I Love Bargain Books!

I went running around doing errands yesterday. My sister, Chaachi, came along. It was poring rain all day yesterday but we still had fun. She is game for just about anything, as long as it gets her out of the house. I was in that kind of mood too – and because I knew my hair looked bad when we started out – what the heck! And in the end it ended up looking better. Wha?

Anyway, we spent some time at Half Price Books. I love bargain books. Nothing good in knitting books, but I ran across this:

Peasant Chic: A Guide to Making Unique Clothing Using Traditional Folk Designs, by Esther R. Holderness

I don’t know – this might be a weird hormone thing going on because I have become very enamored of things 70s. But in defense and explanation this book is full of great ethnic/folk designs and will come in handy if I ever become a weaver. Ponchos, capes, robes, funky ethnic shirts – diagrams with measurements and they show layouts using bedspreads and rugs!

Still knitting the hats. I have to get my gauge swatch and measurements ready for my 1st night of the Circumnavigated Cardigan class Monday night. I am excited about the class, but somewhat erked that this is the special West Wing Pre-election Marathon night. Oh well.

Kerry and Renee and I are going to get together next week on Wednesday. It will either be a post-election party of celebration, or commiseration. Heck, it is just a good excuse to get together and knit/spin and eat.

Here’s the Hat

Here is one of the hats I have finished, and one in progress. I have 2 blue ones done, and this brown varigated one that will be finished today.

The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun. I am using the Fluffy Hat & Mittens pattern. There are other hat patterns there you might want to check out.

I really like this hat, and the people that have received them love them too. Comfy warm and covers the ears, but isn’t so tight that it gives you major hat head. I gift them and also make up a bunch for charities and donate them to homeless shelters. Usually when people find out about this they give me money for the yarn to knit up for donations. Cool huh? So now I have a little stash that I am really hoping to use up because that would mean I made a lot of hats for charity.

Anyway, I took the pic showing that I use Denise Needles. I switch to Brittany double points when I start the decreases for the top. Wood needles do a good job of grabbing the yarn so that that stitches don’t fall off. I am also a big fan of the Clover knitting counter, also known as the Kacha Kacha, because of the sound it makes. Last but not least is my retractable tape measure. I keep all of my small tools (tape measure, counters, crochet hooks, etc.) in a small, clear, zippered make-up bag. I am compulsive about making sure it is by me when I knit, and it goes into my knitting bag so that I have all my tools handy when I am taking my knitting along.

Buyer’s Remorse or Elation?

I can’t believe what I have just done. I bid on and won an antique castle spinning wheel. I bid on and won a wheel I have never seen in person, never spinned on it! I also don’t know if it comes with any extra bobbins. I don’t know if I will be able to spin on it – it treadles 90 degrees different than the orifice! I hadn’t noticed that until I bid on it (the winning bid, mind you). I must be mad. I did the thing that spinners should never do, buy a wheel, an ANTIQUE wheel on the internet.

But….this is one nice looking wheel. I borrowed the pictures from the auction, and I guess that is okay because now I own it right?

Here it is – tell me what you think:

Have any of you ever done any spinning on this type before – spin on the side instead of straight on?

But you know what is really funny/weird about this. There is one part of me that thinks I should be feeling really freaked about this, but the other part – is feeling really cool about it all. I just know it will be a great wheel. I need to hang on to that part of me that knows this, and just trust and left it happen.

Other news: I allowed myself to get talked into going to Detta’s on Friday. Kerry needed to escape, and was nice enough to ask me to come along. I should have stayed home to attend to some astrology business, but figured what the heck! I tried out some wheels there – no go on any of them. Most wheels are double-treadle now and that just doesn’t work for me. Makes me feel too hemmed in. The other thing is I can’t believe the prices on some of these wheels! Why are some of the most butt-ugly wheels the most expensive?

But I did find some luscious roving – both plain (undyed) and fancy – a cool swirl of colors. Whee! Picked up some super bargain 100% wool, scratchy type yarn for some future felting projects too.

We also stopped along the way back to pick up some apples at a stand. Yum! I should have bought more. I may need to go back.

