Nittany Knits

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Second Annual Knit- A-Thon
October 6, 2007 10am- 4pm
10227 Wincopin Circle
Columbia, MD 21044
(410) 772 3694
Do You Have a Passion to Knit and Crochet?

Join us for an all day Sit-N-Knit to encourage the camaraderie of the local needle arts community while making items for charity organizations. Donate knit/crochet items, and become eligible for prizes. Everyone who brings completed items to the collection table during the Knit-A-Thon will be given a raffle ticket for one of many door prizes. Winners must be present to win.

New this year...contest for most charity items donated. Contest for best pink scarf. Contest for best preemie/baby hat. Contest for best pet blanket. Prizes awarded at 3pm.

Have you ever done Team Knitting? Join other knitters to stitch a little, or a lot, to make one of three blankets in unison for Habitat for Humanity.

Classes will not be given.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Someone has made a very big mistake! That mistake has led to me being in control of some sock yarn that I cannot keep my hands off of. However, this very yarn is not meant for my grubby hands. This AMAZING yarn has been donated for the Knit-A-Thon next weekend. What has me going so nuts? After all, it's not like I don't already possess a lot of sock yarn.

Storm Moon Knits hand dyed yarn!!!!!!!!!!!!! To be specific, her superwash sock yarn in the RockaBilly Blues colorway is clutched to my body in my left hand as I type with my right. Miss Lindsay is such a talented designer, and now she is outdoing herself with these new yarns. AND I HAVE TO GIVE IT AWAY????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAUUGGHH. The injustice of it all!

If I run away and leave the country you will know the real reason is that I could not bear to part with my precious! My pretty pretty yarn.

Not mine. Must... stop...touching.

Oh yeah, she also donated very cool stitch markers, too. They go so perfectly with the sock yarn that I am going to have to keep them together as a prize. Splitting them up as two separate prizes would be like dividing twins at birth. It didn't work for Lindsay Lohan in 'The Parent Trap', it won't work now.

Reminder to all, 8 days left to knit your charity projects. Loads of time for little people projects. Maybe even some little cat or dog toys for the Animal Shelter. Whatever you are knitting, We are so glad you are participating!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy 200th Post!!!!
Thanks to all who participated in the last year.
Now, on to the prizes!!!!
Knit Glit won herself something AMAZING for knowing when my first blog was. Hold on to your socks girlie, girl- You are now the proud owner of ...
SOCKS THAT ROCK 2007 CLUB ONLY YARN!!!!!!! That's right. Silkie colorway 'Walking on the Wild Tide' is all yours! Whhooo, hooo.
Next up...
Shelby Knits won herself some yarn for knowing when the first annual Knit-A-Thon took place. Miss Shelby will be receiving one of the great skeins of sock yarn Opal put out that was self patterning animal prints. Yummy!
Last (and never least), Miss Beth won herself the name thrown in a hat on a scrap of paper prize, a Skein of Berrocco Bulky Softwist in color 7420 (otherwise known as purple). Yeah!
Congrats to all who won FABULOUS prizes just for hanging out and chatting about knitting.
Speaking of chatting about knitting, I am officially entered into this year's SOCK WARS! Everyone who has not yet entered only has until Oct. 1st to sign up. The War begins Oct. 13th. Hope to see some familiar warriors. Anyone who is wary of the idea of competitive knitting should know that I received my one and only hand knit item from another knitter by participating last year. How funny that we knit for everyone else but other knitters, the ones who will truly appreciate our craft.
About knitting for others... I hope your charity knitting is coming along as quickly as mine is. I started and finished a crocheted (yes, I said that word) pet blanket for the animal shelter. Now on to a cute baby hat. Only 10 days left until the Knit-A-Thon!
Thanks again for your support of this blog. I can't wait to see where the next year takes us!
Happy Knitting!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Time to PARTY!

This is my 199th post to my blog and this week will mark my one year blogaversary. WOW! How did that happen? Think of all the time I could have been knitting.

The reason the blog was started was to get the information about the Knit-A-Thon out into the knitting community. It has been a great communication tool, and I have to thank Javajem for getting it all up and running for me.

Since it is a party, we need some prizes! Let's see....

* The first person to comment the exact date of this blog's first entry will get a prize.

* The first person (other than the winner of the above prize) to comment the exact date of the FIRST annual Knit-A-Thon will get a prize.

and * everyone who leaves a comment letting me know what a miracle it is that I have done this for a year will be entered into a drawing for a prize.

Thanks for all your support in the past year. We've knit a lot of stitches together and I can't wait to see what great things we knit in the year to come!

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Yarn Harolt walks among us, and I will not be present.

