Hi! It’s been a long time since I was in this space. I was slightly shamed I haven’t been more diligent in blogging this weekend when I was honored to meet Bubblesknits from Alabama Fiber Dreams. (Hi!) Lest you think she did the shaming, let me assure you the shame was all internal. So, I have decided to try spending more time in this space. (I know I’ve said it before; but like dieting, I will continue to start anew until it takes.) I had forgotten how nice it feels to share my knitting projects and plans with like minded people. So, let me get started. Here is what I have on the needles:
Project #1: Creature Comforts Cardi
(photo credit: Madelinetosh via Ravelry)
I’m using the wonderful Madelinetosh Vintage in the Brair colorway.
(photo credit: Eat.Sleep.Knit)
I can not even begin to describe my love for this yarn. It knits up so smoothly and has a wonderful drape. Another bonus is how light it feels even though being 100% wool.
Project #2: Cecilia by Elin Berglund (Ravelry Link)
(photo credit: Elin Berglund via Ravelry)
I’m using another Madelinetosh yarn. This time, it is the Tosh Sock in composition grey.
(photo credit: Eat.Sleep.Knit)
While I know I will love this sweater and will wear it to death, I’ve had a hard time getting started. You’d think that when you start a project 4 times, it would be a breeze. I’m sure it is just me since many other people have finished it with no problems. I’ve decided to just fudge where I need to and keep going.
Project #4: Pampas by Rowan
(photo credit:Rowan Yarns)
I’m using a new yarn we have in the shop, Creative Focus Linen by Nashua in chocolate.
(photo credit: WEBS)
It is so great. I’ve been wanting to work with linen for awhile, but I find it hard on my hands. I love the way linen feels worked up, but I can’t work with it. Granted the CFL is 50% cotton, but it is going to be so light and great for summer.
Those are the only things on the needles right now. I have plans for several more, though. Maybe those projects will be motivation for me to finish these. As soon as I get my camera up and running, I’ll try to get some in progress photos up.
With the help of my wonderful friend Suzanne, I was able to make my second trip to SAFF this past weekend. We drove up Thursday afternoon. On Friday, we got up bright and early in order to get first dibs here:
After her loss of stock, we knew if we waited too long, it would be slim pickings. Miss Babs was one of the two things on my list for this trip. I did good, too.
On the bottom, that is Yowza in Mahogney. In the middle is Yowza in Turquoise Mine (left) and A Day Picking Red Grapes (right). On the top is yummy Superwash Sock & Baby – 2 ply in Cadet (left) and Bamboo Baby in Changling (right).
Miss Babs also had these cute bags on sale. I also found these 2 cute stitch markers in the bottom of my bag, too.
This was our next stop … Blue Ridge Soap Shed. The owners are a husband/wife team. He is a retired chemistry teacher. Their soaps are wonderful. When I bought some last time at SAFF, I didn’t know what to expect. As soon as I used it for the first time, I wished I had gotten more. So, this time I did. I stocked up. I am not sad I did, either. Yummy!
I was not expecting this, but I could not pass this up. It is Wolle’s Yarn Creations Color Changing Cotton in Pecod (bottom) and Silver Navy (top). She had the Sweet Jazz Shawl knit up. The yarn is transitioning, so the top of the shawl was the lightest color and gradually changed to the darkest at the bottom. It was gorgeous! The best part … it is 100% cotton. That is perfect for year round wear in Alabama. The bigger of the two was only $18! Yes, $18 for a shawls worth of yarn.
Once we had seen everything we could see at SAFF, it was long past time for lunch. We decided to head out to find something to eat. After being ignored Thursday night, having 4 parties come in after us but sat before us & deciding to walk out, we decided to give them another chance and had an early dinner/late lunch at the Laughing Seed.
Sadly, I forgot to take photos of out meals, but I ended up having the Omega Hempnut Burger with Jalapeño-Onion Fries. Yummy! Suzanne had the Indian Thali Plate, which she said was very spicy. We also had a special lemongrass-dill hummus plate as a start. I could have bathed in that hummus it was so good. The staff was a little flaky, but the food was good.
Just down the street was a little yarn shop. Neither of us found anything, but again, we were ignored. Asheville is definitely a different environment than Birmingham.
On Saturday, I was honored to take Suzanne on her first trip to the Biltmore. This is one of my most favorite places, and I was so happy to share it with her.
After we finished our tour of the house and the wine tasting & buying, we decided to head back into town to check out another yarn shop, Yarn Paradise. Again, I stuck to my budget and didn’t pick up anything. However, they had a great selection.
