Nittany Knits

Thursday, May 31, 2007

I think someone at Joann's reads my blog, because waiting in my mailbox today (for the first time in over 6 weeks) was a Joann sale flier. Who knew!

I couldn't wait to get home from sit 'n knit tonight to plop down in front of the National Spelling Bee. Why it is the National Spelling Bee when it includes kids from Canada is beyond me, yet so are the words these kids are spelling! I have actually been preparing for this event. Work was very boring yesterday, and since I have access to a big screen TV on these occasions, we were watching last year's Spelling Bee on ESPN. Yes, ESPN. They kicked the French Open to ESPN2 so that they could show last year's Spelling Bee! I find this hard to believe, yet I am so into it. Today we watched the Semi-Finals for tonight's event. The kids are so great. I love their faces when they think they've misspelled a word and are told that they are in fact correct.

Those of you who are frequent readers of this blog are laughing their posterior off thinking of me being a fan of the Spelling Bee. It's true. I cannot spell! Spell check is my friend. As a matter of fact, I just checked my spelling and had three words spelled wrong! Perhaps this is why I am intrigued by these super bright kids.

Of course, I think someone should be knitting while waiting for their turn to spell. What better to calm their nerves?

Congrats to Evan O'Dorney (age 13) from California who doesn't even like to spell. He likes Math and Music. He likes to spell a little bit. My kind of kid! Way to go Evan. By the way Large Marge, he is home schooled.

Happy Knitting and Spinning.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Is it me?

Today (May 30th) I received my Stitches East Class list. The first thing you notice on the outside cover is an orange dot telling you "Hurry! Registration opens May14, 2007! Classes fill quickly!" Are you kidding me? Classes are full by the time I even get the darn catalog? Who's in charge of this thing????

While I'm ranting about such things, let's discuss Joann's. Every time I go away for work and don't use my store coupon, they stop sending them to me. It takes me another 3 months and 15 forms to get back onto their mailing list. Why? No one else has this happen to them. Very strange.

Last on my list today is the Knit Picks Catalog. I seem to only get every other catalog. When I called to ask them about it, they suggested I find someone who gets every catalog and share with them. Hummmm. Why can't I get every catalog?

Enough ranting. I'm off to sit 'n spin.

Happy Spinning and Knitting!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

As I was quietly knitting under the shade of a tree yesterday at 'A Good Yarn' (yes, I was doing something quietly), I could not help but wonder why I was so blazing hot. I had dressed for a warm day with comfy sandals, a loose fitting long skirt, and a tank top. I should have been comfortable knitting in the shade. So why was I sweating profusely? I tried running cool water on my wrists, I drank a ton of water, I even started fanning myself. All of this was of no use. I continued to sweat.

Finally, it occurred to the blond. I was knitting my shawl with a wool/silk blend that was balled up on my lap. Also, it turned out to be a lot hotter than the 88 degrees that was forecasted. It was 95 degrees. Gee, no wonder I was sweating. I think I've seen the last of the shawl until the weather cools down a bit!

Now the dilemma will be what socks to start next. Decisions, decisions.

Hope everyone who doesn't have to work is enjoying the holiday weekend.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I now know why sit 'n spins are less popular than sit 'n knits. You can't talk nearly as much! Three of us met for a sit n spin tonight, and while I got lots of spinning done, I can't say I've learned to spin and speak at the same time. Right now it's either one or another.

I plied my first yarn thanks to Miss Sheila's help. Let's just say that I've got more yarn for yet another small felted bowl. Here's hoping the next 2 oz of roving goes better.

Anyone interested in getting together for another sit 'n spin next week, we are looking to go to Mad City Cafe on Hickory Ridge Road in Columbia. We love Mr. Mike more than anything, but Mad City stays open until 10 while Mr. Mike only stays open until 8. Because of this, we are going to try out Mad City for a week and see how it goes.

Hope to see you there next Wed. anytime between 6 and 9!

