Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Yarn Fairies have been active...

A Happy New Year to all!

I'm happy to report that, lately, I seem to be charmed by the Yarn Fairies...

This would not be the same as the Yarn Sirens, who's sole purpose in life seems to be to lead me astray into the LYS and the Great Holy Trinity (Michaels, AC Moore, and Joann's).

To sum it up, PEOPLE KEEP GIVING ME YARN! I'm not sure, Karma-wise, what I've done to deserve this...

The first incident occurred several weeks ago, when a male friend of ours came up to me at an event and said, "Psst! Do you need yarn?" and led me out to his truck. Come to find out, his sister was giving away some Caron One Pounders she didn't want--it was a whole Hefty garbage bag-full.

Then, over Christmas, my sister gave me a Stop & Shop bag full of Patons Shetland Chunky, that she decided she didn't need. Originally, my plan was to take the yarn off her hands and make a sweater with it for her, but quickly realized she seems to prefer a thinner sweater. No sooner did I think this before a good friend contacted me...she had some Cascade 220 she was looking to get rid of. I offered to pay her, but she insisted she just wanted to make room for more stash. I went over to her place and was presented with TWO HUGE BAGS of tons of different types of yarn. The picture is what she gave me.

At this rate, we're going to need to add an addition onto the house...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Okay, an update to my previous post...hold off on sending shawls!  I found this update on Ravelry:

Thank you everyone for the generous outpouring of prayer shawls. The report from Kathleen is that they have an overabundance right now, so hold on to any shawls you haven’t sent. If things change and they need more, we will let you know.


Janet & Vicky

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Prayer Shawl for Newtown

I've been working on a shawl for the longest time...

I started this shawl because I just liked the pattern.  It's a simple granny stitch triangular shawl that I thought might be a nice gift for someone.  I just didn't know who that someone was going to be.

Until Newtown.

It's simply unfathomable to me that Newtown, CT is now going to be thought of in the same vein as Columbine--forever.  It's horrifying that something that heinous could strike so close to home.  I can't begin to imagine the profound grief all the parents of lost children are feeling right now, or of the trauma the surviving children must experiencing--not to mention the first responders.

Most of us feel powerless to help, other than to pray.  I know my shawl is a small thing, but I'm hoping it will bring comfort to someone in grief.

The particulars are on my Ravelry page:  http://ravel.me/PBELKNAP/gss

If anyone else wishes to donate a prayer shawl, you can find the particulars at:  http://www.shawlministry.com/

May all affected be blessed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'm happy to report we survived Hurricane Sandy! Our power blinked a few times, but that was it. Such a change from last year, where we all felt like we were living in a war zone. Unfortunately, the southern part of CT didn't fare as well, and my heart goes out to them--especially the families who lost loved ones.

We spent most of Monday watching the news coverage, and may we pause to say here that if I had to see one more TV news correspondent standing hip-deep in flood water (after every official, including the President, told people NOT to do that) I was going to scream. My personal favorite was the guy standing at the edge of a drop-off where, if the wind had blown just right, he could have tumbled down into Long Island sound and probably his death.

And, yes, I did do a certain amount of knitting! I'm busily working on yet another garment (with help from my adorable assistant).

Monday, September 24, 2012

My 15 Minutes...

In non-yarn-related news, I was contacted by someone who produces Huffington Post Live. Apparently, someone over there saw my Tweet on Twitter about Monica Lewinsky putting out another tell-all. They had me on with other people to discuss the possible up-coming book by her (it was an online thing via Google Hangout--and no, I'd never heard of it, either).

I thought I did horribly, but my partner and another friend said I wasn't half bad, so...here's the link.

Monica's Back

Just remember...if you're going to laugh, be sure not to be eating at the time! LOL...

And, yes, for those who know me, they mispronounced my name and got my town wrong, but I was too nervous to correct them...and yes, I'm aware that I was the oldest person on the panel, thank you very much!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pattern? We don't need no stinkin' pattern!

We had our SnB group last night, or should I say, two of us met.  It was an ugly, rainy and windy night, which I think kept people away.  The parking lot of our local Starbucks quickly transformed itself into a small pond, and we remarked that we were probably going to need an ark to get home again. 

That being neither here nor there, my friend was working on a mug cozy.  It was a crochet pattern in the round.  She was following the pattern, but the cozy wasn’t quite fitting correctly (she used her latte cup as a guide), despite being according to gauge.  That’s when I suggested she a) rip it out and start over again, using less stitches, and b) keep fitting it to the cup and use common sense—if the cozy didn’t fit that right, chances are, it would be useless with any other mug.  Sure enough, using less stitches and less increases than the pattern dictated yielded a perfectly-fitting cozy. 

This brings me to the topic du jour…madly ad libbing a pattern.  Honestly, I do this all the time.  I constantly come across patterns I just LOVE, except: 

1)  It’s too long or short.  Usually too short—I hate the current trend of shrugs and short sweaters.  It always looks like you couldn’t quite afford the whole sweater (I feel similarly about capri pants and tea-length skirts).  Also, sweater sleeves are usually too short for my taste and have to be lengthened. 

2)  It’s too tight or too loose.  I know myself and I know 40” around is a good sweater size for me.  If a pattern is 38” around and declaring itself a “medium,” I throw in extra stitches to make it 40”. 

3)  It’s not wide enough.  I find I like a nice LARGE afghan, but too often, afghans are too narrow.  How is 36” across supposed to be good enough???  If the pattern is in blocks, it’s simple enough to add another row of blocks.  If not, I puzzle out the repeat pattern to add width.

4)  And don’t get me started on scarves that aren’t long or wide enough…

Of course, any of these alterations usually necessitates recalculating how much yarn is needed—I’m awfully happy I paid attention in math when they were teaching ratios.  Sometimes, it’s just a simple matter of one more or less skein of yarn.  I usually try to buy over the amount—much easier to return a skein or find another use for it, than to hunt all over area stores and online, looking for another skein in the same dye lot…not that I’ve ever had to do this…noooooo…

Friday, September 14, 2012

Yarn, yarn, every where...

...Nor any scrap to knit!

I am once again up to my needles and hooks in WIPs and UFOs, but I'm facing a crisis.

I'm contemplating ANOTHER Christmas project, because, of course, you can never have too much chaos in your life. I'm already working on a sweater for me, myself, and I to wear for the holidays. I also have a shawl on the needles for a friend. I've finished two crocheted afghans. I recently started a granny stitch shawl for another friend. Now...I've taken it into my head that I just HAVE to knit a hoodie for another gift.

Non-crafters probably are scratching their heads, wondering if perhaps something like this would be best procured at the local Wal-Mart. That certainly would make sense to a normal person, but normal? Knitters and crocheters? That ship sailed a while ago. My first thought was to make a multi-colored jacket -- perhaps an Adult EZ "Surprise Jacket," only with a hood, but my head hurts just contemplating this. I don't have that kind of time. Instead, my thought is to use the Bernat "Chunky Jacket With Options" pattern. This has the advantage of being a) free, and b) knit with chunky yarn, which hopefully will translate into "quick."

Now comes the issue. I have the most obscene amount of stash. I have bins under beds with yarn. I have yarn in bags and plastic containers all over the house. I have yarn at WORK and in my car, for heaven's sake. Now, ask me if I have a sufficient amount of CHUNKY yarn to create a hoodie...of course I don't.

This will necessitate another trip to the LYS...

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