Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Finding a Needle in a Haystack

I bought these ID tags for my circs at the MDSW. I had seen them once before at Knitty City and have been trying to find them since. I have amassed quite a collection of Addi Turbos bought for numerous projects and raiding Going Out of Business Sales at LYS's. For the most part I keep them altogether in a beautiful lavender silk Lantern Moon case. However, I never know which is what size. Many of the needles aren't labeled with the size at all and the size on most of the others is written very faintly on the cord. I have a needle sizer specifically for the Addi Turbos but it is always a bit of a pain to have to size each needle when I'm anxious with new project anticipation.

As you can see above the tags are made of yellow plastic with a cutout on the back that be clipped onto the cord. The size is written in permanent lettering in a computery font with the US size followed by the metric equivalent. I bought one package that is for small needles up to size 6 and the larger set that goes up to size 35. The manufacturer makes an effort to give more tags for commonly used sizes so there are many more tags for size 2 needles than size 10.5's.

Here is my lovely knitting needle collection once I was done tagging them all. The tags are not intended to be kept on while there's a project OTN's. The manufacturer suggests you remove the tag and tie it to the hanging tail of your WIP so it doesn't get lost and you can clip it right back on the needles once you've cast off. The only downfall I can see so far is that the tags don't specify the length of the needle so I need to get out my measuring tape or just eyeball it.

I then arranged them neatly back in the case. It seemed a bit pointless as they only stay that way until the next time I go looking for a needle and end up pulling them all out. But maybe this will help that problem as I can just look at the tag and not have to take each needle out to size it. When I was last up at WEBS I bought a hanging case with labeled pockets for each needle size but have not set it up yet. I hope these attempts at organization will make my knitting life run more smoothly. If not, I'll just go back to the jumbled mess of Addi's I've come to know and love!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

New Beginnings

Now that my Secret Feet Socks are done I gave myself permission to cast on a new project. This is going to be a baby raglan cardigan using the new Sock/Baby fingering weight yarn I bought from Tess's Designer Yarns at MDSW. It's going to be for my sister's baby who is due in October. I'm pretty sure at this point that neither she or the other non-knitters in my family read my blog on a regular basis. At first I was disappointed but then I realized I have free rein to post about any projects I'm making for them without worrying about spoiling the surprise!

Since we don't know yet whether she's having a boy or a girl I chose this rainbow colored yarn figuring it could go either way. Now that I'm knitting it up it definitely looks more girly than, umm, "boyee." I've gotten a couple more inches done since this pic was taken and the pink and purple really jump out at you. So here's hoping for a girl or at least that she doesn't take gender rules too seriously!

This is such an exciting time right now for my family with me planning to get married and my sister expecting a baby. Then my mother called the other day to tell me about a big promotion she got at work. I guess good things really do come in 3's! Hmm, maybe my sis will end up having triplets ;-)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

K2tog: an Engagement Story

Julian and I were at the MDSWF on Saturday and Julian became intrigued by the R.E. Piland Goldsmiths booth in the Main Exhibition Hall. They specialize in handcrafted Celtic inspired jewelry. Julian took a liking to the extensive ring assortment and I bought him one of the sterling silver designs.

Fast forward through further yarn shopping and sheep gawking to that night. We were staying at the Columbia Hyatt and they suggested we go to nearby Ellicot City for dinner. It's a historical town where Main Street is lined with antique shops and restaurants. We found a cozy restaurant called Cacao Lane that seemed popular with the locals (Rachel Ray would be so proud!) We enjoyed a delicous steak and seafood dinner topped off by the most scrumptious chocolate mousse.

Afterward we strolled up the street peering into the windows of the antique shops and commenting on the treasures inside. I remember thinking that I was so happy and would love for it to be like this forever.

We crossed a pedestrian bridge passing over a flowing body of water that appeared black on this clear night. It led into a little park then we continued on to the historic B&O railroad station. We read the little plaques aloud that explained its significance during the Civil War then sat on a bench under a large tree.

