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Posts Tagged ‘WEBS’

I’m so late in getting this post out, but things are crazy here. I’m leaving for vacation Friday morning and since I lost 25 pounds since last year at this time, none of my summer weather clothing fits. I’m not complaining about having to shop for clothing in a smaller size, it’s just that since I have 15 more pounds to go, these will just be in-between clothes, so it kind of feels like a waste of money. Money that could be spent on fiber.
Fiber Trends Felted Clogs

Pattern: Felted Clogs by Bev Galeskas
Source: Fiber Trends
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes; (2) skeins Black Cherry Heather, (4) skeins Gray Heather
Needles: Knit Picks Options 9.0 mm / US 1
Ravelry: My Clogs


Felted Clogs Top Inside

After seeing Lynda’s fabulous clogs, I decided it was finally time to felt mine. I’d knit them in November, but didn’t have any clue how to successfully felt them, so they sat with the other UFO’s that I’m trying to ignore. I didn’t want all my hard work to be ruined by doing something stupid in the felting process. I sent Lynda an email to find out if there were any special instructions for felting things that must fit on your foot. Unfortunately it was as I expected and I had to try on the wooly wetness of my clog a time or two (or three in my case) to insure I didn’t over-felt it.
Fiber Trends Felted Clogs (pre-felt)

I tossed them both into a zippered pillow cover, filled the machine with hot water and let them agitate for 10 minutes. This was most definitely not enough time, and I returned them to the agitation cycle for another 5 minutes. I then noticed that one was smaller than the other, so I left it out and put the other one in the machine for a few minutes. When I checked it, that one was the perfect size and the other one was too big, so back in it went for 2 minutes. Perfect! I did find out later however, that when felting multiple pieces of a project (such as TWO clogs), each item should be put in a separate bag. This helps them felt more evenly as mine had not in certain places that I will not point out. I formed them to my feet (more or less) and set them out to dry for two days.
Fiber Trends Felted Clogs (drying)

I had no idea they were going to be as comfortable as they are and the double sole makes them very cushy. I wouldn’t hesitate to make a lot more of these for family and friends.  I most definitely won’t have trouble figuring out holiday gifts this year.
Felted Clogs side

By the way, don’t go to WEBS to check out their annual anniversary sale, you may end up finding something like this on your doorstep a few days later:
WEBS Anniversary Sale
(Click on photo for link to Flickr with all the yarn information)

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Luckily on Saturday morning I woke feeling fairly good. I can only attribute it to the 2 doses of Flexeril and the Melatonin combination. Hubby decided that shopping in the market didn’t sound so bad, so he joined me on our walk to the market floor. I have no idea how to express to you in words the amount of people already in the market. I knew it was going to be busy, but I suppose I’m never quite prepared for large crowds.

I knew that my Ravelry passport had very few stamps/stickers in it, so today I planned on collecting them all, as well as making sure I picked up some yarn from WEBS for a sweater or two. Since I’d walked around all the booths the day before to see my options for purchases, I took my market floor booth layout sheet, and circled all the booths I needed to stop at and for what item. Some were just for the Passport, some were to enter drawings, and others were for purchases. This definitely helped keep me on track and I will do it every year that I attend Stitches.

Market Floor

The current sweater I’m knitting, the Radiance Cabled Jacket, has a hook and eye closure instead of buttons. On Friday I’d noticed some beautiful Norwegian pewter hook & eye clasps at AffectionKnit, so I stopped at their booth first. I surveyed all their pewter clasps, and all the sets of 3 were $14, but I got this one for $9, so I felt like I’d found a bargain. The booth was already extremely crowded, and several rude women pushed their way ahead of me in line so I ended up standing there for 15 minutes waiting to make my cash purchase. In fact, I think these women must have been around me all day because the level of rude people at Stitches was at an all-time high this year.

