bath and Body or the Body Shop.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I have a chocolate tooth, and I LOVE Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and Hershey’s dark chocolate.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I knit, scrapbook, make jewelry, sometimes I sew. I have a spinning wheel, but I don’t know how to use it or how to spin at all. (I would love to learn!)
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like top 40 tunes mostly, but I LOVE all music really. I can play MP3s.
9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? I’m into all colors – but I love warm colors, think deep reds, oranges, purples, etc. I am a fan of blues and pinks though, too! I guess I really love any colors – except for really ugly electric or neon colors.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I live at my house with my boyfriend of 6+ years. I have 6 cats, but they are farm cats so they are outside only (and have a house in my garage.) They are spoiled like inside kitties though. I can’t have them in the house because my boyfriend is highly allergic.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Yes, yes, yes, no because ponchos are only cute on babies.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I don’t know! I tend to gravitate towards easy mindless knitting – think simple baby blankets, bags, etc. I am searching for my dream sweater pattern.
13. What are you knitting right now? Too much too count. Two baby blankets, and I’m getting ready to start on some washcloths thanks to my new favorite book, Mason Dixon Knitting. I see washcloths in my future for a while.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? I’ve never received a handmade gift, but I’m sure I would love it!
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I prefer bamboo needles for straights, and addis for circulars!
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I own both.
17. How did you learn to knit? Taught myself out of a book, then took a class to learn more.
18. How old is your oldest UFO? 2 years. It’s a baby sweater I never finished. Needless to say, the baby is now too big for the sweater.
19. What is your favorite holiday? All of them. Actually, it’s Christmas, simply because I LOVE giving presents to people.
20. Is there anything that you collect? Yarn. :) Glass beads that would make cool jewelry.
21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? No subscriptions yet – see my wishlist for the books I want, but I would also add that any Debbie Bliss books are high on the list, and Noro pattern books.
22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I’m trying to learn to knit socks – I’m doing o.k. with it. I’d also like to learn to do simple cables.
23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? See Q 22. I am a woman’s size 10 foot.
24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) June 27 – I will turn 27 that day!!!