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February 26, 2007

Stitches Haul

My more questioning readers might be of the opinion that yesterday's post was a bit of a tall tale.  "There's no way nona came home with only 4 cents in her wallet", you're musing to yourself.  But it's true, all true, Girl Scout honor, pinky swear, cross my heart.  I'm sure Cookie and Kristi will vouch for me, as I spent my last dime -- literally -- at their Bay Area Knit Co-Op booth.

Not only did I enjoy the purchases I made yesterday, but I had a blast browsing the market place with my friends, running into people, learning a stretchy cast on from Nancy Bush, watching the Victorian Lace Today fashion show, seeing beautiful, beautiful things, and generally having a nifty time.  Without further adieu, here's the haul...

  1. The Bay Area Knit Co-Op booth was one of my first stops as I knew I wanted Cookie A's collection of 8 sock patterns.  I also picked up 5 skeins of Louet Gems in Linen Grey to make her Rhiannon Socks.  What can I say, Cookie has a way with socks and I love having a stash of excellent sock patterns.
  2. 2 skeins of Seduction -- 50% merino and 50% tencel -- from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, color ways Smoky Blue and Rooster Rock.  I've already swatched these two yarns for knitting the Chevron Scarf from Last-Minute Knitting Gifts.

  3. I always enjoy the Brooks Farm booth and look forward to my annual visit.  Their Acero yarn -- 60% wool, 20% silk, 20% viscose -- drew my eye this year, so I bought a skein and a pattern to knit their Crest of the Wave Moebius.

  4. My 13 year old fiber enthusiast friend is into Orenburg style lace shawls and has me curious about their construction.  While we were in the Skaska Designs booth I picked up Galina Khmeleva's book, The Gossamer Webs Design Collection.  This book has already inspired today's swatch.

  5. In my opinion the small corner Pick Up Sticks! booth was the best designed booth at the show.  It's bright colors and clean graphic sensibility stopped me in my tracks.  I was going to buy something from this creative booth and buy I did -- 3 hip and modern felted pillow patterns.

  6. For me, the treat of the day was stumbling upon the Victorian Lace Today fashion show.  Narrated by the books author, Jane Sowerby, the show allowed me to see Jane's designs first hand and to hear the stories behind these designs.  I plan to buy the book from my LYS, but did pick up some lovely Zephyr Wool-Silk from Terilyn Needleart at the Bay Area Knit Co-Op booth. 

And with that, the money was gone and the buying complete.

February 26, 2007 in Stash | Permalink | Comments (14)

February 25, 2007

4 Cents

Today was my day to visit the market place at Stitches West.  I find it best in these tempting situations -- ones with lots and lots of highly desirable goodies -- to decide how much I want to spend and then to take that amount in cold hard cash.  When the money's gone, the buying's done.  Which leads us, inquisitive reader, to the 2 questions on the minds of all --  "What did you get?" and "How much cash did you come home with?".  The answer to the first must wait for tomorrow.  As for the second, a picture's worth a thousand words:

nona spent her allotted wade at Stitches today,
returning home with 4 cents.

February 25, 2007 in Vignettes From the Life of a Knitter | Permalink | Comments (17)

February 18, 2007

A Pom-Pom is Not a Tassel

The nona-dad is an exceptional father, a very generous man, and a really nice guy.  Unfortunately my 4 crafty -- make that 3 crafty and 1 fashionable -- sisters and I have failed him as daughters.  The poor guy thinks this is a "tassel".  Here's the handsome devil wearing his Quill's Beanie knit by Quill herself when Dad was in high school. 

50 year old beanie with said tassel

Of course I had to try my hand at Quill's Beanie -- especially since my middle name is Quill.  I especially like the hat's top shaping, which is work similarly to the toe of a sock except along 3 axes instead of 2.

Move your mouse over the photo to see the top of the hat.

February 18, 2007 in It's Done! | Permalink | Comments (16)

February 16, 2007

Kindness, Pure & Simple

Today I was working at my LYS-- solving problems, ringing up sales, chit-chatting, restocking shelves, and knitting a few rounds on Quill's Beanie -- when my friend Sarah walked in the door. After exchanging the usual pleasantries, Sarah pulled the most beautiful skein of hand spun 2-ply yarn from her purse.

My photography cannot do justise to this incrediable yarn!

She then preceded to give -- yes give -- this absolutely gorgeous -- yes, gorgeous -- yarn to me -- yes me!  What can I say, I'm honored and touched to received such a generous gift.  Never under estimate the power of pure and simple kindness.  Thank you Sarah!

I love how the colors intertwine with the 2-ply.

The Clementine Shawlette will have to return to the roll of dangling carrot as I must knit a pair of socks with this beauty and I must knit them now.  I found the perfect shade of burnt orange -- good thing I work in a yarn store -- to use for the heel and toe. Be sure to check out the swatch.

I'll add a bit of Rowan 4-Ply to ensure I have enough yardage for the socks.

Added 2/17:  For the spinners out there, Sarah spun this yarn using roving dyed by Teyani for Crown Mountain Farms.

