A Girl's Gotta Knit

A blog about opening A Swell Yarn Shop, knitting and the rest of the stuff that makes life fun :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mom and Mom-in-Law- No need to get excited

I feel the need to title this entry "No need to get excited" because the last time I posted a finished project in which I was learning how to do a top down sweater (done in a baby size so I could learn the technique with out trying an entire adult sweater) I got the most bizarre phone call from my mother, asking me repeatedly if I had anything new to tell her about. I know moms can be kooky sometimes, but I am fairly certain the top down baby sweater had something to do with it.
That said, MOM AND MOM-IN-LAW...THERE IS NO BABY ON THE WAY! I am considering adding on this chunky/heavy worsted weight yarn to my line of Duet Yarns and this was just to test the yarn on a small and quick project. Believe it or not, this entire little outfit took just over 200 yards! WOW. I was told by a couple mommies in my knitting group that this is a newborn size, but still a sweater and bottom for a smidge over 200 yards is pretty dang good.
I really love the yarn so it's safe to say you will be seeing it very soon on the website.
Oh yeah and this sweater is the 5 hour quickie sweater which is SUPER quick as long as you read the directions (the stitch count is there for a reason!)
and the bottoms are Curly Purly and has ribbing instead of short rows which is something that soakers have...but I don't know much more than that, I am just telling you what the mommy in my knitting group said :)
So there ya go. A cute little outfit which means pretty yarn to come on the website :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

What Lucky Lurkers get....

If you aren't already a Lucky Lurker Yarn of the Month Club I wanted to share a little sampling of what you have been missing...(I am so bad, aren't I?!)
For three months, Lucky Lurker Members get a skein of Duet Yarns in an exclusive colorway that is never available on the website.
With that exclusive yarn, they get an orginal design pattern created with that colorway.
The spaces are limited...
Thing is, I only have two hands and can only dye so much yarn at a time
so I have to limit the number of Lucky Lurkers members

Lucky Lurkers are always offered their spots in the next round first...

Then I have an open registration for newcomers hoping to become

Lucky Lurker Members

That open registration begins 9am March 24th.

You should know that judging by the number of current Lucky Lurkers e-mailing and asking if they will be able to hold their spot, the number of spaces for newcomers may be in short supply.

The next round of Lucky Lurkers will have patterns for anything from Socks to Stuffed Critters to anything in between...because sock yarn isn't just for socks any more!!!

PS. Yes, the patterns will be available after the close of the following Lucky Lurker round (ie patterns from round 1 will be available on the website during round 3, etc)

Good luck to everyone who hopes to join the upcoming round of Lucky Lurker Club and happy knitting!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Let's talk UFOs

Every so often, that little voice pops into your head as reminds you, 'you really need to finish that project some day'. For me...this afgahn is that project. It keeps going and going and going....I do work on it too. A granny square here, a granny square there. If I am not mistaken, this afgahn is 6 years in the making!!!!
So what's the hold up? Well, for those of you who don't know the story behind it....Years ago (6 years ago) I saw the pattern for this afgahn and loved it. I didn't know how to crochet, so I taught myself with this project. Yes, I did an afgahn and MY FIRST PROJECT. I really don't know what I was thinking. Well...I continued along and bought more and more balls of yarn along the way. The one company stopped making one of the yarns, then a store I purchased several of the yarns at closed and the yarn was no where else to be found. Plain and simple, I was screwed. Then while I figured out what to do with a half finished afgahn that I can't find the yarn for, I tried another smaller crochet project. That's when I learned that I had done EVERY SINGLE STITCH WRONG on that afgahn.
So, I hopped back on that horse, decided to take apart all the squares and fill it in with solid pink granny squares to get to the right size. I am still making solid pink squares to this day. AND I have to remember to do every stitch wrong, just like I did when I started making the afgahn so that everything matches!
This will definitely be a blanket that will be considered a keepsake!!!

Then we go to these socks (do you see a color similarity here? At least I am consistent)
I love these socks, I don't really know what happend. I just kinda lost steam. They are always in my knitting bag and they go everywhere with me, but I always seem to reach for a different project when reach in the bag. So close to done too!!!

Then there's my wrap. This big ole honker is one row from being done!!! I just have to wind the skein in to a ball and I am on my way. It is a little embarrassing that the winding of the ball is my main reason for procrastination!!! I am totally loving this thing though! It is going to be perfect to wrap around my shoulders to take the chill off!

