Nittany Knits

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Did you know that every year 4 million babies die within the first month of life? That is equivalent to the number of babies born in the United States annually. 99 % of these deaths are in developing countries. Half of those babies die within the first 24 hours. Three out of four of these newborns could be saved by low-cost solutions. One such solution is knit caps to keep the babies warm.

After reading this information that was published in the New York Times, 'Caps to the Capital' was formed six months ago. Today, over 288,000 hats are stored in a three story storage facility waiting to find some way to ship all these hats to their final destination. That's the power of knitters!

Tonight, a reception was held at The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. and I was lucky enough to get to be a part of it. The amazing Cokie Roberts was the host of the event, and she could not have been more wonderful. The reception was held in two rooms that are about the size of my living room, so lots of mingling occcured with many lovely people.

Here's the link to their website. Check it out!

Since I was in D.C. for the day, I stopped by the Capital Hill Stitch DC location. What a great store! Everyone was so nice, and I made a significant purchase of this incredable yarn called Lacey Lamb from Jade Sapphire Exotic Fibers in China. It's so good it comes in it's own box with lots of writting you can't pronounce unless you know Chinese. It's Blueblood Red and so soft that tears lept to my eyes the second I touched it. Emotion shot through me and I thought I was going to weep openly!!!!!!!!! No one else has touched it yet because they were just unpacking it, and I got the only four skeins of Blueblood Red. There are no words for my joy today.

If all this were not good enough for one day, I lunched at a great spot in Dupont Circle called Teaism (yummy) and stopped on the way home at the Silver Spring Trader Joes.

What a day!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Lots of knitting books are on my night stand right now.

Last night I finished "Knitting Under The Influence" by Claire LaZebnik. I might have enjoyed this book more if I was in my early 20's. However, I am in my late 30's. I know the old saying about not judging a book by it's cover. Yet, how could you not. It's an adorable cover! Because of the cover, I was excited to settle in for a good read. I enjoy mindless chicklit every now and again, but this was missing something. Thanks anyway to Large Marge for lending it to me.

Next up is "Knit Lit (too)". I've been looking forward to reading this collection of short stories since last year, but haven't gotten around to it. The first "Knit Lit" book has my favorite knitting story of all time about the woman who decided to make a sweater out of dog hair. This story was laugh out loud funny. Already I have read a short story by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee that had me laughing nearly as hard as the dog hair story. This story describes why knitting with white yarn while ice skating can be disastrous.

Last, but not least, Large Marge has gotten me a library copy of "The Knitting Circle" by Ann Hood. This is the book everyone is buzzing about Julia Roberts making a movie out of. I haven't started it yet, but I'm looking forward to diving in tonight.

All of this reading has me only 1/4 of the way finished with my second Jaywalker. I'm so easily distracted.

Happy Knitting (and reading)!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Knitters and non-knitters alike assembled last night at the annual 'Elkridge Rotary Club Bull and Oyster Roast'. One non-knitter announced today that it was a tad uncomfortable listening to the knitters discuss "yarn stash" and "yarn dealers". Apparently he was waiting for the yarn police to bust us for using such terminology. I did restrain myself from stuffing my sock into my purse so that I could knit at the event.

A huge YEAH goes out to "Little Miss Sunshine" winning the SAG award for best picture of the year. If you have not seen this gem of a film, be prepared to laugh so hard you will have to blow your nose. Grab your knitting and tissues and enjoy!

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thank you to my awesome Secret Pal 9,! She spoiled me way above and beyond the SP9 guidelines. Tonight after the K1P2 anniversary party, she revealed herself to me and gave me the last gifts. Can you believe that I am the new owner of an umbrella swift AND ball winder? My cup runnith over! And she even gave me yarn to wind- my favorite sock yarn from Louet! Pretty blue/green yarn that will some day become the hippopotamus socks. (You know which socks I mean. I know you can't pronounce them either!)

Earlier today I took my one finished Jaywalker pedicure sock and got myself a pedicure. This was meant to motivate me into knitting the second sock quicker than the first. What it did was educate me to the wonders of knitting while seated in a rolling back massage chair. I didn't knit during the relaxing pampering part of the pedicure, just at the end while she was painting my tootsie toes, and then she let me stay in the chair while the polish dried. I think that all knitters should look into getting a fully loaded massage chair for themselves as knitting chairs.

Thanks to all who showed up for the anniversary party. The weather forecast wasn't great, but lots of people showed up. Miss Bonnie even made a 'Pin The Tail On The Alpaca' game for our entertainment. The winner got a stuffed sheep! Thanks Miss Bonnie. Six people also walked away with door prizes (the result of me learning how to make t-shirt transfers).

What a great day! Thanks to all. Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I fear that my long term relationship with my dial-up connection is coming to an end soon. Never one to give up easily, I have been trying to make it work between us. However, I feel that the relationship has become one sided. Not to mention that the high speed internet keeps sending me little notes in the mail. Tempting seducer!!!! I am trying to toss out these little notes, but occasionally I read one before I throw it out. The seed has been planted, and the thought of straying has crossed my mind often in the New Year.

