Monday, August 23, 2010

Traveling Scarf and Start of Christmas

On Wednesdays at 10AM, I love to meet with some lovely ladies in Westminister, MD, to knit, laugh and end with lunch at different restaurants around the area. The group is on Ravelry as The Mt. Airy Knitters. They love to do traveling projects. Everyone in the group knits a few rows on someone elses project and passes it along.

I was lucky enough this time to be a part of the Traveling Malabrigo Scarf project.
Everyone was to use only malabrigo to knit 4 rows on the scarf. The owner of the scarf starts out knitting 4 rows, you leave your needle in the scarf so that the person that is knitting on the scarf does not have to guess what size needle you used. Some of the ladies went to The Mannings on a field trip to pick their yarn. I have been a Malabrigo junkie for a couple of years so I had plenty of Malabrigo in my stash to choose from. When you received a scarf, you had 2 weeks to knit your 4 rows before you had to pass it on.

My friend, Sue, hostessed the party for the Town Hall group, that meets on Wednesday mornings and the Starbucks Friday night group, at her home on Saturday, August 14.
Everyone was to bring the last scarf they had last worked on to give to the owner as well as
some food or drink to share.

Not only did we have great food, but we had drinkmasters. Sue made Sangria, and Suellen made Pineapple Upside Down Martini's.

After we ate and drank a little, Sue gave out the packages which was a cause for OOH's
AAH's when opened.

Great party, good friends, good food, beautiful knitting and lots of fun.

In addition to all the knitting that I have been doing, I decided to work on some sewing, Christmas presents. I saw this in the sewing machine store when I went to get a part for my machine and decided to make one to see how would like to give it as gifts for Christmas. I have plenty of fabric but I found out I have no cups. I have been replacing all my drinking cups with hand made pottery in different shapes. I found one cup in the back of the cabinet that had been a gift. It was a little large so I could not close it in the back but I found that I did not need to so I
might not even bother putting
a fastener in the back.

I am heading off to the Dollar store to see if I can find some plain cups to get a head start on the sewing part of my Christmas. I plan on starting the knitted and weaving part this week.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yarn Overload

I really think I am yarn obsessed.

My daughter, TeAntae, and I get together once a week when I am in town. Sometimes we go to farmers markets, unique shops, thrift /consignment shop crawls, or just knitting and watching travel videos. We also like to do yarn crawls and thought that we had hit every shop within an hour to hour and half area. On Tuesday we found out we were wrong.

I enjoyed the knitting shop in Newark, Delaware, so much that I wanted my daughter to see it. From her house, the shop is only an hour and half away. I met her at 9am and off we went, stopping for breakfast of course. We arrived at Stitches With Style to find that Tuesday's is there Sit n'Knit. We met with some wonderful ladies but but decided not to sit with the group this time.

The array of goodies is mind boggling but would you believe we did not buy any yarn. Found things we could not live without but controlled ourselves. I did buy the KA cable stoppers for the KA interchangable set that I had given my daughter. I had purchased them for myself but found that I knit on the tip of my needles and the join on those sets is larger than the cable making it difficult for me to get the yarn onto the wood. I loved knitting with then otherwise. The cable stoppers were not available when I brought the set. I also brought a couple of cables for my Hiya Hiya interchangeable set. I do not like the set because I have broke two cables and the cables come apart from the needle tip when knitting. I was sent grippers from the company that help, in fact I am using them on a project now and they have not come loose. I only use them in a pinch. With Knit Picks if you tell them something is wrong with your set, they send you a replacement. WIth Hiya Hiya, I have to send the broken part. One of these days, I will find the email and get the broken cables sent back.

We got hungry and decided to go to Tuesday Morning that was 3 miles away to see if we could find more of the yarn that my daughter needed for a project she was in the middle of. Found the store but they did not have the yarn. Went to Five Guys for lunch and talked about whether we should see how far Chadds Ford, PA was. I checked the GPS when we got into the car and found that it was 1/2 hour away. That was quite durable.

We arrived at A Garden Of Yarn after traversing a very windy road. I think that the GPS thought I wanted to go the scenic route. My daughter, TeAntae, posed for me as we walked in, and this is the owner of the shop.

This was such a cute shop, they even carry Malabrigo. They had a bulky malabrigo that had just come out at TNNA 2010. We pulled out our IPAD and Iphone to look for projects for it. We each brought one ball because that is all it took for a cowl that we both liked. Unfortunately, it called for a 19 needle. I will try to pick up one of those eventually.

It is difficult for me to get my head around the fact that not everyone that knits or crochets and especially shop owners is not on Ravelry. The owner told me that she had signed up but never gets on.

You will find a wide array of yarns from companies like Manos, Berrocco, Feza, Cascade, Malabrigo, Skacel, Trendsetter, to name a few. She also has yarn that is dyed exclusively for her shop. In one area you will find the Cafe. Okay, it is just a coffee pot with a sign above it that says " Cafe", I still think that was cute. There is also a small table that you can sit at to knit. She had a nice sale table that you will need to check out.