I think no other words are needed for this day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Where is the Lakeside Cafe?" you ask. You want to be like Shaun the Sheep and join in on all the fun for the 2007 Knit-A-Thon, but you have no idea where you are headed (and let's face it, Columbia isn't exactly the easiest place to find your way around.) Have no fear! Your directions are here.

When in doubt, call for directions (410)772-3694.
By the way, that pink scarf that I just couldn't's done!!! Yeah.
Now to start on a project for Children in Common. For those of us heading off to Stitches East this year (Oct 11-14), they have a new charity to knit for. Children in Common provides orphanages in Eastern Europe and Russia with hand knit items for children from 6 months to sixteen. The project is called OK (Orphan Knitting) and delivers kids lovingly knit socks, sweaters, vests, hats and mittens. I will be collecting items for this Baltimore based charity at the Knit-A-Thon, so just let me know if you would like your donated items to go to this project.
Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that
I can do.
Edward Everett Hale's pledge to the
Lend-a-Hand Society
As I have mentioned before, if you finish a hand knit or crocheted item for the 2007 Knit-A-Thon I will find a home for it. However, some items are always more popular than others due to the popularity of the charity or just for speed of project completion. Whatever the case may be, let's look at some of these projects.
The SOS project is a group who delivers baskets to women at Howard County Hospital on the day of their breast cancer surgery. In the baskets are handmade pink scarves, along with many other items. These do not have to be solid pink.

The Howard County Hospital also collects caps for preemies and newborns. These are so quick and cute, they are our most popular category!
Lap blankets for area Nursing Home patients are are always appreciated. Blankets or other household items for Habitat for Humanity are great. The charity always likes to have hand made items in the homes for their new owners.
Hats, mittens, gloves and scarves are collected for every age range. The cold weather is right around the corner and members of our community will need our stitches to protect them from the elements.
This year I am also mentioning the Animal Welfare is asking for pet blankets. Washable would be the key here! Let's not forget that our four legged friends are part of our community, too. In a crunch for time? How about felting some quick and easy pet toys?
I just finished my helmet liner last night. It's our only project collection for members outside our immediate area, and it's a quick and easy project. Solid dark wool is used for this project(mine is charcoal from the most wonderful yarn that still smells like sheep from Minnesota). We are trying to get enough for a unit of special ops (19 people) who are very grateful for these items.
Hope that helps you select your projects. Let me know if you are stuck on finding patterns. I can't wait to see all of your projects on October 6th!!!!!!
Happy Knitting!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I have the attention span of a knat. Instead of knitting my pink scarf I need to get done, I put the finishing touches on my second Baby Surprise Jacket, knit up the hat from Knitty 'Foliage', and started (and am almost finished) with my first helmet liner for our troops. All in one weekend. So much for that scarf.

Let's use what is happening to me as our first discussion for the success of knitting your charity projects for the Knit-A-Thon.

Rule number one... choose yarn you love to work with! Just because it is for a charity, do not use yarn you do not love. This is my downfall with the pink scarf I am making. It was given to us to knit with, and I never felt a connection with it. Therefore, I am not enjoying the project. I should have used my own yarn and I would have been done already. Do not fall into this trap. Enjoy your charity knitting as much as your own personal projects!!!!

Rule number two... know how much time you have until the project is to be donated and REALISTICALLY plan your project. Do not start a blanket today for the Knit-A-Thon which is in 19 days unless you are planning on giving up working, eating and sleeping. Better yet, downsize the blanket and make it a pet blanket for the animal shelter. Downsize it to a shawl and a local nursing home would be grateful for it. Do not drive yourself insane! Keep your projects within your time limit and you will be a happier person and your family and friends will thank me.

Rule number three... use the right yarn. If you are knitting a pet blanket, use acrylic. Animal shelters are not going to have time for anything more than wash and dry. Chemo caps are made in soft yarns without novelty yarn because the skin is sensitive during treatment. A novelty yarn may as well be a brillo pad. It may be cute, but it will not be able to be worn and your time and effort will be for not.

Rule number four... have fun!!!! Have extra yarn? Make the fruit and veggie preemie hats. So fun, so cute. Everyone will oohh and ahhh, and lets be honest- we eat it up when people oohh and aahh our hank knit items! Don't try to tell me you don't! Combine colors in new ways. Have a knitters movie night to get your fellow knitters together to work on your charity projects. A little wine and girl talk will help! Hint- not too much wine or you will end up ripping out more than you knit. And make sure the wine color matches the yarn you are using. Experience is talking here!

Hope these hints helped to make the next 19 days of knitting leading up to the Knit-A-Thon a little easier for you. And me. Wish me luck on that pink scarf!