This week has been particularly difficult. I made the mistake of attempting to listen to a podcast with my dial-up. It took me 45 minutes to listen to 7 minutes of audio. Oh, what to do??????? Dial-up and I have been together for so long I'm not sure I would know the first step to take to break off the relationship. I certainly don't want to have to change my name because of it!

I think I would be able to overcome any other faults in the relationship, but dial-up is coming between me and my knitting. I could handle it when it broke off my relationship with the phone. I have caller ID, I could call people back when I was off of the computer. But now it's keeping me from the knitting audio community. Enough is enough.

I can only hope that the break will allow us to remain friends. And let this be a lesson to my future computer relationship. Nothing comes between me and my knitting!

Happy Knitting...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Black Squirrels Exist!

After dropping the kids off at school this morning, I decided to stop by the Lakeside Cafe for some tea and to work on my Jaywalker. Upon entering the parking lot, I spotted something black resembling a squirrel. Thinking that I needed to check my sight, I got closer to make sure I was seeing things correctly. Sure enough- that black thing could only be a squirrel. Mrs. Mike made fun of me when I mentioned the strange creature, so I started to doubt my sanity. I returned home later on and jumped on the Web to verify that such a critter existed. I no longer need to question my vision or sanity. I have proof!

Having solved that mystery, I can get back to my knitting.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The kids had a great Birthday, and we all survived the slumber parties. The best part was the snow we got yesterday. It was minimal, but it was the first snow we have seen all year. The kids were thrilled! We even had a snowball battle and made snow angels.

Since I gave birth to the two of them, I celebrated with some quiet time last night. I got lots of knitting done on my third square of my aran afghan while watching the AFC Championship football game. This square of the afghan was a little bit of a surprise square, since the directions came with no photo. Thankfully, I am pleased with how it's turning out. Only 16 2/3 squares to go until I'm finished!

Happy Knitting!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Knitting saves the day! Just when I thought that I was too wiped out to be rescued, I got to knit with both the Central Maryland Knitting Guild and the K1P2 Sit 'N Knit this week. I dusted off those Jaywalkers and got back to knitting! Lots of other Jaywalkers, both on the needles and off, were in attendance as well. It's amazing to get to see how one pattern can be so dramatically different depending on the yarn that is chosen for the project!

I'm just now getting around to checking all of the cyber space knitting news for the week. I would love to direct your attention to Mama E had sent out an e-mail asking for 8x8 inch squares of washable wool to be assembled into blankets to surround a mother and her daughter in compassion. They were in a car crash that killed the father brother and sister of the family, while they were all in the car. Please check out this website and say some prayers for this family. These squares knit up fast, and will mean so much!

Don't forget about the year anniversary of the K1P2 knitting group this coming Thursday night at the Lakeside Cafe. Come on in, even if you've never knit with us before. We would love to have you!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tomorrow is the 15th day that I will have worked in the past 17 days. I'm wiped out and have had NO KNITTING time since Saturday. Not one stitch. Things don't look any better this week since my only days off are for the kids Birthday and I get to host a Spa Night Slumber Party for the girl child. Calgon- take me away!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I saw this the other night at sit 'n knit when Miss Bonnie brought it in, and nearly tinkled I thought this was so funny. Now I've gotten an opportunity to steal it from one of the gals in SP9.

Finished the stuffed starfish today and I'm back to working on my second block of my aran afghan. Hopefully I will finish that tonight so that I can get back to my Jaywalkers. I must finish my Jaywalkers quickly then, so that I can start my new socks that I can't wait to tell you about in future blogs.
Happy Knitting~

Friday, January 12, 2007

How funny is this? Found it on a knitter from SP9's blog. I guess we are to stop reading without commenting on people's blogs this week. I'm guilty of lurking on many blogs. I will attempt to mark my territory for the week.

Starfish toy is almost done. Baby Shower is Sunday. I have decided that seeming tons of stockinette pieces together is not my cup of tea, no matter how cute the stuffed animal.

Oops. Speaking of tea, I forgot my Night, Night tea is steeping. Toodles!

Happy Knitting~

Thursday, January 11, 2007

On the way home from sit 'n knit tonight, I noticed that many people still have their holiday lights on. No, these are not purple lights in honor of the team playing on Saturday that shall remain nameless. These are homes that still have the Christmas spirit. It was so lovely to see!