And tonight (now last night) I finished a hat for charity. I will post pics of the hat and the roving later today.

Nothing on my Needles

Last night I finished the simple shawl for my student/friend out of the too thick Lion Brand Homespun. It turned out nice though – extra comfy fluffy. I hope she likes it. I had sent her out for 4 skeins of worsted weight yarn. She came back with 4 skeins of Homespun. Homespun is not worsted weight.

It is bulky weight. So now I have about 2 1/2 skeins left over. So, unknown to her she has just donated this to my stash for making super comfy hats and scarves for the homeless.

I am hoping to get a photo of her wearing the shawl. I may drop it off for her today.

Yesterday I put some new beadwork jewelry on my Healing Beadwork website. For non-beaders, I don’t want to bore you with the details but if you are a beader or interested in beads, be sure to go there to check out my new stuff.

So I say that I have nothing on my needles, but the truth is there are two projects just laying around, waiting for me to notice them. One is a shawl that I am finding interesting to look at (the photo on the pattern) but not so enticing enough for me to do. The other is a kid’s kangaroo pouch sweatshirt thingie. I may pick that up and finish it and either gift it to one of my nephews or donate it to a charity.

Check for the new shawl photo either later today or tomorrow!

Cutie Kyra

So here is the small poncho now to be known as Kyra’s Poncho. It is a bit smaller than I had hoped – but in the long run probably better this way. Short enough so that her arms can do things while she has it on.

I think she looks cute, don’t you?

Ready to Circumnavigate

I traveled to Amazing Threads in Maple Grove, MN today to sign up for a class on the Circumnavigated Cardigan. The pattern is by Medrith Glover. I saw photos of it on the Ample Knitters website and thought it looked like a nice "grandpa sweater". You know, comfy and classic. Maybe old-fashioned, but in a sort of hip way (if you wear it with other funky things, that is). I wish I could point you to a pattern. The best I can do is point you to this .pdf document that lists all of Medrith’s patterns. I can also point you to the Circumnavigated Cardigan Project. If you page down you will see the some finished cardigans.

So here is the yarn I purchased for the project

The yarn is Lamb’s Pride Worsted (85% wool, 15% mohair), 4 oz and approx 190 yds. I bought 10 skeins because I am a large gal and I didn’t want to run out. I can always take back the extra (if there is any) or use it for a felting project. I need to start on my homework for the class – a gauge swatch.

I also purchased the book, Scarf Style: Innovative to Traditional, 31 Inspirational Styles to Knit and Crochet. I love the scarves in this book but I am not loving the photos. Each of the larger photos has significant areas where the lens seems smeared or blurry. The smaller detail shots are very clear though.

I know I mentioned working with acrylic yarns, and promised a photo of the yarn I bought at Hobby Lobby. Here it is, along with my hand with the yarn gadget I want to try out.

The detail of the little piece of paper is lost in the photo. It says "Yarn Guide". I guess it is for helping you to do multi-colored knitted. It was cheap so if it doesn’t work or I don’t like or (or never use it) no big whoop.

Okay yarn snobs, no snickering now. I think this yarn is pretty cool. It is called Rainbow Dreams and it is made by Caron. I think Caron’s acrylics are nice. These skeins are a whopping 10 oz., 525 yds. and they were only $4.92! I might have mentioned that I think they would be nice for around the house shawls, comfy afghans/throws. I don’t have any immediate plans for them, so off to the yarn closet they go.

Proof of Ponchos

I promised a pic of the finished ponchos, so here they are:

I hope to get some pics of them being worn. I can make sure that happens with the smaller one, but the one for my niece goes to Florida and I can ask them to send a photo, but who knows if that will really happen. I am hoping Marissa will be here in MN for Christmas so maybe I can get a pic then.

So, to repeat – this is the pattern from Yarn Harlot. I used Schachenmayr Princess in 55 Angel Blue (72% Acrylic Microfibre/ 28% Viscose Rayon) that I purchased at Elann. I bought 5 balls and I used almost exactly that amount for the 2 ponchos together. Howz that for good yarn planning? Okay, so I hadn’t planned on making the 2nd one – I made it because I had so much leftover.