Happy Knitting and Spinning!

Monday, May 21, 2007

I somehow managed to finish the Tofutsie Footsies today (they are already on the girl child's stinky feet), even though I am still recovering from Wine In The Woods yesterday. I'm still trying to figure out what sock will be next. Probably one of the Favorite Sock book patterns.

Tomorrow morning is an extra sit 'n knit before heading off to a doctor appointment. If only everyday could be about knitting with your friends instead of working!

Any spinners out there want to get together for a last minute spinning night on Wednesday? We can meet up at the Lakeside Cafe. I need to work on my skills before June 9th when the Mannings are holding their spinning seminar.

Happy Knitting and Spinning!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Today was so lovely we got to sit outside for our Saturday morning sit 'n knit in Fells Point. Miss Cathy joined me for a trip to 'A Good Yarn' and got to meet all the great people. There was even a team knitting blanket being worked on today. It's a blanket that four people knit at the same time while sitting in a small circle. The last time I got to see one of these blankets being worked on was at the 2005 Knit Out in Washington DC.

Miss Cathy was hard at work yesterday developing the new Central Maryland Knitting Guild Blog. I've got the link listed on my sidebar. Check it out!

Hope you are getting a chance to knit in the great weather. Happy Knitting!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Today's field trip to the state capital taught me that:

A. The last seat of a school bus is NOT the spot to be if you are knitting socks on size 1 double pointed needles.

B. All kids are interested in knitting.

C. The adults will try to act cool, but will eventually show their interest in the knitting as well.

D. Security at the State Capital Building are not freaked out by double pointed needles.

I think I learned more than the kids did on this great walking trip around downtown Annapolis. Since this is not my home state, I was just as much in awe of all of the cool historical facts as anyone else on the trip.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This is how close we were to the last row of the stadium. Luckily, RFK stadium isn't like the new stadiums that have you ducking airplanes because you are so high up.
We were still close enough to enjoy the game. We had a great view of all the strikeouts!
My neighbor, who works at Springwater Fiber Workshop, was working the infamous Socks That Rock that have been renamed for their appearance. Can you guess what that might be?
The stadium may look empty in this shot, but it filled up later in the game. The knitter's still far outnumbered everyone else, though.
Even the 'Clap' came out for the game. Yes, that would be my Brooks Farm Four Play already on the needles. Starting those Christmas presents early this year!
Off to Middle School Orientation tonight. I'm going to need several drinks this evening! How can both of my babies be going to middle school next year????? E-Gads! I'm getting old!
Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Last night's Stitch N Pitch baseball game was the best! For the low low price of ten dollars, Large Marge and I saw a great baseball game , got fiber related goodies, met some very fun knitters, and were even on TV.
The Washington Nationals played a great game and beat the Atlanta Braves 2-1. Even Marge was into the game- somewhat.
It all started when we arrived to find the Stitch N Pitch people set-up and ready to give us our new knitting bags filled with stuff. Needles, yarn, patterns, magazines, coupons, and the 2006 yarn store travel guide. Yeah!
After getting our beer and goodies, we headed to our seats to meet up with the flock of knitters who had come out for the event. (O.K., so there were crocheters and needlepoint type people there as well, but mostly knitters) I knew we were in the right spot when the gal already sitting next to my seat had a Guiness and was working on her reversable Socks That Rock.
The ceremonial first pitch thrown out by the mascot was a ball of yarn. We , the yarn communtiy were out in force, and the media was after us. Photos and TV cameras were everywhere.
Many beers and stitches later, the game was over but the fun was still going on. We met so many memorable people. Everyone at RFK stadium was great! The knitters were friendly. Their families were tolerant. The kids selling Krispy Cream donuts after the game were a hoot.
Pictures are on the way. I can't wait to go to the Stitch N Pitch in Pittsburgh on July 8th!!!
Happy Knitting!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dear people who run the sign-ups for Stitches East:

You obviously aren't from around here and don't understand the concept of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, so let me clue you in. Everyone who goes to Stitches East is broke right now! Every last penny we had is now in the form of fiber in various locations in our homes. Whomever came up with the brilliant idea to open Stitches East registration 8 days after the end of this festival was not thinking clearly.