Norwegian Pewter frogs (clasps)

I didn’t make another purchase for quite awhile since I was gathering Passport stickers/stamps and entering my name into daily drawings for this and that, but when I stopped at the Fibersphere booth to get my Passport stamped, I noticed some bags (of course), As I was looking over the sock size bag, the vendor shared with me the story behind the bag. Since I’m a sucker anyway for any type of bag, when I found out that women in Cambodia were making them and were being paid three times as much as they’d normally make so they could support their families, I just had to support the cause. I’m not sure what the material is on the outside of the bag (bamboo?) but the inside of the bag is fabric lined with two open pockets, one zippered pocket, and the strap is adjustable.

Cambodia Bag

We walked around for awhile, collecting stamps, and entering drawings, but when we ran into Cindi, Barbara and Rhonda at lunch time, we decided to pass on the $10 hotel sandwich and drove to Baja Fresh for a quick and inexpensive lunch. Of course we weren’t there long since there were schedules to be kept by the others in our group, so I returned to the market to continue filling up my Passport.

The next Ravelry passport stop was Article Pract. As I walked in to get my stamp, I noticed the Malabrigo worsted with a sign saying $10/skein. Then I noticed the Julie Weisenberger patterns. Next thing I know, I’m walking out of their booth just having purchased the Katarina pattern, the Malabrigo Loafers pattern, as well as 3 skeins of Malabrigo worsted in Forest and Azul Profundo.

Coco Knits and Yarn

I had meandered around the WEBS booth on Friday looking at the huge assortment of yarns and trying to decide what I wanted for which project. I was so overwhelmed though, and so tired from that day I opted to wait and purchase on Saturday. Well here it was Saturday and as I started to wander a bit, a lovely young woman named Cirilia asked if she could help me. Realizing that I got nowhere Friday trying to help myself, I said yes. Boy am I glad I did. I showed her my printed Ravelry queue page and asked her for recommendations for the projects I wanted to knit. She was so nice, quick, and knowledgeable, that before I knew it, I had 3 sweaters worth of yarn in my husbands hands. I had intended on only buying one or two sweaters worth of yarn, but since I chose Valley Yarns for 2 of the sweaters, I was able to afford the 100% Alpaca yarn.

WEBS

The blue yarn is Valley Yarns Longmeadow and I’m intending on using it for Drops Design 100-34, although I could use it for a few of the projects in my queue. The red yarn is Valley Yarns Williamstown and it’s intended for Katarina by Julie Weisenberger. The olive green yarn Blue Sky Alpacas 100% Alpaca and is intended for Henley Perfected. I can’t wait to start on these projects.

At this point I could tell that my husband was at his shopping limit and so we decided to head back to the room to rest for awhile before dinner. That plan didn’t last long though. The market floor called to me from inside my room, so I left hubby to watch a movie while I wandered the booths for awhile. I wasn’t planning on purchasing anything, but when I saw this little book, I couldn’t resist.

Knitspiration

This softbound book is called Knitspiration by Fiona Ellis which is a knitting journal. I have long been in search of a small notebook that had both lined and graph pages in it so I could play around with some ideas that float around in my head occasionally. This knitting journal has everything I’d ever want in a journal, with inspiring words and Fiona Ellis even signed it.

Dinner was a driving mis-adventure (no thanks to OnStar) to B.J.’s Brewery to meet-up with Lain, her husband and her son. Lain and I originally connected because of knitting, and although she knits beautifully, she is actually a scrapbooking designer, instructor, and podcaster. For what the Yarn Harlot is to the knitting world, Lain (ScrapHappy) is to the scrapbooking world. Someday I’ll say “I knew her when”.

After dinner I met up with the group from the previous evening for more knitting until 1am, although hubby did not join us this night. When I booked our hotel room, I’d debated on whether to stay Saturday night and at that moment I was so glad I booked us through Sunday morning. Spending time knitting with others that enjoy the same things as I was a priceless moment. I knew that although the classes, and shopping were great, spending time with current friends, meeting new ones, and spending time with those who share the same passion, was the true gift of Stitches.

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Last weekend, during a 48 hour period, I got so stressed about an upcoming pelvic ultrasound test, that I shopped. For yarn. Although it helped calm me down and keep my mind off the test, my dwindling bank account balance did cause some stress for me today, but oh well, the test is over now and everything looks good!

