Saturday, March 26, 2011

Knitting Therapy

I went to Knitting Therapy on Thursday night at my lys - I look forward to it each week and it never disappoints. It has been a great way to meet so many kindred souls as I establish my life in Florida.

Knitting Therapy (KT) runs from 6 - 8pm, but I try to make a full day of it. I live on a Florida barrier island and it is a bit off the beaten path. I use KT as an opportunity to hit all my favorite spots as I travel the 45 minutes to the yarn shop.

I leave around 2 or 3pm, usually with my I-Pod plugged in to the car radio, listening to a knitting podcast like Stash & Burn or Cast-On. My first destination is a town 20 minutes away. Quick stop at Starbucks - my Venti non-fat latte with 2 raw sugars is such a treat, now that I can't get it whenever I want.  Next is my chance to stop at Target.  From there I do my weekly browse at Home Goods, since you never know what you might find there.

Another 25 minutes I get to the big city, where I can indulge in any of the following shops, depending on my latest obsession - Barnes-Noble, Michaels's or Jo-Anne's. Then on to my ultimate destination, my favorite Florida yarn shop, A Good Yarn.

There I can settle down, knit, talk, see new items, and sometimes make a few purchases. It feeds my creativity and makes me feel so content - very zen, if you know what I mean.

This week I made several purchases, so time for some Show and Tell.

Three Irish girls, Adorn sock - custom dyed colorway for AGY "Gulf of Mexico".

I'm thinking of knitting this up in the
shawl pattern I designed for the shop,
"A Mermaid's Fan".

Next up, Taiyo Sock yarn by Noro. 

I used Taiyo, in worsted weight, for the Lizard Ridge throw.   It is so lovely, that I couldn't wait to buy the sock yarn.   I think I will knit up a pair of Spring Fling in the pink, and use the other two skeins for a shawl.

One skein of Lindsay by Berroco.

I have a new design in mind and want to swatch with this.

Last but not least, a new note book,
so I can keep good notes
as I design my next pattern.

Time to get ready for Spring!

Find a new pattern, buy some great yarn and welcome the new season!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Finished objects

Our busy days with company are over. I managed to keep on knitting while visiting with our guests (not a surprise to those who know me!) and have a few finished items to share.

Lil' Leggins -

I knit these for a "swap" with a professional photographer.
She will use them as 'props' for pics of little girls and I will get some professional photos to promote the pattern. I think it is a win-win and can't wait to see the photos.

My love affair with Crystel Seyfarth has drawn to a close, although I think I will continue to love her design when I wear this. Still needs to be blocked, but I couldn't wait to show you.

And here it is up close.. If it hadn't taken me a year to complete,
I would consider starting another one of her kits.

And last but not least, my new pattern, Spring Fling!

If you want to get started right away, you may purchase an immediate download of the pattern on the right side of the blog.  I think you will love knitting these quick socks - and they are perfect for the change in season.

More details on the pattern in the next post.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Doing it in the round

Great friends, sunny Florida weather, beach walks, lots of laughs and knitting? Yup, that's what I have been doing these past few days. What fun.
Two girlfriends from MI spent a few relaxing, laid back days with us, and they soaked up the sun and surf.

Both of my friends are knitters, although I have had trouble moving them up to the next "skill level".
So we were "doing it in the round" this week. I got out my 32" circular needles and they learned the magic loop.

My friend Jeri looks comfortable learning the technique, no?  Her first project in the round was a bottle cozy for a co-worker.  She finished it before she left - all I need is a pic of the bottle and cozy (hint, hint to Jeri) !

Carole started a short sock for her Mom - she got the leg done while she was here, but she may need my help for the heel flap - I'll be home in 6 weeks - so she may have to call in some reinforcements in the meantime.

I finished the Seyfarth shawl, (the one with the steek).  Had to use duplicate stitch to create the flower centers and the stems, then fold over the edge facing and sew it down.   All it needs is blocking - then I will show it off.

Am also working on Lil'Leggins for a photographer.  She wants to use them as "props" for when she photos little girls, and we are doing a swap - I give her the leg warmers, and I get some professional photos of my item.  I think it sounds fair - so I've got to get those little devils done.

Our daughter Pam is here for a few quick days.  She is a busy working mom, and we are delighted that she could escape her family to spend a few days with us.  Many, many, thanks to her mom and husband - who are trying to fill her shoes.

Here is your moment of zen - the closing of another day in paradise!


Monday, March 14, 2011

My spot

I have finally found a little time to get out my new sewing machine and see how it works.  Since it is the same machine I have in MI, there isn't a learning curve - yeah for that!   I love to sew, but somehow don't make the time to do it that often.  My knitting and the pattern business seem to take priority.

I have set up my spot in the bedroom that gives me a great view and lots of sun and fresh air.  Here is my view out the window...right past the green grass is the beach and the Gulf of Mexico.    It is a crafter's dream.

I am working on some knitting needle cases that hold the tips to interchangeable needles (like Knit Picks) or they also work for dpns.  There are larger pockets on the ends to hold the cables.  Also a cute little zippered pouch to hold the end caps, key, etc.  I will give you a closer look once they are done - but I think I'm going to like this style!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fear of Steeking

I have reached a critical step in the Chrystel Seyfarth Massai Shawl, so I am sharing the angst.

It is a massive fair isle shawl knit in the round, adding six stitches between each side.  Once done, you use a sewing machine to sew two lines of stitching on either side of where the cut will be.  See the steek stitches? 

Then I did the sewing, using small stitches to (hopefully) stop the darn thing from unraveling once it is cut.
OMG, let the cutting begin.

I think it went okay, but won't know for sure until I start picking up stitches along the cut edge.

And now I need to add the border facing, like the top border.

For the first time since I began, we can take a look at the shawl spread out and opened up.  What do you think?  On to the border facing, then I need to add the poppy centers and stems by duplicate stitch.

If you love this shawl and want to buy them, you can order them from Ruhamas

I think this will become my favorite shawl ever, when I finish it!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday walk

I know that many of you are still in the midst of winter, so I snapped a few pictures on my morning walk to remind you that spring is on the way. I walked along N Beach Rd, that runs lengthwise down the center of the island, and it looks like a tropical paradise in some stretches. I hope you enjoy my view.




Wishing you a day filled with knitting and sunshine!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This and That

Thank you to all who purchased the spring sock pattern.  I think I will sell it until the end of the week on the blog, then never again.  It is kind of sad to see it go, but I will enjoy seeing it being knit by the talented knitters at A Good Yarn.

My youngest son and his special friend are visiting - we have had fun seeing some of the "vacation" Florida sights.

Went to Sea World and saw my favorite bird, the flamingos.

Also went to the drum circle at sunset on Siesta Key. Can't really show the drum circle, but take a look at my baby and his friend, enjoying the moment.

In anticipation of our next guests, oldest son and grandson Mason, I have finished up the Angry Birds family.  My grandson Mason LOVES the angry bird game on my I-Pad, so I hope he is surprised by the special friends waiting for him to arrive.   I think I am done with these - but who know? 

I have actually thought about working up a few and selling them on Etsy, but I've got so many other projects to work on, I'm not sure it is the best use of my time.

Finally, a look at my favorite spot.