From there we decided to eat dinner at The Lobster Trap. Now, I do extensive research before a trip, especially for local cuisine. This was one of the few places I had picked out. Most of the reviews I saw online were positive. The menu looked good, too; so I was excited. What a HUGE disappointment. After a wait (at 5 pm) we were sat at a table next to the front door. When I say right next to the door, I’m talking so close that I could have sneezed on the people waiting for a table. Shortly after we were sat, a group of very drunk, very talkative “ladies” were shown to the table next to ours.
We both ordered the black bean and crab soup as an appetizer. It had absolutely no flavor whatsoever. Their website claims they are “using fresh produce from local farmers.” That is a lie. There was nothing “fresh” about that soup. The beans were mush. Suzanne couldn’t even eat hers. For our entrees, I ordered the Drunken Pumpkin Salmon (Baked salmon filet with vanilla-bourbon puree, crushed pecans, local goat cheese) with lobster macaroni and cheese and mushroom wild rice. Suzanne tried the Shrimp and Grits. These too were a complete disappointment. My rice was overcooked so was the salmon. The flavor of it was nice, but I pulled out a bone. Now, I eat salmon a good deal. It is my favorite fish. Since I have been eating it, I have never found a bone. I also ended up picking out a shell from my mac & cheese. After that, I stopped eating.
Suzanne’s meal was not any better. Everyone I know will tell you that Shrimp and Grits are presented as follows: perfectly cooked grits with large juicy grilled shrimp on top. What was brought to her was a sickly orange-colored mush with small shrimp stirred in. It looked like someone had been sick on her plate. seriously, we thought they had brought her the wrong plate. Needless to say, we did not stick around much longer. I am so surprised that people like this place. It was seriously awful.
Even with all the trouble we had with the food, it was a wonderful trip. The weather was perfect. The company was great. The yarn was squishy. I can’t wait to go again.
Okay. So I’ve been a bad little knitblogger. I’m sorry. It seems like I can’t keep my life organized lately. All that mental energy needs to be devoted to work. That is all I can manage. As penance, I’ll try to catch you guys up on things that have been going on lately.
Do you remember making Valentine’s mail boxes in grade school. You know, the ones you set on your desk and watched like a hawk hoping that guy would put a card in it? ‘Cause if he did, you were like “going out.” Remember? Well, Boy Child needed to make one for his class’ party, and Hubby decided it would be a great family project.
It was so much fun! I’d forgotten how much I enjoy making school projects.
I finished Grandmamma’s very first pair of hand knit socks.
I finally took photos of them, and mailed them off. I received a call from her the other day. She loves them, and I couldn’t be more happy!
I finally broke down and bought myself a bread maker. I wanted to try all the goodies out, so I made the basic recipe that comes with the instruction book.
It came out well. Too bad we don’t eat white bread. My luck since then has not been great. I’ve made attempted to make whole wheat bread three times. It did not go so well. I was so upset I didn’t even take a picture. I did make cinnamon swirl bread. Boy child loved it & gobbled up two whole loaves. Hubby spit his out. Sigh. I’m starting to wonder if I made a mistake. I’m going to give it a couple more tries using recipes from this book. I’m hoping it is just user error. I love the smell and taste of fresh baked bread. I also want to save a few $$ and I like knowing what is going into my food.
Much more to come … later.
For the first time since I have been knitting, my disappointment with Interweave Knits overwhelms me. I saw a few patterns from the Spring 2010 issue pop up on Ravelry, so I clicked over to their website to take a look. Now, to be fair, I love IK’s website. I appreciate the extra photos that show all sides to the knit. For some reason, I prefer photos to the video Vogue Knitting does; but I’m strange that way and is beside the point. As I was scrolling through, my mouth dropped open. There is not one patter I would knit. Not. One. Pattern. I expect this from Vogue, but not IK. Oh the disappointment!
The Ringlet Tank is okay. So is the Tissue Cardigan. But nothing jumps out at me as “have to knit.” Even worse, I can think of a bunch of knits in my queue that I’m more excited about. Like the Gallery Jacket (Rav link), Pintuck Tee (Rav link), or the Man’s Cable Cardigan (scroll down under Boy Meets Purl, the brown one on the left). Maybe the articles will be outstanding. Or maybe, I will grow to love the new patterns after my infatuation with other things recedes. That does happen with me, so only time will tell.
To end on a happier note, I can tell you what doesn’t disappoint – SNOW! I LOVE snow! I love snow so much that even the mention of snow flurries gets me excited. Here in Alabama, snow is an anomaly, so the recent abundance is cause for celebration to me. I love looking at it. I love watching it fall. I love how it makes everything look pretty. I love, love, love snow! I’ll even go as far to hope it keeps up for awhile longer. I LOVE SNOW!