My daughter likes to make hats and she was thrilled to find the beautiful handmade flowers that were from Italy, I fell in love with shawl pins, flowers, and other accessories she had around the cash register area. I had a difficult time not to buy the yarn for a drop stitch shawl that she had hanging. She gives you the pattern if you buy the yarn. Trust me, the shawl is on my Christmas list to myself.

A few steps away is the most wonderous tea shop cafe, Special Teas Tea Room. They do not have a website, just the little info that shows up about them in the shopping center post. However, this is a marvelous shop. We went in to get some tea to drink on the trip home. I was not prepared for such a lovely shop. The shop is owned by two sisters. One of them makes most of the pastries (trust me the scones or delicious). When you first walk in, you come into the shop area that has loose as well as teas in tea bags. There are lots of tea strainers, tea bag holders, etc. What caught my attention was the Sugar by Sharon. When you have your next tea party or just feel like wanting to pamper yourself , you must have one of these sugars to drop into your cup. The sugar comes in a variety of stunning shapes - floral, seasonal, butterflies, roses, to name a few in pink, pale green, lemon yellow. And yes, I brought a pack of the ones shaped like roses to put in the package I am sending my spoilee in the Tea/Coffee Swap.

The cafe area serves soups, salads, hot and cold sandwiches. You can also have Morning tea which appears from the menu would be a cup of tea and scone or Afternoon Tea that runs $14.25 a person.

You would think that I was yarned out but the next day was the Mt Airy Knitters group sit n' knit. We were making a road trip this time. Susie (Susiewick) had organized the trip to Kent Island (Maryland) to a yarn shop there. When we met in the parking lot of the farmers market, we had planned to take 2 cars because there was 7 of us. However, Susie got a call from Jennifer (Kneadler) that she was coming and would drive her Suburban. I was happy that I did not have to drive and was amazed at how much room was in that big SUV.

We arrived at Island Yarn Boutique a little after the shop opened at 11. Sue, the proprietor, greeted us warmly and said that she would give all of us a 10% discount on anything we purchased that day. The shop carries your basic yarn brands but what I was not expecting was all the kits. She had a kit for all your needs from placemats to scarves. Sue also has stitch markers and other knitting accessories made by local artisans that make the shop a little unique.
I brought a couple of patterns, one was the mohair bias loop ( I have a lot of mohair from a binge that I went on a few years ago) and Barb's Koigu Ruffle scarf. I think that almost everyone brought that pattern. I have some yarn that I brought at the Midwest Fiber Show that I had no idea what to do with but loved the color, I think that I might use that. At least the weight will work. I did not notice that both of these patterns are from Churchmouse Classics until I got home. I went to their website and found a couple more patterns that I like. The last pattern I purchased was Starry Starry Night, a wrap made with fingering weight yarn (I really have a lot of that in my stash) by Jeanne C. Abel of NatureSpeak Knits. Jeanne, the designer is local, Annapolis, MD. I love buying from local designers and indie dyers. She has a Ravelry group that I plan on checking out as well as some more of her designs.

The shop is really cute, not one I would make a special trip to since most of the yarns are what you can get anywhere, however the owner is very nice and the shop is well laid out. There is no place to sit and knit. I was told that she has a place on the second floor that she holds classes. Maybe you could sit up there but that sounds very isolated. I can be isolated at home.

Again, I did not buy any yarn. I am getting so proud of myself.

We left the shop and went to lunch. I had a blackened shrimp quesadilla. YUM!! I make quesadilla's all the time just never thought of a shrimp one.

My TV is still out, my son will look at it this weekend. I am listening to podcast and watching Hulu or streaming movies from Netflix on my computer..... I want my TV back.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Knit-In 2010 The Mannings Style

What a glorious day.

I arrived a little after 10AM because I wanted to make sure that I had set up in a shady area.

Since no one came with me, I filled my IPod with music, podcast and a book on tape thinking that I would be by myself. I set up my chair, table, cooler and made myself comfortable. Across from me were several ladies doing a Show n'Tell.

Check out Jeanene's tattoo.
She and her friends invited me to move my chair in with them. I thought that was so sweet.

Jeanene had made the Cothilde Shawl which I thought was fabulous (no picture), as well as the Dream In Color Shrug.
I really want to try both of these.

I can not remember all the names of this group, they are members of the Lancaster Knitting Guild. One name I remember and will not forget is Dixie.
She is wearing her Curlicue Coverlet Shawl.
She drove up on her Harley Davidson bike.
I was lucky to sit beside her so I asked if I could take a picture of her. She uses her cup holder to hold her ball of yarn when she knits sitting on the bike.

I never want to go to a knitting event without walking around to see what everyone is knitting. One of ladies that I met wasKnitternana
from Edgewater, Maryland. She had on a beautiful shawl called Summer Flies in a beautiful
green that caught caught my attention. We talked for awhile and I moved on. When I got
home, she had 'friended' me on Ravelry. I thought that was so sweet. I do hope to get to know her better.