With that being said, I thank you for offering the six hour class on knitting Argyle socks in the round and I will see you bright and early Friday morning in October.

P.S.- You might want to mail the class list BEFORE registration opens next year. Just a hint.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Today is a very special Mother's Day for a member of our Thursday night sit 'n knit. If all went well Miss Christine is meeting her daughter for the first time today! Congrats!!! We can't wait to meet the newest member of our group.

Some upcoming knitting events are on the books for us to look forward to while we kill time until Maryland Sheep and Wool 2008. Here's what I've got so far. Be sure to let me know of any more that you might know of.

*Monday May 14th Stitch 'N Pitch with the Washington Nationals
* Saturday June 9th is the 39th Annual Spinning Seminar at The Mannings in East Berlin,PA.
* Saturday August 11th is the Annual Knit-In at The Mannings.
* October 12-14 is Stitches East in Baltimore,MD.

Happy Knitting!

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Here it is. The yarn that took surprisingly little time to purchase last Saturday morning. Starting off the group are three skeins of 'Four Play' from Brooks Farm. The picture is misleading. They actually are all the same colors. This will probably be the first of the yarns that I dive into, considering I have the urge to start winding it today.
This stunning blue lace weight yarn is 'Zephyr' from A Touch Of Twist. Great price! I can't wait to get my lace Addi Turbos so that I can start knitting it into something awesome from 'Victorian Lace'.
I think everyone hit up the 'Cotton &Ecospun' yarn for 99 cents. These skeins are future washcloths. The navy Alpaca also came from the same vendor.

The 'Road to China' from The Fibre Company was a yarn I had spotted last year and was upset that I had not gotten. It is 65% Alpaca 10% Cashmere 10% Camel 5% Yak and 10% Soy Silk. An added benifit this year is that is was 40% off!!!! Yeah me!
I simply fell head over heals with this next yarn from Hill Farm, which by the way is right here in Westminster, MD. The yarn is 'Rare Breed Yarn' and it is yummy. Miss Sheila has a sweater made out of this yarn, and it is impossible to stop touching. I think this will be a great mobius scarf since I can't seem to stop snuggling against it.
Now for the sweaters. Pine Tree Knits claimed that this was their last year at Sheep and Wool, so I bought two sweater's worth of 'Bartlett Yarns' from them. I saved you the torture of the big pile of wool picture. Trust me, these two skeins represent many others.
My next sweater comes from Maryland sheep. Trust me, it's a sage green. The picture is more moss green.
The final sweater is burgundy 'Chaco' wool. Now let's see how many of these four sweaters get made by the frist snow.

I'm off to finish up a second sock do that I can start playing with all of my new yarn.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, May 11, 2007

I thought that I would start with the sock purchases from Saturday morning at Sheep and Wool.
Let's start with the four skeins getting the most attention. Tess makes an amazing Sock/Baby yarn that I've enjoyed working with in the past, so I knew I would be doing damage here. The cream and grey skein was one I had seen at Stitches East and I was hoping she would have it again for me to scoop up. As I snatched that one, the purples just kind of came along with it. They were running low on choices fro this yarn, so I was told if I stopped back soon there would be more. I was not disappointed. The two vibrant skeins on the left were just too wonderful to pass by.

Next up is the sock yarn from Autumn House Farm. When I was purchasing my double pointed needle holder, the yarn was just sitting there calling my name. I take that back. There was a different skein calling my name, but I let Large Marge take it home. This one came in second, but is lovely none the less.