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

In the next coming days, I will talk more about the charities that we will be supporting at this year's Knit-A-Thon. Before I do that however, I wanted to share this lovely story that has inspired me to action for many years now, written by Barbara Smith. It was found in the book 'Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul'. I hope it speaks to you as much as it has to me.

In God's Hands a World of Mittens

It was time to dedicate the mitten tree at Emmanuel Congregational Church in Watertown, and time to reveal a decades-old secret.

Since 1949, one woman had knitted dozens of pairs of mittens and matching hats that hung on the pine tree at the front of the church each Christmas, so many of them the tree's branches were laden as if with a heavy snow. But the woman insisted on remaining anonymous. Except to her family and a circle of friends, she was known only as "the mitten lady."

And so when the mitten lady's identity was revealed that morning, Helen Bunce, 86 years old, sat quietly in her wheelchair, her daughter holding her hand. The members of the congregation began to applaud, then rose to their feet and gave her an ovation that lasted a full five minutes, able at last to thank the mitten lady in person for her many good works.

It was the last time she went to church. Helen Bunce died on Saturday.

The custom of the mitten tree began in 1949. Church members would collect mittens and hats, decorate a tree with them, then give them to poor children. Helen's best friend knew she knitted, and so she asked her if she would contribute. The first year, Helen made 25 sets of mittens and hats.

The Reverend Graham Hodges, who came to Emmanuel in 1956, talked to the children about the mitten tree one morning. He told them how children in Europe lined up to receive mittens from relief workers in the years following World War II. As the workers came to the end of a line one day, a little boy held out his hands to them. But by then they had run out of mittens.

"The moral was, the need is unending," said Hodges. "We need another pair for that little boy."

Helen Bunce took the talk to heart. She could not forget about that little boy and his cold hands, and so each year she tried to knit more. In each of the past 20 years she easily exceeded 100 sets of mittens and hats. Every one of them bore a handwritten tag attached with a gold safety pin: "God Loves You and So Do I."

When she had reached her goal for the year, she knitted two more sets, one for a little girl and one for a little boy, the children at the end of the line. Those she hung on the mitten tree herself, or gave to one of the grandchildren to hang, a reminder of why she knitted, and whom she knitted for.

Helen followed one rule in her knitting: never finish one project without starting the next.

As soon as Christmas passed, she began working toward the next year. Every time she finished a hat or mitten, she cast on the stitches for her next project on her needles, so her knitting would always be ready to pick up.

"She felt as long as she was knitting those mittens, the Lord wouldn't take her," her daughter said.

Helen told her family she wanted to be buried with her knitting needles. Her daughter remembered that on Saturday. She went back to her mother's room, planning to retrieve the needles that would be holding a final, unfinished project.

She found a pink and white hat that had been completed, and then she saw the needles. Her mother had bound them neatly with a rubber band and stuck them in the skein of yarn, empty. Helen McDonald is certain of the reason: her mother had known her work was done.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The New Knitty is Here! The New Knitty is Here!

Like I almost have time for this. Between the Knit-A-Thon and knitting for others that needs to get done, I have no business lusting after the 'Totally Autumn' blanket (that simply must be made with the Briar Rose Fibers yarn Abundance that goes for $55 a skein-it is 850 yards). I also should not feel the instantaneous need to cast on 'Foliage' just because I have the yarn. And don't even get me started with 'Cherie Amour' (in a solid color). I have no time for this! Perhaps I need an emergency day off work. Or two. A month would work! Paid of course, so that I can afford my yarn. Not to mention food and beverages at Mr. Mike's. Oh the life of a dreamer.

Back to Knit-A-Thon news.

Tons more door prizes are being reported across the great land of knitting, but I will hold off announcing them until I actually physically have the items. All but one group of items that is. Miss Storm Moon Knits is going to be giving us some of the very first yarn she will be selling for her new business, as well as some of her fun stitch markers. Those of you unfamiliar with Storm Moon, please check out her blog. She is an amazing designer and has a flair for the funky and fun. The link takes you to my favorite 'Dark Mark Illusion Scarf'. I will not trust myself with these goodies, and have put Large Marge in charge of holding on to them so that they actually make it to the event and don't get caught up meeting the rest of my stash. By the way, she will be selling her wares at Sttiches East this year so that all of us can grab up the great stuff she has to offer. This will also help the winner of these items actually make it home without getting attacked. I have goose bumps I'm so excited!

More news after I finish printing off all the Knitty patterns I have no time for.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Many of you out there are wondering about the prizes for the 2007 Knit-A-Thon. Let me just say, I am pretty impressed with what's come in so far!
So far we have donations from two yarn stores. Clover Hill has given two $15 Gift Certificates, and The Knitter's Nest has given us a Gift Certificate for $50.