So, before Christmas, I was looking around Etsy and I found a really cute pattern for an owl. Now, I really have a thing for owls right now; so I didn’t think anything of purchasing it.
See! How cute is that pattern! I can’t wait to make one for myself!
Well, today, I received an e-mail from Tina Whitmore explaining that the person I purchased the pattern from had actually stolen the pattern from her! Can you believe it!?! I offered to repurchase the pattern from her. She kindly said that all she wanted was for me to tell family and friends about her site. So, I’m doing that here.
If you like this pattern, please visit KnitWhits for your own copy.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….
Twelve yummy tea bags,
Eleven hours baking,
Ten cookie tins,
Nine family visits,
Eight gifty cards,
Seven books to read,
Six leafy buttons,
Five Harry Potters,
Four hand made gifts,
Three rubber duckies,
Two hand knit sweaters,
And a baby who saved us all.
1. Good times: horseback riding, tickle fights on the couch, stories at bedtime, messes in the kitchen while baking treats, snorkling on the island.
2. My sanctuary is my home.
3. Sleigh bells ring incessantly at my house.
4. People had more respect for other people when I was little.
5. Once more, there are other people in this world beside you! Please learn some manners people!
6. When is this day going to end?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to finishing up Christmas knitting project 2/5, tomorrow my plans include making Christmas candy and Sunday, I want to finish up Christmas sewing projects 1, 2, 3, & 4!
Most days at work, I can get my actual work knocked out before lunch. That leaves the remainder of the day to knit, read, balance my checkbook and pay bills. I admit that I often wish I had more work to do; however, I’m pretty content listening to my audiobooks and knitting. Now, in keeping whith my luck in the past few months, I am getting a little behind in my knitting/sewing projects. I’ve realized that Christmas knitting project #5 will not be the original new pattern I was hoping it would be. Instead, I will just finish up a project that has been put on hold since October.
That is fine. It’s okay. The real problem is that I’ve been counting on all the knitting time I usually have during the day. This week, I have only been able to knit at home after work, after I make dinner, after I clean up the house, after I get onto Boy Child for not doing homework in a timely fashion, after nagging Boy Child into the shower, after visiting with Hubby. Needless to say, this has been a very knitting light week, and I’m behind.
I am scheduled to finish KP #3 tomorrow. Technically, it is still possible if I do nothing today and tomorrow but knit. That, however, is not goinging to happen. I am looking at 4 huge stacks of papers that I need to go through, organize and file. Nope. There will be no knitting today. Sigh. I’m sure everything will be okay. Santa knits, right?
7:30 am – get up and get ready for trip
9:00 am – travel to North Carolina & grandparent’s house. amazed at how well Boy Child travels.
3:30 pm – arrive & visit with family
6:00 pm – dinner – Yum!
8:00 pm – look at Black Friday ads
11:05 pm – Toys-R-Us opens at midnight & decide to go ahead & go to the store in Ashville, NC. leave Boy Child sleeping with Papa B, Nana, Aunt S & Uncle R. (lucky ducks!)
11:45 pm – reach Toys-R-Us and see a line of about 300 people. decide it is not worth it. drive to Toys-R-Us in Greenville, SC (@ 45 min away) thinking that by the time we arrive, there would be no line.
12:30 am – arrive @ Toys-R-Us in Greenville, SC & find a line of 600-700 people.
12:32 am – decide there is no way we are waiting in that line & go off to find the other stores on our list.
12:40 am – find Target. see people already lined up even though the store does not open until 5:00 am. astounded that people have set up tents in front of store. leave immediately.
12:50 am – go back to Toys-R-Us to check out the line. decide to wait in the car where it is warm. amazed by the orderly people who live in Greenville. ponder that there would be no way on Earth that this type of orderliness would happen in Birmingham. watch in fascination at both the store employees & customers.
3:00 am – make it inside store.
3:15 am – realize there is a second line to electronics, right where we need to be.
4:30 am – finally find & purchase Christmas gifts
4:50 am – arrive back @ Target. line is longer, but does not rival Toys-R-Us.
4:55 am – decided to go next door to Academy Sports first.
5:10 am – realize Academy does not have it all together in the staffing department. go back to Target.
5:15 am – get into store & find our gifts. debate whether we want to stand in the checkout line which extends all the way from the front of the store and winds around the back of the store. discover people working in jewelry. cut our check out waiting time by about 1 1/2 hours.
5:45 am – go back to Academy. realize they still don’t have it together.
5:50 am – decide to skip other stores on our list. exhaustion setting in.
6:00 am – grab breakfast before driving back.