The last of my nine pairs of socks from Sheep and Wool is a skein that I have no idea where I picked it up. I know that it was in the Main Building and that I purchased it before nine am on Saturday. The rest is blurry. Hey, it happens! The tag reads, "The Flock Bransonas", and that is is hand-painted alpaca sock yarn. Yes, you read correctly. Alpaca. I either must have been freezing cold when I bought this or was simply unable to read due to the yarn frenzy. What in the world was I thinking? We'd better have a really cold winter next year, or these babies will be for display only!
I'll show the last of the purchases tomorrow, which is exactly 51 weeks to the next Sheep and Wool!
Happy Knitting!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Many people have been trying to steal my great backpack since the end of the festival. I was very happy with my decision to not get a t-shirt this year and go for the backpack instead.

One of the main things I wanted this year at Sheep and Wool were gadgets. I didn't find any cute sock blockers, but I did get a great seven inch double pointed needle holder. We know that it's seven inches because we messed up twice getting it. Thank goodness the people at Autumn House Farm are so nice! It's the long wooden thing on my lap. (More impressive in person.)

The other interesting item of note in that picture would be the sock bling hanging off of my right arm. The yarn hangs off of your wrist, making socks even that much more portable. This was a great find from Susan's Fiber Shop. It was spotted elsewhere for $3.50 more than I paid, but I won't mention where that was. Considering I also purchased one for Large Marge for Mother's Day, the savings was appreciated! The kids are so excited that I can easily tote my socks everywhere now. NOT!

Lots of yarn porn tomorrow, since the majority of my haul has yet to be shown.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sunday was spent learning how to use a drop spindle and searching for roving, so my yarn purchases were very light on this day. For this reason, I will start my photo display on this day.

First up was the Socks That Rock. To the right is the 'Lunasea' and to the left is a heavy weight yarn 'Footzey-Foo' that I am kicking myself for not getting more of now that I have read the Yarn Harlots blog and seen the oversize shawl she made out of just three skeins of this stuff! Two would have been perfect. Yet, I have one. Figures.

Next up is a wonderful light green heather(can't tell from the picture) sock yarn that I can't wait to do crazy cables out of. It's from Cestari.

Last, and certainly not least, is another item that I had not fallen prey to in years past, yet it came home with me this year. Four skeins of Tess microfiber ribbon and a pattern for a lace summer sweater. Miss Sheila near to fell off her chair while mocking me. She thinks this slippery stuff will be kicked to the corner in a hurry. I say it's for summer knitting when I need a break from sock knitting. My only problem with the project is a comment made by the owner as I had already paid for the yarn and was picking up my pattern. She told me that the yarn reacts weird to the sun and will darken and lose it's luster. Well! This could be a slight issue if I plan on maintaining my current sleep schedule and am awake during sunlight instead of moonlight! Not an issue with sale yarn, but this stuff was a big splurge.

More on Saturday's big haul later. Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

This little pile of fiber crack- I mean roving- has been filling every waking moment since I left the festival. My daughter, who is naturally a great spinner, has been begging to get a turn and I keep saying, "In a second. Let me finish this." What is my problem?!? Should I not be putting down the drop spindel and picking up the knitting needles and be letting her spin all my yarn? Yes! Why can't I put it down? I think my roving has been laced with an addictive substance.

By the way, today is National 'No Socks Day'. Do not fret my sock knitting friends. Tomorrow is National 'Lost Sock Memorial Day'.

Happy Knitting something besides a sock Day!

Monday, May 07, 2007

After 9 hours at the Festival on Sunday (bringing the total hours up to 20 for the weekend), I've learned that:

A. Coming in second place in the 4-H drawing for a spinning wheel makes you want to weep! I did get a $25 gift certificate from the Manning's (who are just so lovely!). Yet, it is still incredibly sad!

B. A spare skein of 'Lunasea' Socks that Rock can be purchased with no line and no mob scene at 9am Sunday morning.

C. If you spend too much time with people who spin, you WILL come home with a drop spindle and fiber crack- I mean roving. After three years of adamantly declaring that I would not leave the festival with these items, the battle was lost. I am now one of them. Hence the tears over not winning the spinning wheel.