What started it all, was my first purchase. Crown Mountain Farms updated their Sock Hop Yarn and I purchased two skeins of the “Brown Eyed Girl” colorway. Ever since I met DH, he has sung the “Brown Eyed Girl” song to me whenever it’s on the radio, so it’s kind of our thing. He even uses the song as his ring tone whenever I call him. How then could I resist this yarn colorway? (obviously I didn’t) I now understand why people love hand dyed and hand spun yarn. It’s GORGEOUS! The downside though .. now I really want to learn to spin. I’m giving myself one more year though to learn as much as I can about yarn before I jump in. At least that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.


The next thing that happened was an email from WEBS telling me their anniversary sale was about to end. I ignored it at the time, but then I was listening to their podcast and they mentioned Cascade 220 superwash on sale. Curses!! There were so many color options I was overwhelmed, but after thinking about it, I decided to go with a masculine color palette to knit some items for my grandsons this year.

I also saw that the Regia Silk was on sale, and since I’d wanted to try it for some socks, I ordered a bit of that too.

Finally, during the last part of the 48 hour time frame, I had an urge to check out The Loopy Ewe and wouldn’t you know it, Sheri had just done a shop update. I received my order today, but I’m going to hold off on showing you those acquisitions until next week. Besides, I can’t stop snuggling or sniffing or fondling the yarn long enough to take photos.

Despite no photos of socks in progress for almost a month, I have been knitting socks. Since I’d finally finished Molly’s Matinee Coat, I allowed myself to start a pair of socks and chose to knit Falling Leaves by Jessica Landers from the Fall 2005 issue of Knitty.com. Unfortunately, after working the pattern up until where the gusset begins, I decided that the pattern either wasn’t working for the yarn, or that I didn’t like how I was knitting the pattern. The center vein of the leaf design is created by working a k2tog and a ssk side by side which creates a sort of ridge. Personally I didn’t care for it, so I frogged the entire thing and started over. This time, I chose the Monkey pattern by Cookie A. I’ve knit it once before in a beautiful yarn that didn’t work with the pattern, so I thought I’d try again. So far I’m thrilled with how these are turning out and it’s so fun reworking the pattern toe-up. I’m trying to take meticulous notes and each time I convert a pattern from cuff-down to toe-up, I feel a bit more confident in my skills.

I only have another pattern repeat or two before I’ll be casting off, so I’m now dreaming of what socks I’ll knit next.

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In great anticipation of the three-hour class I signed up for, I arrived at the convention center thirty minutes early and started to search for the classroom. I must say that Stitches really has done a beautiful job at setting up information displays to help get you where you want to go. I entered my classroom, met a few classmates, pulled out my materials and anxiously waited. It was another one of those minutes feeling like hours moment, but then the instructor, Gwen Bortner, began to speak. The class was called Pattern Customization & the description basically stated that you would learn how to recalculate a pattern you love, to work with the yarn you love, just by utilizing a gauge swatch & a bit of math. Of course nobody ever wants to knit a gauge swatch or do math, especially me, but that must also be why the sweater I knit DH did not fit very well. After this class I now understand why making a gauge swatch is critical to success. This class well exceeded my expectations and not only did I learn a great deal of usable information, but it was presented in a straight-forward and organized manner with unexpected humor. Gwen was entertaining, informative and engaging. I hope to take another class from her in the future.

DH met me for lunch after my class and we purchased a ticket for him, so that he could experience “knitters shopping heaven” firsthand. Our first stop was the XRX/Knitters booth were they were promoting their latest book release: Victorian Lace Today. As I started thumbing through this exquisite book, I not only appreciated the beautiful photography & stunning shawl patterns, but also realized that there are 40 patterns and the book was priced at only $29.95. I was quite shocked! I don’t even knit lace and I thought it would be a perfect addition to my knitters library. In addition to this beautiful book though, most (if not all) the lace shawls from the book were displayed throughout the booth. Each shawl was a beautiful work of art and even though all the exquisite detail of each one made me feel a bit intimidated, I did notice that a few of the scarves in the book said “beginner”.