6:30 am – head back to grandparent’s house.
7:30 am – fall into bed.
2:00 pm– wake up. get dressed. still sleepy.
3:00 pm – have lunch/dinner. more shopping. hit LYS & bought gorgeous lace yarn in autumn reds, greens and golds.
some time after that, visit with the family. watch a movie. go to bed late. (It’s all a little blurry.)
10:30 am – wake up.
11:15 am – have lunch. more shopping. pick up Hubby his present (he needed to try on first). have milk shakes.
3:00 pm – pack up stuff. drive to aunt’s house. visit with family. Boy Child goes fishing in the pond. have dinner with family. try to convince Boy Child the pork roast is really turkey. fail. aunt pulls out left over turkey for him to eat.
7:00 pm – roast marshmallows over a bon fire. Boy Child has more fun throwing things into fire that making s’mores.
8:00 pm – drive home.
12:00 am – arrive home. fall into bed asleep while Hubby unpacks car. (Sorry for sticking you with all the work, baby. You are a good man.)
9:00 am – wake up. put up & decorate Christmas tree. put up remaining decorations. impressed by Boy Child’s initiative in putting up decorations. clean house. do laundry. watch tv. go to Hancock Fabrics & pick up $1 patterns. go grocery shopping. have dinner. laugh & general merriment with Hubby & Boy Child.
9:00 pm – put Boy Child to bed
fall asleep some time, can’t really remember.
7:45 am – drop off Boy Child @ school. forget how awful it is to drive car pool in the rain.
8:30 am – reminded about the sheer amount of work that waits for me after a holiday. work like a fool.
12:30 pm – go to Panera Bread for Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. am calmed by the meal & time away from work.
1:30 pm – contemplate not going back to work. go back anyway. work some more.
4:45 pm – awsome friend (that’s you Suzanne) picks up a knitting book for me that is on sale @ her LYS. am cheered.
5:00 pm – leave work. think about going to the grocery store for forgotten items. decide I’m too tired. go home. laugh with Hubby. watch tv. finish Christmas knit on time. start another project. hope that the big project that’s almost finished but can’t travel with gets done soon. according to my schedule, it’s late.
11:00 pm – finally go to bed after all the caffeine that kept me awake all day has finally run its course.
It’s Friday. I’m tired. So, I’m just going to flash the new additions to my stash.
More glass needles from the Ernsts.
Sock yarn from The March Hare.
I can’t really remember where I got this sock yarn from, but it is in a lovely Rhinebeck colorway.
Gorgeous stuff from Jennie the Potter.
Stop off at WEBS before heading home.
Clearance Cascade 220 – sweaters worth
Sock yarn for over-the-knee socks.
Valley Yarns from left to right: Amherst (balsam), Lenox (grape jelly), Deerfield (chocolate) – a sweaters worth of each
Mrs S and I trying to get all my yarn packed away for the trip home.
Sunday was soooo much better than Saturday! I’m not sure if it was the weather or the normal course of things, but there was hardly anyone there!
After we were finished, we went to eat downtown.
We walked around and found this cool paper store.
We also found the Beekman Arms, where we will probably be staying next year. The Quality Inn was B.A.D. Take a look:
Those are the keys to all the rooms we were shuffled into during our 3 night stay. We checked into room 219 Friday night. After we had unpacked our clothes and gotten ready for bed, Mrs S discovered there was no hot water in the sink. After several minutes of running, it still felt like ice. Deciding this was not too terrible a problem, we decided to use the tub instead. It was then we discovered the tub did not drain – at all. There was 2″ of standing water. Needless to say, we had to move. The front desk quickly brought us the keys to room 210.
We stayed in room 210 Friday night and Saturday night. Though, the shower was a little on the chilly side. Sunday morning, Mom was in the shower and the water completely shut off! I called the front desk and asked that they check our room. When we returned from the festival Sunday evening, we got a call from the front desk. They said our toilet was leaking into the room below us. They said we needed to move to another room. Now, this was not such a big deal; however, they did not offer to compensate us for all the trouble. We had to ask. They acted like it was no big deal.
Once again, we moved. Now in room 212, we began unpacking, again. The room felt very chilly and a little loud. After a few minutes, I asked if the window was open. Mom & Mrs S thought not, but I asked them to check anyway. Sure enough, not only was the window open, the latch was broken and would not close. Now, the temp was dipping into the 30s, and we were only on the 2nd story.
We finally ended up in room 213 late Sunday night. Yes, they finally did compensate us; however, I think next year a B&B is in our itinerary. There is no way I will risk another experience like this one again.
Tomorrow: WEBS and stash addition