To the fair

19 Jul

I’ve entered four different categories in the knitting exhibit of my county’s fair.

I’ve never entered anything in a fair, but it turns out it’s free and I could possibly win a gift certificate to a local yarn store, so I decided to enter!

The four projects I chose are my Scent of Lavender socks, Rainbow Trout cowl, Scarlet Beaded Tam, and Little Coffee Bean Cardigan. I can only enter one item in each category, and I think these are the cleanest, nicest items I have available.

I’ve never seen the competition at our local fair, but hopefully I make a good showing. It’s too bad I won’t have my parents’ birthday presents on hand, because they are beautiful!

GNP Sock Update

11 Jul

I am using the magic-loop technique rather than four DPNs for the leg portion.

My Wildflower Socks for the Glacier National Park Sock Drive are under way and knitting up beautifully. I truly wish I could keep them, but I’m sure they’ll go to a good home for a good cause.

Little things

5 Jul

My Rainbow Trout cowl was knit with hand-dyed and solid cotton.

Merit Badges are a quick and easy way to bust stash yarn and show your knitter pride.

Work continues on the super-secret birthday presents for my parents (only three weeks to go!) but I wanted to update the blog with a few little projects I recently completed. The first is my Rainbow Trout cowl, which I designed myself. The second is a Merit Badge, a great free pattern designed by Amanda Ochocki. I used some leftover hand-dyed sock yarn to make a cute stripey badge. (I did not knit the shrug)

Sock Drive for GNP

22 Jun

Beargrass grows at Grinnell Lake in Glacier National Park in Montana. (not my photo)

I live in the most beautiful place in the world. I don’t think I express that enough on this blog, and it’s worth mentioning. Montana is home to the majority of Glacier National Park (it bleeds a little into Canada) and GNP is my favorite thing about Montana.

I’ve never spent significant time there, but hopefully that will change in the coming years as my life situation is much more stable. This natural wonder is just a few hours north of me, and there isn’t a bad view in the place. Even the grass is pretty (see above).

What does this all have to do with knitting? Well, yesterday I heard through Facebook that Camas Creek Yarn, the largest LYS in Montana, is holding a sock drive to support Glacier National Park. This shop is located in Whitefish, Mont., just outside of the park, and is gathering socks, boot toppers, leg warmers, etc., to be auctioned at the Fall for Glacier Backpacker’s Ball in September. The funds raised from the socks will go toward maintenance on the 734 miles of trails in GNP, according to the Camas Creek posting, here.

I can’t resist this. I’ll get to knit socks AND donate them to a cause supporting Glacier? This takes charity knitting to a whole new level for me.

Besides, if you follow the link above and read more about the sock drive you’ll see that Camas Creek is offering some amazing prize packages for the customer favorites and best-of-class donated socks. I wouldn’t mind winning a two-day $400 trip and yarn shopping package to Whitefish, would you?

If you have it in you to knit up some beautiful socks (or other footwear) to support this cause, please do. Here’s the link again, and it has all the information about where and when to send the socks. They must be received by July 31!

Twisted Flower Socks. Copyright Cookie A.

I’m planning to knit Cookie A’s Twisted Flower Socks from Knit.Sock.Love. in a gorgeous red color. Red is a common theme color for Glacier National Park, and their wildflowers are a true thing a beauty.

Since there are awesome prizes up for grabs in this sock drive, why would I be encouraging all of you awesome knitters to compete with me? Because I love Glacier National Park!

If you have some sock stash hanging around or you can afford to donate even a simple boot topper to this great cause, please do.

Our national park system is a treasure. I’m lucky enough to live in a place with abundant parks and protected areas, but they are too rare in our country, and they need our support!

Knitting is not a sport…

21 Jun

… but it takes a lot of time, effort and skill.

I’m only writing this post because my blog has seen a lot of traffic today from people Googling “Ravelympics” due to the controversy.