D. Sheep cheese rocks! However, it is expensive and does not last very long.

E. After spending 20 hours at the Festival, you are NOT in the mood to return to regular life. A world of fiber and knitting are a good thing. A world of people at your home and your work place who do not understand the great new things you have seen and learned just make you long for next year's festival that much more.

F. It is possible to spend 20 hours at the Festival and not see the sheep dogs do their thing. I was flabbergasted to figure out that I had managed to not see any of the 6 exhibitions. What was I doing for 20 hours?????

Hope everyone got home safe and are enjoying their memories and souvenirs of another great Sheep and Wool Festival.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Eleven hours at the festival today taught me a couple things.

A. When a bird poops on your fellow knitter while training for the festival, wear a hat NOT a visor to the festival. Yep- A bird got me right on the head today!!!!!!

B. Spinners are the best group to hang out with- even if your not a spinner. Tonight's spinning event was a blast! And they don't even mind if you are just hanging out knitting.

C. The best lamb burgers are right next to the Show Ring.

D. Bring clothes for any and all weather possibilities. It was cold, it was warm, it was freezing. All in one day.

Can't wait for the sheep to shawl tomorrow bright and early! I'm already getting upset that it's almost over.

Happy Sheep and Wool!

Friday, May 04, 2007

And so begins the event we have all been waiting for. 10 hours from now marks the official beginning of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Let the games begin!!!!!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Training intensified today.

Still got up way too early to make sure I'm up and at the festival before most knitters are hitting the local coffee joint.

Attended various sit 'n knits from 8:45 am- 8:00 pm. Today I was actually knitting instead of watching others knit!! Progress.

Extended the outside time long enough to attain a sunburn on one hand and half my forehead. (Note to self- pack the SPF45 tonight)

Watched a fellow knitter in training get nailed in the head with bird*?@! while knitting outdoors. (Note to self- pack baseball hat tonight)

Attempted to limit visits to the restroom in anticipation of long lines for the restrooms.

Wound up the day with my first Mojito. Saturday has been renamed Cinco De Wool, and one must prepare for the beverage end of this holiday as well. While the Mojito is Cuban, and Cinco De Mayo is Mexican, I considered it close enough for training purposes.

All in all, a very productive day!

I also have to report on the latest issue of Interweave Knits that was in my mailbox when I got home. Not only has the general format changed (I loved the loved the old format and miss it tons!) but the size of the models has changed from real women to stick figures. Quite frankly, what are the percentage of knitters that you know who can wear these new outfits? Sorry Large Marge and Sarah, but you are soooo out-numbered! Here's hoping they realize that their readers are real women with real bodies.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Training began today for the Sheep and Wool Festival. Since no knitting had been done by me in weeks, and I am still painfully exhausted from the past couple of work weeks, I started out slowly.

A morning sit 'n knit accomplished very little, but after some recommended caffeine (something I never do) I picked up the pace a bit.

In addition to pacing myself with knitting, the gals and I hit the great outdoors for some fresh air and sunshine. Being inside for weeks has made me quite tired when outdoors. I am also very fair, and do not wish to burn to a crisp the first day of the festival.

Training will resume tomorrow and hopefully my knitting will be more on track. Additional outside time is scheduled as well. I am hoping to build up to an all day outside event on Friday, so that I will be ready for all the walking and shopping beginning on Saturday.
Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy First Day Of May! Did you know that May is...

Better sleep month
National Good Car Care Month
National Photo Month
National Salad Month
National Egg Month
National Barbecue Month
Revise Your Work Schedule Month
Date Your Mate Month
National Hamburger Month
and Fungal Infection Awareness Month?

I think I've taken care of Revise Your Work Schedule Month! After 10 am tomorrow I will be in knitting heaven.

Happy Knitting!