Countdown for Stitches

Done

  • registration forms in case they can’t find me in the computer – check
  • reservation at hotel with free wifi and breakfast – check
  • yarn and needles needed for classes (two skeins of Cascade 220, and a third pair of No 5 dpns) – check
  • Erinn’s lovely map printed out – check
  • Budget for Markletplace – check
  • inspired by Brenda’s Cast-on episode to take some risks in purchases this year- check
  • Kiri Shawl ready to wear and show to the amazing Alison Hyde

To be completed:

  • Homework for the Melissa Leapman class (partway through)
  • buying snacks and meal stuff for the weekend
  • creating map from Convention Ctr to hotel
  • writing down where folks will be at specific times
  • package of FO’s for Afghans for Afghans to turn into Black Mountain Abbey Philosopher’s Wool booth (I think that’s where they go) I think I can do one more pair of socks before Thursday.

I’m getting excited!

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A little help with friends

Yesterday, we had a small kick-off for the Sausalito Squares project in making Afghans for Afghans for Afghans.  It was amusing to my knitterly ego to find two crocheters there waiting at 4 pm when  I got there.  Fortunately, one of them is very fine crocheter indeed, and figured out some great stuff with Sophie, and I helped the other one, James, rediscover his inner crocheter (he’d learned when he was in college and wanted a throw, but nobody would make him one, but somebody taught him how to crochet).

And then squares starting to appear.  Here we are already:

Bluebird a4a kickoff

Suzanne and Marty are amazing at the way these go together.

Another gal, LaDonna, came by with some mitered squares from a dying project a while back:

mitered squares

and absolutely adorable baby hats from a pattern that’s in Knitting for Peace.

baby hats

The hat pattern is Swirled Ski Cap by Caps for Kids — so cute!

And today, I finished the shawl and Izzie is making sure that nobody steals it.
Kiri 1c

I love to see how beautiful lace becomes in the blocking!

Kiri 1e

I’m so glad that I have it to wear at Stitches this coming week!

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A Simple(?) Plan

Ah, yes, my brain has fizzled in its desire to finish the Kiri shawl, shown here:

Kiri 1a

in the lovely Pansy Golightly colorway of Dream in Color Baby.  I’m on the last repeat of the main lace pattern before the edging.  It is sitting at the moment, and I’ve turned to a Sock for Soldier’s sock as my mindless knitting. Why is my monogamous brain so diverted?  Stitches West is less than 10 days away, that’s why!

Last year, I didn’t take any classes because I felt as though I was  needing to apply things I had learned from previous classes, and I was only working very part-time, so cash was less available than now (I know, this is not what is happening to most people).  So I went for Saturday only, and even that venture was less than successful.  While I bought my awesome buttons for my cardigan,

buttons2
in terms of lovely yarn acquisition, I did less than wonderful — two skeins of merino-tencel yarn from WEBS.  No hand-painted yarn or other lovelies that I would enjoy during the year.  When I gathered with other knitters, and they showed what they got, I wondered what on earth I had been doing in the Market. It was all a fog, I’ve concluded.

This year, there’s a plan.  First, I’ve printed out the Market Map (Rav link) that Erinn has put together (with a coupon from Llama Llama Knit – what a bargain!).  Second, I’ve been keeping track in the Ravelry Stitches West Forum about vendors to check out.  Third, I’m using the Stickies software on my Mac to keep a list of things I want to get (need a swift), books to look at, and the like.  Fourth, I listened to Episode 38 of the Knitmore Girls Podcast about their own strategies for Stitches, which are quite sound and assure that your LYS will still get your business throughout the year and your credit cards will not max out. Sidenote: The gals will be at Purlescence Yarns booth on Saturday, February 28th from 2 – 4 pm.

Fifth, I’m biting the bullet and staying in a hotel nearby this year with a friend.  I think it will be a good thing, I will not be sleeping on a blow-up mattress on the floor at a friend’s house (two years ago), or driving in the rain there and back on the same day (last year).  Breakfast will be made for me, and included in the roomrate.  Restaurants will be nearby. I think I will greatly enjoy this and find more inspiration, and can congratulate myself that I am stimulating the economy.

How will the plan go?  It remains to be seen.  But I hope that I have a great time this year, with purchases that I do not regret, and yarnplay of the most delightful sort.

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Excuse me, are you really paying attention?

Maybe you’re like me and think that the only way that most meetings will be productive is if you knit during them.

I’ve been in meetings where folks are convinced that I’m not paying attention. This was generally years ago before folks learned about things like kinesthetic learning. I figured out pretty quickly that I need to move my body — hence all the doodling in my undergraduate collegiate notes. But knitting is better because something usefula and pretty comes out at the end.

Now, there are rules about knitting during meeting. Many meetings I go to I have an official role to play, so I don’t have the option of knitting during them. I’m either a principal participant or running the meeting. You just can’t knit and be taken seriously if this is the case. But, if the meeting is large and I’m just a participant, or it is a training where you don’t have to take notes a lot, knitting is definitely ok.

Last week, I had not one, but two different opportunities to knit in meetings. The first was at a training for folks like me who teach other pastors to be interim pastors. The location was great — up at Zephyr Cove at Lake Tahoe, NV. Many other folks knitting or crocheting (and a guy who usually does cross-stitch, but wasn’t doing it this time). One gal even took the Flying Zephyr train from Colorado so she could both sight-see and knit on her trip! During this roughly 3 day meeting, I completed this sock:

SFS 2a

Yeah, it’s a big sock for Socks for Soldiers, out of Regia Stretch, custom-dyed for Socks for Soldiers in Olive Drab. And yes, I need to knit another one, but I’m taking a break.

Saturday, I went to our Presbytery (regional group of Presbyterian-types). I finished a sample square for the Afghans for Afghans project in a fun hot-pink:

a4a square

Only a 10-inch square in basketweave pattern in chunky yarn for the Afghans for Afghans project. It didn’t take that long to finish, so I started something else. I began a child’s sock (also for Afghans for Afghans) with leftover Paca-peds HT in a the lovely Deep seas colorway. (No, I didn’t finish then, but they are now done, as you can see).

Youth Socks 3d

Knitting in meetings – a way to stay awake, a way to make the world a little warmer.

P.S. For those of you worried that I’m being a bit too self-less in my knitting, I have also started a Kiri shawl in Dream in Color Baby in the hilariously named Pansy Golightly colorway. Photo soon.

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Cooperative Knitting

I’m very excited about a project that is beginning as a wonderful partnership.  Sophie Kurnik, owner of the wonderful Bluebird Yarn and Fiber, is donating yarn to make baby and children’s blankets for the Afghans for Afghans project.   The church that I’m serving, Sausalito Presbyterian Church, has a bunch of knitters willing to knit squares to make blankets.   So, by April, I’m hopiing that between the customers of Bluebird, the knitters at the church, and friends thereof, we’ll have a bunch of warm blankets to send to those who need them.

This is something that I’ve wanted to do in the past, but never gotten off the ground.

If you’d like to knit a square and want some yarn, we’ve got a bunch of colors of Mauch Chunky (Kraemer Yarns), and we’re knitting 10 inch squares in dense (not lacy) stitch patterns.  Post in the comments if you live locally and would like to get a skein, and we’ll work it out.

Edited to add a photo of my sample square:

a4a square

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