Miss Sheila has kindly donated another set of her wonderful stitch markers to this year's event, and a knitter from last year's event has given us an entire bag of Mission Falls 1824 yarn as a prize.

Two restaurants have given Gift Certificates as well. Chevys and Blue Star Grill are both located in the Arundel Mills shopping center.

This will not be the final list of prizes, so keep checking in for all the latest news!

On to football...

I think that says it all. I hope to get the Elizabeth Zimmermann BSJ off the needles tonight during the Monday Night Football double header, and start my helmet liner for the Knit-A-Thon. Football and knitting so so good together! (As long as your done eating all the messy tailgating food!)

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The wonderful staff from A Good Yarn in Fells Point have donated their time this year to come out to the suburbs (You don't know how hard this is for city gals!) and help run the team knitting blankets for this year's Knit-A-Thon! Thank you so much, ladies!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with team knitting, you are in for a treat. The picture above was taken at the 2005 Washington DC Knit-In, where Large Marge, Red Threads Untangled, and myself first discovered this type of knitting. Four people are able to work on the same blanket at the same time, all using their own ball of yarn.
This year's team knitting blanket will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, which likes to have a handmade item in every home they build.
The ladies at A Good Yarn have also given us patterns for helmet liners to knit for our troops in the dessert. You hard earned tax dollars only get our service people day glow orange acrylic helmet liners from Dick's sporting goods. They truly appreciate dark wool helmet liners. There are 22 people in each unit, so let's try to get enough helmet liners for one unit!
Happy Knitting!!!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

So you want to learn more about the 2007 Knit-A-Thon? How about looking back at the 2006 Knit-A-Thon! Check the sidebar to the right and look under September 2006 and October 2006 for all the great details of last year's event. After you are done with that, imagine how much better this year's event will be with you in attendance!!!!

Thanks to the Thursday night K1P2 knitters for giving me a ton of great ideas to add to this year's Knit-A-Thon! As with last year's event, I can't do it without you.

All of this planning is taking a toll on my knitting. Only one row was knit all night at sit 'n knit! I'm off to watch FOOTBALL (yeah!) and flip to Tim Gunn's new show during commercials while catching up on my knitting. This next EZ Baby Surprise Jacket needs to get done before the baby gets done cooking in it's mommy's belly!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Happy Knitting for Mental Health Day!

Yet another unproductive morning session for Knitting for Mental Health Day turned around to some actual knitting time in the later part of the day. (I hit a new low when it took me two and a half hours to knit 2 rows) You know things are bad when Mr. Mike tells me I need to add caffeine to the situation. Those of you who know me that caffeine should under no circumstances be prescribed! The day served it's purpose, however. I am somewhat sane and can resume work for a day or two.

On to Knit-A-Thon news.

I have signs made for the Knit-A-Thon and would love to let every knitting store and group in the area know about the event. If you know of anywhere that needs fliers, please let me know and I will get them to you. Remember, donations are accepted prior to the event if someone cannot be there on Saturday October 6th. Leave me a comment and we will make arrangements for drop off.

Also, please help spread the word to other knitters. Without word of mouth, we just don't have the same impact on the community! A grandmother of baby boys born 2 months early told me she could not believe how many hats they went through already during their time in NICU. Each item donated makes a difference to someone's life! Let's show the community that not only are we taking over the world, but we are making it a better place as well!

Happy Knitting to all, and to all a good night!

Monday, September 03, 2007

If you have ever had one of THOSE weeks, you know that there is nothing better than a surprise gift in your mailbox on Friday afternoon. My box was even more wonderful than I could imagine, because the words "Vogue Knitting" were on my surprise box. One look and I knew how awesome my mother was.

My mother apparently has yet to take the shawl I gave her off of her body. (Note to self- get the woman clothes that actually match this garment!) Because she was feeling such good vibes toward my knitting obsession, she went off and ordered me my copy of "The Best of Vogue Knitting 25 Years of Articles, Techniques and Expert Advice". Talk about great timing! Never was a knitting book so welcomed into my arms. (And let me tell you, I've slept with more than a couple beside me I was so happy to see them!)

In other book related news, I just finished the murder mystery "Knit Fast, Die Young" by Mary Kruger. This is the second in a series, and Large Marge was nice enough to grab it from the library for me. It was just what I needed, mindless fluff. I find that when I am too discombobulated to knit, I read about knitting.

Heads up! This Wednesday is a Knitting for Mental Health Day! All interested participants, leave me a comment or e-mail for how to join the fun. Warning...there will be knitting, laughter, and food involved. We are not responsible for any injuries that may occur if you attempt these three of these activities at the same time!

Have a great holiday, and Happy Knitting!