Mutter of Purl

My opinions (and I do have a lot of them) on knitting and sometimes other topics.

Monday, September 25, 2006

California Dreamin'

I just flew in from L.A. and boy, are my arms tired!

Moving right along...

La La Land was superb. Aside from the traffic on the freeways and everywhere else, it was fun. I met up with some knitters at the Farmer's Market SNB on Thursday and had a great time. Knitters everywhere are a very friendly and crazy bunch so it is always good to meet new friends. Before leaving Washington, I had contacted Regina of the Monster Crochet and asked about good yarn shops in the area. She came back with 4 of her favorites and then invited me to the next SNB. How could I pass that up? There were lots of fun and talented knitters/crocheters there that evening, even though I was told that it was a small crowd. I also met Ellen who was a wealth of music information and was wearing a fabulous crocheted sweater that I suspect she made. I didn't ask but kept staring at it. She must have thought I was strange...

While at one of the yarn shops that Regina recommended, I ran into a knitting celebrity. None other than Kitty Bartholomew. I mentioned this to the SNB group and got "oooooo"s and"aahhhhhhhhhhh"s. Non-knitters/non-crafters don't know what they are missing.

I worked on my Ivy sweater this week. I knitted on the plane down. I knitted at a friend's workplace. I knitted at the SNB. I knitted in my hotel room. I knitted in my car while waiting for a friend. I knitted on the plane back home. I got a lot of knitting done! I am almost to the point of decreasing for the armholes on the back. I am loving the fabric that this yarn is making up. I can't find any information on the internet about it but it is Trendsetter Linie 135. Cotton and viscose. Very soft and silky.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ivy on the, vine

I swatched for the Ivy sweater and came up with the correct gauge of 6 stitches per inch THE VERY FIRST TIME! How lucky is that? I am using Suzanne's Ebony circular needles in a size 3.5mm. The yarn is Trendsetters Linie 135. It is a cotton/viscose blend and very splitty. It also snags like a mutha so I have to be very careful with it (and keep it far, far away from Sasha, the Yarn Eater). I like to have insurance yarn, so I hounded my LYS to find 2 more and they did. Same color, same dye lot.

I really like the sheen the viscose gives the cotton and it is very soft.
The pattern is easy to remember and goes quickly. I am almost to the decrease part.

One more thing. A happy congratulations to Melanie and Ben, two knitting pals in my guild who just got engaged! Go here to see their photo and offer your congrats to them.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I am friend of Stephanie P.

My name is Molly and I am a yarnaholic.

I checked out the new and love the Ivy sweater! Wrap front, cables on the bottom and sleeves. Just right for what I want. I resolve to make it when I get to California where my stash sits, languishing in the PODS warehouse with all of my other worldly possessions.

So, I merrily read my favorite blogs, as is my usual for the morning. One Crazy Fiber Lady announces that she wants to host a no-pressure, no-end-date KAL for the Ivy sweater and is anyone else interested? Damn her! Before I can say NO, I have emailed her and posted on the Ivy KAL site. I can handle making the sweater with no pressure from time constraints. However, I have no yarn to make this. You do know what this means, don't you? This means that I have to buy yet more yarn to bring into my tiny apartment and then move to SoCal with me...again.

I head off to my LYS and find some really beautiful cotton/viscose (isn't that rayon?) in a soft, baby blue. They only have 12 skeins but their Bellevue store has the other 8 in the same dye lot. Guess where I am going today? The gauge says 21 stitches per 4 inches and the pattern calls for 24 per. I figure I can squeeze in an extra 3 stitches in 4 inches, right? Right?


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Record speed

The Violet Beauregard skirt is done! Well, all except for making the tie belt and blocking. I started it last Monday on Labor day and finished it on Sunday Sept. 10. That is less than a week! It crocheted up pretty fast because I didn't spend day and night on it as I have for other projects (like my still-unfinished-Olympic-Knitting-gingham-cardigan). It fits but I need to block it and lose another 10 lbs and have someone else take a photo of it before I can post another photo. I am also waiting for a pair of shoes that will hopefully go perfectly with it.

I am sort of at lose ends. My knitting projects don't interest me at the moment and I don't want to buy more yarn for new projects because I am moving in a few weeks. I have been doing a lot of sewing because I really don't have anything to wear that fits anymore. Whine, whine, whine.

I'll shut up now.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Skirt progress

I am making very good progress on the Violet Beauregard skirt. I would have made more progress if I hadn't screwed up several rows. I forgot to ch2 in one space and only found the mistake when I got back around to that stitch on the next row. Frog the entire row back to the boo-boo and crochet again. Twice. I now check after every few shell patterns to make sure that I have done it correctly.

I am really liking the way it looks. The yarn is Tahki Cotton Classic in two colors (a light and a dark) of periwinkle and a green that is somewhere between olive and spring. Or, in color number speak, #3882, #3872 and #3703. Seems most everything I am knitting, crocheting and sewing is in these color groups. I think I have my base for my winter wardrobe, such as it were.

What sort of winter wardrobe does one plan when moving from Washington state to Southern California?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I swing both ways

Before you get the wrong idea, I mean that not only do I knit, but I crochet as well. I guess I have always been baffled by knitters who can tackle fair isle and complicated patterning in knit, but turn to jelly at the prospect of crocheting an edge on anything! I have actually finished many projects over the years in crochet, including a few sweaters for my daughters when they were little. I just thought that most crochet was rather boring and dumpy.

Enter Monster Crochet and Debbie Stoller.

I found Regina Gonzalez's Monster Crochet blog many months ago from following links on another knitting blog. Go there! This woman's imagination is amazing (and just a little disturbing, but in a good way). You will crack up and be in awe at the things she crochets.

I was in SoCal visiting my youngest daughter last March. She works for a well-known, high-class clothing store that originated in the Pacific Northwest. 'Nuff said about that. Anyway, I was killing time waiting for her to get off work and wandered into a bookstore in the mall. As is my way, I went directly to the knitting section. There, in all it's glory, was the new Debbie Stoller book, The Happy Hooker. For shits and grins, I started looking through it. Damn if there aren't lots of really cute projects! One in particular caught my eye and I haven't been able to forget about it. The Violet Beauregard Skirt. First, it's purple. I am sooooooo easy for purple. Second, it is a rather retro-hippie skirt and again, I love that, too! I finally broke down this weekend and bought the book. While reading the instructions for the VBS, I realized that I have 10 skeins of Cotton classic in my stash that I was going to use to make the Green Gables sweater. Out with the sweater, in with the skirt. I went to my LYS on Labor day and they were having a sale so I got the other 2 colors to go with my stash yarn.

I started the skirt last night and I like the fabric that it produces. I am now a happy hooker woman.

What about the fixation socks? Well, they are sloooooooow going. I can be fairly quick about socks when they are simply zooming around in stockinette. I get bogged down with k2 p2 ribbing so they are taking a long time. I am also concerned that there won't be enough yarn left to make a decent length for the legs. Each ball is about the size of a medium egg and very dense. Cross your fingers for me and hope it works out.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Harlot comes to town

Yesterday my non-knitter friend Jen and I went to Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. There was a large and enthusiastic crowd despite it being smack dab in the middle of Labor Day weekend. No matter. Knitters have their priorities!

Stephanie was very funny and entertaining (even to a non-knitter!) and we all had a great time. I met Stephanie when she signed my 3 books that I had brought with me. I also confessed to her about my unfinished Olympic Knitting cardigan. She was very gracious and non-judgmental. A simple, "What happened?" was her only comment. Such a lady. She obviously has been there many times and has felt the shame and guilt of the UFO. Who among us hasn't?