Sunday, May 24, 2009

Three Days Off

This is my first three day weekend (that I didn't have to use vacation time for) in over a year. Today started with a bit of vertigo (go figure), and it still lingers tonight. But I managed to finish these happy socks on Friday night. They are for my youngest daughter.

As you can see, they appear a bit different in the leg, but they are knit from the same skein of Claudia Hand Painted Yarn.
Red Wagon Socks
3x1 Ribbing on a US #2 needle
Time - about 2 weeks, intermittently.
Yarn - Claudia Hand Painted Sport Sock; Colorway, Red Wagon.

Easy, peasy pattern. I've cast on some Duckies in Yarntini last night. I'm almost done with the first leg portion. Yarntini makes all my knitting a pleasure! Have a great week!
PS - the Phillies beat the Yanks 2 out of 3 games, and we aren't talking about the other game (Brad Lidge).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

She's A Lady!

My February Lady Sweater was finished on May 1st, just in time to wear to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival the next day. I finished it (sewed on buttons and wove in the ends at the hotel in Maryland) on Friday night. Everyone knitting in the lobby of the hotel made me model it, and of course, this made me feel extremely self conscious. I'm not exactly happy with my body image. I feel incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin lately. Probably because I have never, ever, weighed this much in my entire life. Not even pregnant. YUCK.
But I will say this. A lot of people stopped and checked out my sweater at Maryland. I got a lot of nice compliments, and I was forever grateful. But again, I could see that many people were staring at me (really uncomfortable, but they were actually staring at the sweater), but they were all polite. One very sweet lady at Tess's booth gave me a discerning eye, and I thought to myself, oh boy, here it comes, a nasty criticism (I always have a positive outlook), and she said something that made me cry. She said, "I've seen a lot of people knit those sweaters, but your sweater is the nicest one I've ever seen." And then she petted it, and smiled. I felt like crying with gratitude. This is my first adult-sized sweater. I've knit for my children and for my nieces and nephews. Never any sweaters for me. I felt like a queen after her compliment. I don't consider myself a talented knitter, but her kind words made me have more confidence in my knitting. Maybe now I will try different and harder things. This sweater, although not hard to knit, was a challenge for me. Mostly I was afraid that it wouldn't fit, and bottom line, I was scared to model it for all of you.
So without further ado - some pictures of the finished FLS. These photos were taken by my youngest daughter. I couldn't pin down the hubby long enough to photograph me with his fabulous camera. So, the Kodak Easy Share it was.

Finished sweater - a bit dark here, and oh, sorry about the flip flop in the bottom half of the picture - I thought I had cropped that out.

A close up of the buttons (somewhat blurry, but color of the yarn is pretty close).

And finally, a picture of how it fits. It's a comfortable, soft sweater. Just perfect for church today, when it was a bit breezy and cold.

February Lady Sweater - cast on in February, 2009
Finished May 1, 2009.
A little over 3 skeins of STR Heavyweight in Thraven colorway.
Size made - Large, but I did not have gauge, so I suspect it's more of a medium size. When, not if, I knit this again with a worsted weight wool, I will definitely knit the medium size.
PS - This sweater grew a lot in length with blocking!
PS #2 - Thanks for all the support from all of your blog folks. You are the best at with all your encouragement!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The 401S

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival has come and gone. This causes a litany of emotions within me. I spend a lot of time gearing up for this festival (planning what to purchase, packing, making reservations, requesting off from work, budgeting, imposing yarn purchasing diets, etc.), and then it seems as though I blink, and it's over. I wonder if this weekend of work will be that way, probably not.
But I digress. This year, Mom and I traveled to Columbia, Maryland, and stayed over Friday and Saturday nights. That was a pretty smart decision, if I have to say so myself! The weather was not all that conducive to traveling, with pouring down rain that slowed us down a bit, but we arrived safely at the Hampton Inn in Columbia in time for a nap before dinner (gotta love that).
Our goal this year was to meet more knitters/crocheters/spinners/fiber fans. And oh, did we hit the jack-pot on that one. Our hotel lobby hummed with the excitement of the festival this year. Every evening we overtook the breakfast area with our enthusiasm, our needles, spindles, hooks, and oh yeah, our 401S.
What's a 401S you might ask? We met a festival virgin on Friday night (oh how exciting it is to see it all anew, through eyes that have not seen). She was so excited (okay, we all were), and everyone shared secrets and favorite vendors to see and visit. She told us about a yarn shop that she had visited on vacation, and how the yarn store owner had told her not to feel guilty about her recent stash enhancements, as she was only adding to her 401S - or 401(stash). Everyone in the lobby found this amusing. I had never heard this "turn of phrase" before, but I completely love it. As I sadly watch my 401K drop (okay, I'll be honest in that I tend not to look at the reports too closely anymore), my 401S remains healthy and alive, brimming with possibility. Maybe we should have knitters infiltrate Washington?
So the bottom line - here's some of my newest 401S. And should I be blessed enough to grow old (er) some day........many people will have cheery socks and scarves in my retirement years!

Ellen Cooper - Yarn Sonnet

Brooks Farm

Tilli Tomas - Rockstar in Morrocan Blue

Creatively Dyed Calypso Sock Yarn - a massive 500+ yards/skein!

PS #1 - the camera decided not to work in Maryland.
PS #2 - The FLS had its debut on Saturday at Maryland....more to follow, and possibly photos, if I can bribe DH and the weather cooperates.
PS #3 - More Maryland 401S to follow!