I met a designer, Cathy Briscoe from Shewsbury, PA that designed under the name
Knitted 4 Ewe. Unfortunately, she does not have a website. I tried to find her on Ravelry but did not know her Ravelry name. She had on a glorious lace shrug that looked like a mobius that is he latest design. I thought I took a picture but seems I did not. Cathy said that the shrug looks like a mobius but it is not and the look comes in the knitting. The one she wore was made from bamboo that was about a DK weight. Her friend was test knitting in a worsted. I have some bamboo yarn that would work perfect for her shrug.

Thought you might want to see some pictures from the day.
I had to leave at 2:3oPM because my son is getting married September 15th at Disney World and his fiancee's sister wanted a girls day out today. I had to tell them that I had another commitment and could only make dinner. We met at the Melting Pot in Reston, VA. Sorry I do not have pictures of the evening. Of the few pictures that came out, I thought you might enjoy this Ying and Yang Martini, delicious.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Organize, organize

my kitted stash,
originally uploaded by roadweaver.
Just wanted to show you how I am organizing my kitted projects. I use this in conjunction with my Ravelry queue so you will need to look at it to get the complete picture.

I am also trying to see if I can blog complete with pictures on my iPad.

It looks like I can upload a picture from Flickr however, the picture is very small. I will have to keep playing with this.

The Fun of Picking Up a New Car

Okay, so this is not about the actual picking up of the car. However, that was the reason that I asked my friend Sue to go with me to Delaware to pick up my new company van. How could you pick up a new car in another state without checking out the yarn stores in the area!!!!

The car was located at a dealership in New Castle, Delaware. It was arranged by the company I work for to go to the service center there and meet with Norma who would take me to pick up my new van.

I work out of my vehicle and have to pack enough to be away from home from 2 weeks to 3 months. I have actually been away for 6 months before, it only happened once but I always think it could happen again. Keep in mind that in a car, there is a ladder in the trunk that takes up most of the trunk; I have to pack the clothes I wear to work everyday, the tools of my trade, which includes manuals; my everyday needs like my spinning wheel, sewing/embroidery machine, weaving loom, yarn and everything that goes with them as well as a few clothes for when I am not working. For the last 4 years, I have had a car. This time I asked for a van and got it.

We found that there was only one knitting shop that was in that part of Delaware, we asked Norma how far was Newark, Delaware, and she said 10 minutes. Sue and I looked at each other with a smile. After listening or should I say half listening to the spiel that the car dealership salesman was giving about the features of the van, off we headed to Newark.

It was a short drive but the GPS had us going through a country like area so we wondered what we were heading to. In short order we found the store and headed in.

The lobby should have told us that this was going to be a great yarn store.

Walking in I was amazed at the size of the store, and yarn for miles. They carry a little of everything, including notions, knitting bags (the one I wanted was $100), and patterns. What I liked the most was all the samples. Made you want to buy yarn to make everyone of them. They also have a sale area at the back of the store that did not have one or two balls of something great but whole sweaters worth. Plus, you actually had heard of the the yarn like Berrocco.


There is also a winding station, big table with chairs to sit and and two comfortable sofas to lounge and knit. The place really made you want to stay. In fact, it seemed that the two ladies there come everyday just to sit n knit.

I was getting a little dizzy and needed to eat, one of the ladies that was sitting there knitting told us that we could walk across the parking lot to a little deli and we should try the turkey sandwich because they cook their own turkey and it was very good or we could go to the bar and get bar food. They also said that we should bring the food back and eat at the shop. We went to the very very small deli got our sandwiches. We talked to the ladies while we eat and tried to keep our minds off of all that yarn around us. We noticed as we were going to the deli that the bar has outdoor seating which might be nice to try next time.

One of the ladies, I believe her name was Holly, wanted to know about Ravelry and so Sue
used my Ipad to give her a lesson. I do hope she joins.

I really wish I was better at remembering names, anyway. one of the ladies had a gizmo that
allowed her to put her yarn ball on this lazy susan type thing, I liked it better than a yarn bowl
No one in the shop had any idea where to get another one.
I went on Etsy and found two that were quite similar. One is from Willyman's Shop and the
other which was a little cheaper but not as nice looking from The Dragonfly Shop .

A few more tidbits about the store you may find interesting:
Every 2nd Tuesday they invite their customers to come in for some knitting, food and fun! All you have to do is RSVP and then bring a dish! They also like for you to bring copies of the recipe.

Every month they feature a yarn of the month at a discounted price.
This month's featured yarn is Loyal! This is a 100% wool dk weight yarn that is machine washable! The sale price is $3.75 a skein.

Also, they do finishing work. The pricing is not bad but it is a little far for me to go. I have a local source that will do the blocking for free as long as you buy the yarn there. That works for me.

I only brought a cute pattern to make something special for my son and son-in-law (more to
come on that later). I did assure everyone that we would be back and bring our knitting group.