And then there is this!!! I have wanted to knit this cardigan since the day I got the magazine-that was January 2005!!! I have the yarn in balls and ready to go! I think this is the coolest vintage modern looking cardigan EVER!!
I have no idea why this thing hasn't been started. Ever time I finish a project, I just don't seem to cast on for this cardigan. I think 2008 is the year though!!! It's been on my mind alot lately and I have been looking at the picture often. I think it's gonna happen!!!
Now, one thing I do tell myself when I start to feel guilt over my unfinished projects is that, every month I finish a project completely, not only finish it but create and design it for the Lucky Lurker yarn of the month. And on top of that I am doing my regular knitting that I can share with you here. That's when I tell myself I only have one set of hands and I still love all my UFOs so I am certain every last one of them will get done! The afgahn, I am confident, will be the last one finished!!! :) LOL :)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Since I can't share knitting progress

Since I can't share my knitting progress (you can always know it's lucky lurker time when I don't show any knitting for a while) I will share what else I have been up to. I whipped out these adorable skirts in an afternoon each!!! Once I got my measurements down and the basic pattern created, the skirts are a breeze to put together and I LOVE THEM!!!! It is taking every bit of will power I've got not to run the fabric store and get fabric for more!!!!! Do you think it would be weird to wear the same skirt everyday but in a different color?! I am really torn on this question, because I want to make so many more of these!
Then, with the arrival of a little sunshine and the idea that spring is on it's way...Mr Ken and I rushed off to McClendon's Garden section and stocked up on bulbs for both the front yard and the garden. I am totally excited about planting the rhubarb!!! I can almost smell the strawberry rhubarb pie right now.

My splurge purchase was this apple tree- Check this out!!! It has 5 different apples types that will grow on it! Each main branch is a different type of apple. How cool is that?! I am sure this is a well known thing to all of you who know stuff about gardening, but to me this is a brilliant creation! WOW! I can't wait to see all these different apples all over it!

In the midst of all these little projects...Mr Ken needed to spend his Christmas gift certificate and the brand new Cabela's sporting good store which is about an hour and a half away. I don't know how many of these stores are around the US, but it was a sight to see!!!! This photo is their display right in the middle of the entire store!!! Absolutely amazing!!!! I knew we were in for a long day...but after 3 hours in the store (and the 1 1/2 hour to get there and the 1 1/2 hour trip home ahead) I finally had to drag Mr Ken out of there....and believe me, he was like a kid in a candy store-he would have happily stayed for hours more!

I have to admit the place is pretty cool...but I think I am going to encourage him to go with some of his guy friends for his next trip. I am just not as into as fishing lures as you might think!!! :)

How are the worms?!!!!!

I know this is a burning question in everyone's mind...HOW ARE ANGI'S WORMS?! It's been a month with no update...was there a worm emergency? did the worms eat through the compost bin and cause chaos throughout the county? how are those worms????
Well, breath easy! The worms are just fine!!! :) LOL!
I put those little buggers in the bin and didn't see any progress! Being the slightly high strung person that I am (no need for affirmations from those that know me well), I was somewhat disappointed with their lack of speediness. Then my worm book arrived and it turns out the poor little guys do not like temperatures below 55 degrees and they were either snuggling together for heat or had already kicked the bucket since temperatures were only reaching highs of 45 at the time.

Now that the temperatures have been rising, those little worms are busting their little hineys (I don't think they actually have hineys...oh well) and making compost like you wouldn't believe!!! I am so excited for my little worms!!! :)

In the meantime, as you can see from my recent book additions, I am continuing to learn way too much about how horrible everything around us is!!!! Once you know a little, it's like a snowball that keeps growing and growing. Now, I am trying to make everything from scratch to avoid as many additives (that may not be as safe as you think) as I can.
It has been a fun learning experience! I have made granola which is YUMMY!!! Soy ice cream, bean salads and no knead breads that are delicious. And this may sound like it would be way too much work to incorporate into your regular life, but it only really takes about 1/2 hour per thing...which is pretty much the time it takes to drive somewhere to get convienience food-and you save on the gas money!

My nemesis so far is real bread!!! UUUGGGHHHHH! First one was a solid concrete rock by the time it cooled. The second one only rose about 1/2 way so it was the densest bread I have ever made my hubby eat (he's such a trooper). After careful consideration, I believe I keep the temperature too low in the house for bread to rise. I am going to try a warmed oven that has been turned off. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

To make myself feel a little better about my complete failure at making bread, I whipped out a batch of old fashioned Castile soap. Oils and fats mixed with flesh burning chemicals I can do with success...mixing yeast with flour and water I can't do- What's up with that?! :)

It's been a lot of fun to create these 'natural' things...I feel better about what we are surrounding ourselves with in this house and in our food and I am learning sooooo much along the way. I am actually thankful that I have learned about what is in commercial products so I would have the oppurtunity to 'create' a natural alternatives!!!