As I was carefully examining each shawl, I realized that it was 1 pm and we had scheduled to meet up with Lain. I have been corresponding with Lain via our blogs for almost a year and she was actually the person who left the very first comment on my blog last year in April. Even though she has an amazing personality which shows through on her blog, she’s even better in person. We had a wonderful time looking through the vendor booths flipping through books, fondling yarn, and chit-chatting about this and that, but the time passed by too quickly & she was off to a game for one of her beautiful children. She has the cutest post about us all meeting which is funny & definitely worth reading! I know if Lain & I lived closer to each other, I’d have her knitting more & she’d have me scrapbooking!

I’ve debated off and on for quite some time about knitting the Clapotis. It seems like everyone has been there, knit that, but it’s a pattern I come back to time and time again. I never had the right yarn for the project though, and so it remained on the back burner. At the Brooks Farm booth however, they had TWO Clapotis on display each knit in a different yarn type. I showed it to DH & he immediately said he liked the one knit in their Four Play yarn, a 50/50 wool and silk blend, and then proceeded to choose a colorway for me. The colors are definitely not in my typical wine palette, but I really do like them and I’m glad he talked me into purchasing it.

One of the best items of advice from my class this morning was to purchase a skein of yarn you think you love, knit a swatch with it and if you still love it, go buy the yardage you need for your project. Since I wasn’t in love with the yarn I used on DH’s last sweater, I asked him to choose a skein/ball of yarn at the WEBS booth and I’ll knit it into a swatch at home for him to see. I told him if he still likes it, I’ll order enough yarn to make him the sweater of his choice. He chose this skein of Valley Yarns Colrain, a 50/50 blend of merino and tencel in a colorway named Majestic Blue. It’s soft, has a beautiful sheen & is hopefully a dream to knit with.

As I wandered around looking at all the vendor booths, the Victorian Lace Today book kept sticking in my head and I decided that since it had left such an impression on me, that the best thing to do was just purchase it. As I started walking towards the XRX booth, I remembered seeing something about book signings. I wondered if this author was also signing so I checked my schedule and sure enough, she had signings scheduled most of that day. I located her last signing at 4:30 pm and figured we had a few minutes to get to that booth.

We arrived promptly at 4:30 at the YarnDogs booth and there was only one woman ahead of me in line. I don’t know what I was expecting, if anything, but this beautiful mature woman with a slim build was sitting before me and spoke in a soft English accent. I told her I’d never knit with lace weight yarn and that in fact I’d never knit any lace items, but that her book just captivated me and I was so surprised that such a beautiful book had been written with so many patterns for such a low price, that I knew I should own it. As she opened her book, she proceeded to tell me that her publishers didn’t think the book would sell for a higher amount and she also implied to me that she wasn’t happy with her publishers for underestimating the value of her work. She then started delicately flipping through the pages and shared with me the patterns that would be perfect for my first project. She took off one of her shawls and told me where she had found the original pattern for that particular lace edging and how it was only a partial pattern, and the history, and so forth. She mentioned that on one of the scarf photos it shows an edging that does not match the pattern in the book but that most of the edgings can be changed anyway.

At some point I realized that quite some time had elapsed and I looked behind me to find nobody waiting. ??? She kept speaking to me like I was the only person in the room. I basked in these moments with the author until we discovered that someone else was waiting for their book to be signed. I guess I couldn’t complain though, since I had just spent about ten minutes talking to her and it is one of those once-in-a-lifetime things you never forget. I will treasure the moment and this book for my entire life.

After the book signing I was floating on cloud 9 and believed it couldn’t get any better, but of course while I was looking through my bag of yarn when we arrived back at the hotel, I found a small blue box. I opened it and found an absolutely beautiful pearl & sterling silver bracelet from Harlan Beads. I have no idea when or how DH managed to sneak away from me to purchase this, but him doing things like this for me are one of the millions of reasons why I love him! We finished off my perfect day with a lemon drop cocktail at the hotel bar followed by sushi for dinner. Unforgettable!

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