Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stocking is done!!!

I finally finished it. I finished knitting on Saturday and sewed and wove in the ends. The only thing I have let to do is make a i-cord for a hanger thingy. Whew! Now to the other two. They should go easier. I am going to have to buy more yarn for them because I only bought one skein and since it calls for bulky weight and the yarn is worsted I will need to knit from 2 skeins at the same time. I am not worried about dye lots. Normally you should buy what you need for your projects all at once so you have the same dye lots. Some colors can be slightly lighter or darker from skein to skein. So if you are knitting say a sweater and you run out of a skein and go to another one with a different dye lot you may end up with a line showing where the last skein ended and the new skein started. But since I am knitting with both skeins at the same time, it would give a sligtly verigated effect I think. Since I am knitting I will need to find a system that keeps them from tangling together. I am looking forward to looking at a different colored yarn for awhile. I don't know if I will get all 5 done by Christmas but I decided that at least I will get the 3 done for the kids. I haven't found the perfect yarn for mine yet. I also don't have yarn for Joel's yet.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

New Yarns

I wanted to show you the new yarns I have bought since Christmas. This first one I bought on clearance since they were doing away with the entire line. It's a sport weight yarn and I'm not sure what I will make with it. But I love the gray tones.

         This one is also a Knit Picks yarn. This one is 70% wool and 30% silk.                                        

                                          This I bought at my yarn shop. I am making a shawl out of it.     

                                          This is the Pacio-Vicuna yarn I bought at the festival.

I must say that I have been very restrained since Chrsitmas. Two of these were from Gift certificates.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Progress, knitting show and news

I am finally making progress on Sam's stocking. I am past the heel and working on the foot. I figured I should probably compare the foot lenght to a stocking I have so it doesn't get to big. I am so glad I am past the heel and all the problems it holds. It's fun to just knit and knit and not worry. If I do make a mistake it's easy to rip back a couple of rows and start again. I did drop a stitch a couple rows back and I need to refresh on how to fix it. It's easy though and doesn't require ripping back.

I started a sock with one of the patterns I am using for the stocking. It has 3 sizes, kids medium, womans medium and womens large. I decided to make the kids medium forgeting that I am not a size 6 anymore. It is quite tight. I will use this as a practice sock but it hurts to do all this knitting just to rip it out and start over. I should have knit a swatch.

Last weekend I went to a knitting show. It was one exit up on the turnpike so it was close. It was held in a hotel. Last year they said they had over 2,000 people attend. Parking was hard but I found the last spot in the parking lot. I just went to the marketplace. You could take classes as well but I didn't have the money for that. I didn't buy much because I only had $50 to spend. The average price of a skein of yarn was between $20-$30. I could have gotten 1,000 yards of black yarn made of Australian wool for $20 but I am tired of knitting black yarn. I passed and am slightly regretting it. I could have made a short sleeved sweater.

I did buy one skein of yarn. When I go to these shows, I like to buy yarn from people/places that are different and you can't find their stuff in yarn shops. I bought one skein (200 yards) for $20 of Paco-Vicuna yarn. What is that you ask? It is a yarn made from a Vicuna who mated with an alpaca. Here is a link that tells you more:

I also bought some cords for my interchangable needles from Knit Picks. Plus I got this neat little holder for odds and ends like stich markers. I also bought 2 circular needles that were handmade of bamboo for $2 each. I feel satisfied with what I got.
I have news! I decided that I am going to the second largest and second most popular yarn festival next year! It is called Maryland Sheep and Wool. It is about 30 minutes or so from Baltimore. It is on a county fairgrounds. I went to the WI Sheep and Wool festival a couple years ago and really liked it. From what I hear it can get very hot that weekend. It is always held the first weekend in May. I can't go this year because I don't have any money. But I have a plan to pay for everything. I will save most of my birthday money and all of my Christmas money. That will be spent at the festival.

Since I now have a job, I figure I can justify taking $10 a month from my check and in 10 months I will have $100 that will go to pay for at least one night in a cheap hotel. I am really contemplating staying 2 nights and going to both days of the festival. It's only 4 hours away from home so it's not a bad drive. I hope to get a hotel that has a fridge and a microwave so I can bring my own food. I would leave after work on friday and get there around dinner time. I plan to buy my dinners and breakfasts out of the grocery budget and bring them in a cooler. The only meals I would have to pay for would be lunch and I would like to eat at the fairgrounds. I will collect pennies and nickles for the next year to pay for that. If the hotel gives contenental breakfast, that cuts my food expenses even further.

A few weeks ago I went to my local yarn shop and the owner was wearing a gorgeous shawl made from cashmere. I fell in love! I decided that I should have enough money to buy enough cashmere to make a shawl for myself. I decided that this will be an all season shawl. Great in summer going to cold resturaunts and people's houses and outside. Plus it will be good in winter in the house when I am cold and if we go to people's houses where I know it will be cold. The problem with cashmere.....the price. The average price is around $47 for a skein of fingering weight yarn. You do get the most bang for your buck from that yardage. But I want something thicker. I was hoping for sport or worsted weight. But the price skyrockets as the yarn gets thicker and the yardage gets real small.

I plan to go to the festival armed with 3 patterns for fingering, sport and worsted weight and decide what I can afford. I also hope to buy yarn from other places I have heard of but never had the chance to buy from. If I save well, I should have enough money to be able to buy what I want and not worry to much about prices. The cashmere will eat a chunk but that's ok. If the amount of yarn I need for the project I choose ends up costing me half of my money I will probably pass. There are so many vendors there it may take 2 days to see them all. I really need a plan so I can hit everything. Thankfully the festival is free so that is an expense I don't have to worry about. The show last weekend cost $15 just to get in before you bought any yarn! You did get s free magazine out of it though.

Well, that's all for now! Talk to you soon.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Stop and Starting

I haven't done much on Sam's stocking since the last post. I think I'm tired of it. Plus I have started 3 more projects. A shawl with this yarn.

 Plus another shawl that Joel bought the pattern for me and I had yarn in my stash . I really like it and it is fun to see it evolve.

The last project is a sock. I got a book on knitting socks on 2 circulars from the library. Her basic sock intriqued me because it is all ribbing from cuff to toe.  Her sizes are weird, childs medium and womans medium. What does that mean?! I decided to try the child's small and hope it is not to tight. But if it is ribbing all the way down, it should have enough stretch to make it work.

My sock

The first picture shows the needles. They are 40 inch needles. Clearly I don't need such large needles for one sock. But according to a picture of the sock book I have the sock will grow quite a bit as I knit it. I also wanted to show you the cuff so far.