I won’t recap the whole ordeal (read an article here, and a blog post from the Yarn Harlot here) but the term “Ravelympics” can no longer be applied to the upcoming knitting events that happen to take place during the Olympics and are registered on Ravelry.

Basically, the US Olympic Committee took legal offense to the name (I guess they own “Olympics” and the rings) and although the events will still happen, they’ll have to be named something else.

They included a patronizing insult to the knitting community in their legal letter, and later submitted a half-assed apology, but regardless of this whole mess, I still intend to participate in my Olympic-time sweater project. Something else will likely be on TV, but I’ll participate.

To all knitters who are as saddened and personally hurt by the callous opinion of the USOC regarding our merit as champions of a craft, just remember that they have to wear store-bought socks. It makes me feel better.

Keeping myself entertained

13 Jun

It’s worth mentioning that Pan’s Labyrinth is not available on Netflix instant streaming.

As you know, lately I’ve been doing a lot of knitting. Mom’s birthday present is about 6 inches and a new ball of yarn away from being finished. While I wait for that ball of yarn to arrive, dad’s gift is on the needles and knitting up nicely.

All of this knitting has me sitting around a lot. I generally like to go for walks or bike rides, but with a deadline looming, I really need to spend as much time knitting as possible right now. This means I’ve been spending nearly all my time on my butt in my living room.

I think all knitters go through this, and we’ve come up with several ways of coping with these long periods of sitting. I need to be entertained. My husband hangs out with me most of the time, but I can’t stand when he interrupts my counting, so we mostly watch movies or TV together during this time.

Netflix instant streaming service is a life saver right now, and I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite TV shows to have on while I knit. (I can’t accurately say I “watch” these shows, but I glance and listen.)

  • Breaking Bad
  • Doctor Who
  • Downton Abbey
  • Supernatural
  • The Killing (Awesome knitwear in this show!)
  • Sherlock
  • Parks and Recreation

Most of these shows have several seasons available for streaming on Netflix, so I have endless hours of knitting entertainment available. However, I don’t always want to watch TV while I knit. Another great resource for the long-range knitter is podcasts. Here are some of my current favorites:

  • Stash N’ Burn (knitting)
  • KCRW’s Unfictional (Like “This American Life”, but better)
  • Fat Man on Batman (Kevin Smith talks about Batman with guests, explicit content)

What’s great about podcasts is that you can find them about anything that interests you, they’re free, and you don’t have to glance at a screen to keep up with what’s happening. But, wouldn’t you know it, sometimes I get bored with podcasts, too. Good thing audiobooks exist! Here are some that I’ve greatly enjoyed while knitting:

  • The Friday Night Knitting Club, Kate Jacobs
  • Watership Down, Richard Adams
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Audiobooks can be expensive, so unless you have an Audible account, I would recommend checking out your local library’s electronic collection. You can often download an audiobook for 2 weeks. That’s plenty of time to work on a big project!

How do you stay entertained while knitting?

My stash runneth over

7 Jun

I recently helped my good friend Kristine out with the simple task of checking in on her birds while she was out of town. They’re good birds, and her house is on my way to work, so it was truly no problem to do this favor.

Last night Kristine (and the birds!) thanked me with a gift certificate to my favorite local yarn shop! While this was totally unnecessary, I will not turn down yarn and I was touched by the thoughtfulness.

Gift certificates burn a hole in my pocket, so this afternoon I went down to Loopy Knit/Crochet and came out with two bright, electric blue skeins of Cascade Ultra Pima (440 yds total) and a Brittany shawl pin.

Brittany makes beautiful needles and crochet hooks in Northern California using sustainably harvest birch hardwood. I have a few sets of their needles, and the shawl pin looks like a short knitting needle. I love it!

As soon as I free up some knitting time for myself I’m going to make something gorgeous to go around my neck with this yarn. It might be a scarf or a shawl or a cowl, but whatever it is, it will be beautiful.

Thank you, Kristine!