February 16, 2007 in Project - Socks | Permalink | Comments (19)

February 15, 2007

String of Purls Pillow

Oh, the woes of the decorative throw pillow.  Overlooked by many.  Ignored by most.  Tossed aside by all.  But not this one, not by me.  This pillow embodies much of what I love about knitting -- the feel of the yarn, the mixture of colors, the meditative creation of stitches, and the thrill of improvisational design.  Inspired by my 27 january swatch and a modern take on the String of Purls stitch pattern.

Yarn: Jamieson's Double Knitting in Mulberry, Granny Smith, Rust, and  Amber
Needles: US 6
Gauge: 5.75 stitches = 1" in garter stitch
Pattern: My own, based on the String of Purls stitch pattern.  Modified for a garter stitch background and for asymmetrical "purls".  Dimensions: 16 x 12 inches.

On to my dangling carrot, although I may take a quick detour to knit Quill's Beanie -- the choices, my friends, the choices!

February 15, 2007 in Project - String of Purls | Permalink | Comments (43)

February 13, 2007

All In the Details

Hanne Falkenberg's designs feature garter stitch, inovative construction, and details -- ah, the details, love the details.  A gusset here, an i-cord edging there, and short-rows, short rows everywhere.  Never a dull moment!

Hanne's Mermaid Jacket is a wonder of construction and details.
Unscramble | Scramble

February 13, 2007 in Project - Mermaid Jacket | Permalink | Comments (23)

February 12, 2007

Dangling Carrot

nona has 540 yards of gorgeous wet spun linen ready -- and the important word is ready -- to cast on for the Clementine Shawlette from the newly arrived Spring issue of Interweave Knits.  I'm using this beautiful yarn as an incentive, a carrot if you will.  The yarn must wait patiently until I finish either my String of Purls Pillow, or my Mermaid Jacket, or my Cable Lace Knee Highs.  There's nothing like a dangling carrot to keep your eyes on the finish line.

The color way for this yarn is called "Crabapple".  Crabapple!?  That name is just not doing it for me.  I prefer Gerber Daisy.  Yes, that will do quite nicely.

February 12, 2007 in Project - This and That | Permalink | Comments (20)

February 11, 2007

Quill's Beanie

My paternal grandmother Quill -- the grandmother we used to sip coffee and puff on cigarettes with -- was a signature knitter.  She wasn't one to try all the latest patterns, but preferred to stick to her tried and true.  Grandmother could knit one heck of a beanie and could crochet a granny square blanket -- always variegated -- like nobody's business.  She made beanies for everyone and blankets for everyone's babies.  Just thinking about her beanies conjures up images of my dad with his striped beanie perched on top of his head raking leaves or playing touch football with us girls. 

4 Needles No 6?  $5.75.  1 Skein Sweater Wool (2 oz or a touch more)? $8.50.  Grandmother's handwritten beanie pattern?  Priceless. 

Care to knit Quill's Beanie for yourself?  Read on...

Quill Fisher knit many, many beanies.  Here is the transcription of her handwritten pattern.

Knitting Directions for Beanie

4 Needles No 6
1 Skein Sweater Wool (2 oz or a touch more)

Cast on 96 stitches, 32 on each 3 needles
Knit 2, Purl 2, for 35 rows (or 5 inches)

Knit for 22 rows (or 3 inches)

Then decrease every row at each end of needle until 4 stitches remain on each needle.  In decreasing, Knit 1, slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over knit stitch.  Knit to within 3 stitches and knit 2 together.  Knit 1

Continue this with every needle until there are 4 stitches remaining on each needle.
Break the yarn off, thread onto a large needle, draw through all stitches, draw stitches together smoothly and sew firmly in place.

French Relief "Beanie" for World War 2

February 11, 2007 in Serial Patterns | Permalink | Comments (16)

February 06, 2007

Makes Me Happy

The front of my pillow is done -- I love the colors, I love the shapes, I love the lines. 

February 6, 2007 in Project - This and That | Permalink | Comments (30)

February 05, 2007

How Did I Manage Before?

Several weeks ago, in a moment of sympathetic weakness, I took a stand in defense of the gray cardigan -- that oh-so practical wardrobe essential.  An excellent decision, if I do say so myself.  I finished my Eliza Cardigan about a week and a half ago and have worn it at least 6 times.  Yes it's non-descript.  Yes, it's gray.  Yes, it's practical.  But, it's also warm, cozy, light weight, and goes with everything.  The best part of this cardigan is the yarn -- Lana Grossa's Royal Tweed.  It felt great to knit with and even better to wear.

With each finished knitting project there are lessons to be learn.  This sweater was no exception as it taught me to appreciate and enjoy Jane Austen.  I dare say I might even be an Austen fan.  It all started with the Pride and Prejudice movie.   Since that faithful evening I've watched 5 Austen movies -- Mansfield Park was my favorite -- and have listened to 2.5 novels -- I'm currently into Sense and Sensibility.  I find listening to Austen to be the perfect knitting companion.

February 5, 2007 in It's Done!, Project - Sweaters | Permalink | Comments (30)

All patterns, designs, content, and photographs Copyright 2004-2010 nonaKnits and Carolyn Quill Steele. All rights reserved. If you have any copyright questions or request, please ask -- nonaKnits at gmail dot com.