We were talking quietly when a guy in a sports car pulled up to the traffic light obnoxiously revving his engine and blasting heavy metal music into the quiet night. We laughed over how it was ruining the moment. After he sped off squealing his tires while making a sharp left we sat there admiring the Celtic ring I had bought him at the festival. It was a little large on his finger so he took it off and went to put it on my left ring finger. I started protesting that he couldn't put it on
that finger. When he asked why I simply answered, "Because, you know...."

He then said, "Well, I have a replacement ring..." The next thing I knew he reached into his pocket and pulled out A LITTLE BLACK BOX! He opened it to reveal a beautiful diamond ring with small channel cut diamonds on the sides. I was in shock and for a second thought it was all a joke. When he said, "...but you can only have it if you'll marry me" I realized it was the real deal! Without skipping a beat I exclaimed, "Of course I'll marry you!" He put the ring on my finger, we laughed, I cried, we called all our family to share the news and the rest is history :-)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


On Saturday the first thing I did was hit up the Tess' Designer Yarns booth. With no further ado here are my purchases:

This beautiful microfiber ribbon yarn in cool pastel colors...

Will be used to make this stylish baby kimono.

Next up we have this lovely superwash wool fingering weight baby yarn. Since I don't know the sex of the baby I'm knitting for I'd figured rather than go yellow or green I'd just use every color of the rainbow!

I was planning to purchase the Tess pattern for the "Lace Leaf Baby Cardigan". However, for the second year in a row they ran out of the pattern by the time I was ready to purchase it. I opted for the generic "Raglan Sleeve Baby Cardigan" figuring I could always add any pattern stitch I wanted to the basic template.

And then since the shawl I tried to make without a pattern turned into a disaster I decided to start fresh with this pretty lace weight yarn. I'm going to do at least one shawl from a pattern before I attempt to design another one.

Then I guess I was on a purple/turquoise/white kick because I bought this sock yarn at another booth in the Main Exhibition Hall.

I realized that at these festivals I've become a victim of what Julian calls "Pretty in the Hank" Syndrome (PITH). I go crazy for the varigated brightly colored yarns because they look so unique. Then when I get home I realize I can only use garter or stockinette stitch because any pattern stitch will get lost. So I bought this apricot colored sock yarn from a booth selling all Canadian yarn. It's really soft and I can't wait to make some beautiful lacy socks with it.

Since Julian is sadly blogless I'm also featuring some of his purchases here. He became interested in the Tess microfiber ribbon before I did and purchased these rainbow pastel skeins. We attempted to wind one of these into a ball last night. It wasn't until 2 tries of using my swift and ball winder when we finally read the instructions on the inside of the label that explicity states DO NOT USE A BALLWINDER WITH THIS YARN! The problem is that it is super slippery and rather than adhere to itself the ball just starts falling apart and getting tangled. What we had to do was set up the swift at a 90 degree angle to the floor and wind it into a non-center pull ball by hand with super tight tension. I hope the finished product is worth all the trouble!

Julian decided to reattempt knitting a replica of his Jimmy Johnson number 48 hat. The intarsia design became too bulky when using worsted weight yarn. So this is the same Canadian sock yarn I bought but in team colors. He's going to see if the fingering weight yarn will create better stitch definition.

Believe it or not this is only day one's yarn purchases. In the next couple postings I'll share Sunday's yarn purchases, some interesting non-yarn purchases, and the details I promised on how Julian popped the question ;-)

Monday, May 07, 2007

A very special Sheep and Wool Festival....

Admission to Maryland and Sheep and Wool Festival: free

One night stay in a hotel and gas: $150

Official festival t-shirt: $16

Yarn purchases: $150

Getting proposed to at the Festival: PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Julian and I are engaged!!!!!!!!
Stay tuned for more festival pics and all the juicy details ;-)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bye, Bye Yarn

I found a woman on Etsy who was looking to trade her handmade jewelry for yarn. I figured this was a good way to de-stash especially since I've become a jewelry whore as of late. I managed to fill this entire box with yarn to give away.

She was even willing to take partial skeins and leftovers so it really added up.

I have to admit I was having a hard time saying goodbye at the end. When the lady at the post office took my box and put it behind the counter I had to stifle my urge to shout, "No, give it back! I've changed my mind!!"

Cosette says, "I know you've been eyeing my fur and no, you may NOT spin it into yarn!"