Two weeks from tonight we will be celebrating the one year anniversary of our K1P2 sit 'n knit. This time last year, I was doing recon at area businesses to try to scope out the best spot to relax and knit for the night. As soon as I walked into the Lakeside Cafe, I knew it was the spot. The group consisted of only two knitters. Myself and Large Marge. Our first night was January 19 and only one other person joined us that night. She has never returned. Since that night, many area knitters have joined our group. Some, like our first visitor, have never returned. Others, have stuck around. It is amazing to me that only a year ago, I did not know these women. I am so excited to see what the next year has in store for us! Maybe some guy knitters??? I personally would love to see us reach out to local nursing homes and do a road trip sit 'n knit once a month with some elderly crafters who might be lonely. Whatever the future holds, I am thankful to everyone who has bravely joined a group of people they didn't know, and knit their way into my heart.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tonight was the rerun of the Gilmore Girls episode "Knit, People, Knit!" I still want Sookie's bag. This proves Santa is not a knitter. No great yarn bag under my tree this year with great yarn inside for me. Mrs. Clause is obviously not a knitter either. Perhaps we should offer to teach her.

Off to do my part for the Old Muddy River Bridge KnitAThon...
Happy Knitting!

Monday, January 08, 2007

As excited as I am about my Jaywalker, I have had to put it aside after turning the heel. I have to start a present for a baby shower being given in 6 days. How like me, waiting until the last minute. The mother and father are both big fans of the ocean, so I am doing a stuffed starfish to go with a book I found about baby animals in the ocean. The pattern was found out of a book I got from the library called (surprising enough) "Toys To Knit" by Tracy Chapman.

Speaking of knitting books, I am happy to report a new spot to find inexpensive knitting books. Daedalus Books Warehouse Outlet is located in Columbia,MD and has 50-90% off of the suggested retail price of all of their books. I found a great book of patterns for only $4.95.

For those of you counting, I've already started three projects since the beginning of the year (an amazing 8 days ago). Hummmmm...

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Duckie and the little sheep (yet to be named) had a wonderful time hanging out together yesterday. They were fine with chicken being on the menu, although I think I did hear one of them shout, "Christmas is carnage!" No more watching "Babe" for either of them.

This is what my Jaywalker looked like yesterday afternoon. It looked different last night, and then it looked like this again. Why? Because I apparently can't read directions properly. I'm not sure what it means, but the whole world has made the Jaywalker their first sock of 2007. I'm not one to want to knit what everyone else is knitting, what's the point in making a hand knit item that everyone else has? However, I'm so loving this sock that I just don't care if everyone has 10 of them. Jaywalkers for everyone! Perhaps it's all of the spring weather awakening my sock urge early this year. Usually I'm not this sock crazy until April.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Happy Twelfth Day of Christams! We are off to celebrate Little Christmas over at Large Marge's house. I'm very excited about the food. We will be having a HUGE chicken that Large Marge brought back from her sister's organic farm in Georgia. I've already had some of the eggs they brought back (did you know green eggs are a natural thing? Yummy) and I'm looking forward to having a happy full belly today. Large Marge will be happy that someone read her wish list at the Celtic Knot Yarn Shop :-)
Happy Knitting!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Thank you, Thank you to Miss Kathy from the K1P2 Thursday night sit 'n knit for blocking my Falling Leaves Shawl for me (large bottle of white wine coming your way sweetie darling). Miss Kathy was smarter than the rest of us knitters when she went to Stitches East this year. Instead of yarn, she bought the world's greatest iron- and it blocks things like my shawl, perfectly! Silly me, I got yarn.

Here's how the second of twenty blocks is coming along for my aran afghan. It's looking alot shorter than the first block, but they say this is normal and will all work out in the end. Right! I'll get back to you on that in about a year.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Can you believe these are two pictures of the same block? This is my first completed block for the aran afghan. It is the horseshoe cable block from Janet Szabo. The photo on the left shows the direction the cable will be in the afghan, and the photo on the right shows the true color of the yarn. I picked this block to be my first block for two reasons. First, it was easy :-) Second, the horseshoe cable was appealing to me because my children have been volunteering at a local horse rescue farm. The photos were taken on New Years Eve, so if you are having trouble seeing the cables- it's not you.

The block I am working on now is from the Great American Aran Afghan and is designed by Dagmara Berztiss. I'm about a 1/4 of the way done with it.

My afghan is already sharing time with other projects, however. I felt the need to cast on my Jaywalker socks with one of my Opal yarns. I LOVE this sock. The colors are yummy and the pattern is mindless. I'm using size 1 needles for the first time in 3 months, and it is taking a little getting used to :-)

Off to the job for more yarn money. Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Isn't this little sheepie sooooo cute? My SP9 Pal got it for me for Christmas. Large Marge is back from her vacation, so I can get some photos going again.

Today is the day everyone dreads, the first day back to work after the holiday. Reality sets in that life is not just about knitting and eating yourself silly. One must pay for the yarn and the food somehow. Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival will be here faster than you can say' "Baa, Baa Black Sheep have you any wool?". Time to get out my envelope. Every year I hide money from myself in an envelope and then spend it all within the first 20 minutes of the first day of S&W. Tradition.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year to all. I'm so happy to have finished up a UFO last night and not take it into the New Year!

Hope everyone is enjoying the eight day of Christmas and getting lots of knitting done during the football games.

Happy New Year and Happy Knitting!