Whither Shall I Follow, Follow, Follow, Whither Shall I Follow, Follow Thee

So much exciting stuff is happening, I can’t stand it! The new blog at http://www.knitpurltink.com is coming along nicely. I’m working on some of  the graphics stuff at the moment, but I know I’ll have it ready by the 1st of August. Stop by and click the follow link so you don’t miss my tales of yarn woe! The blue button on the top right will allow you to follow through your wordpress account, while the email sign up means you’ll get every new post in the mail. Pretty cool, right?

Earlier last month, my husband asked if I wanted to go with him to the corporate conference in Newport Beach, CA. Since I have friends there, I thought it would be fun. However, the more we thought about it, the less fun it seemed. There’s nothing to do there, and we wouldn’t have a car to go around sight seeing, not to mention we wouldn’t have the time. He suggested we go somewhere else to celebrate our second credit card being paid off, which will happen at the end of August. Whoo hoo!

Since we both love New Mexico and it’s only a 10 to 12 hour drive (when you live in central Texas, it’s an 8 hour drive just to leave the state), we decided to pop up to Santa Fe / ABQ for a few days. That’s when it occurred to me that this was my opportunity to knock something off my bucket list: the Balloon Fiesta!! I’ve wanted to go since I was 5 years old, so this is a lifelong dream. Being an avid photographer, getting an opportunity to take pics of the mass ascension and the night glows is a fantasy come true.

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Of course, since we’re going to be in New Mexico, land of llamas and alpacas, I started checking out yarn stores online. There are two in ABQ, three in Santa Fe, and then several farms in the area. Needless to say, I’m packing extremely light so I have room for all those yarny goodness souvenirs! Fortunately on August 1, our street is having a humongous garage sale with all three blocks participating. This will be my time to clear out all my crap yarn, unused supplies, and various furnishings in various stages of repair. All that money is going in my vacation shopping account!

We plan to stay at least one night at Llamas del Sol so I can meet the llamas and chat with the owner, Lynda, who is also a spinner and felter. I’d love to stay there the entire time, but there’s no internet. Since Ron is taking a much needed albeit highly inconveniently timed vacation, he needs to have internet access in case something goes wrong at work.

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In Santa Fe, I want to pop in at Que Sara Alpacas, too. They even have a store where they sell their own yarn!

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Yup, I think I’ll manage to stay pretty busy. Meanwhile, I’ll be knitting up a storm. Hats, fingerless mitts, leg warmers, shawls, and a shopping bag. On that note, I’d better get crackin!

“I tink, therefore I am….a knitter.”

http://www.knitpurltink.com

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Friday On The Needles – Flames!

(Ok, I know this is late, but better late than never, right? Just pretend you are reading this last Friday!)

This has been a busy week of project swapping. I started a scarf but got about 40 rows in and decided I didn’t like it, frogged it, and started another.

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The Mariner’s Scarf. I like the basket weave, but it just wasn’t draping right with this particular yarn.

 

The Winter Flame Scarf is much more suited to this particular yarn. It requires a stiffer drape so that the stitch definition really shows.

The yarn is much more suited to the Winter Flame Scarf. It requires a stiffer drape so that the stitch definition really shows…now if only my phone camera would cooperate.

I checked out Wendy Knits Lace by Wendy D. Johnson from the library and fell in love with several of the designs, particularly the Tiffany Shawl and the Two-Thirds Shawl. I had the perfect violet bamboo yarn for the Tiffany Shawl in my stash, so I whipped up the first chart in the pattern.

The beginning of Chart A of Wendy D. Johnson's Tiffany Shawl.

The beginning of Chart A of Wendy D. Johnson’s Tiffany Shawl. Not sure how I feel about the stitch definition with this yarn/needle combo, either. May try a smaller needle before I commit.

However, for the Two-Thirds Shawl, I faced the classic knitter’s dilemma. In spite of the countless skeins of yarn in my stash, I did not have enough of any of them. Seriously? I’m obviously slacking on my stashing here! Fortunately, a friend handed over a gorgeous hand dyed skein of pure bamboo cobweb. My favorite LYS owner offered to wind it for me if I was willing to bring it in when she didn’t have a class going. However, my being the impatient sort, I decided to wind it myself, without so much as a second pair of hands. HUGE mistake. Or as I like to refer to it, a horrifying tactical yarn disaster. With three cranks of my ball winder’s handle, my beautiful skein turned into a somewhat hopeless pile of thread spaghetti.

Lesson learned: buy a yarn swift or wait for the LYS to wind it!

Lesson learned: buy a yarn swift or wait for the LYS to wind it!

I have spent several hours a day for the last four days unraveling the mess a few inches at a time. This is a 1050 yard skein, so 3150 feet of  tangled web. It will be months before I’m done winding it, but I did learn a valuable lesson in patience.

Wendy Knits Lace is well written with easy to follow pattern instructions. As a bonus, the pattern charts can be downloaded from the publisher’s website, so no trying to scan the chart and ending up with blurred symbols. I’m not a huge fan of the 3in1 stitch used in the Stacy Shawl, as I think it twists the yarn excessively, but most of the other patterns are quite straightforward. Wendy includes something from the most popular wearable categories, including scarves, shawls, socks, caps, and sweaters. As one of my LYS owners said in a recent knit group, she only buys books that have at least three patterns that interest her. Wendy Knits Lace meets that requirement and more.

My KnitPicks order came today and I am overwhelmed with smooshiness! All of my wool and alpaca is so soft and luscious, I can’t wait until winter! Okay, maybe I can because if not, I’d never have these projects done in time. I immediately dug out a skein of Swish DK in Coal and started the first few rounds of the Eva Marie hat. This is my first “in the round” project, so I was thrilled to have my join turn out surprisingly effortless, thanks to this fabulously helpful video from New Stitch A Day!

For the moment, Morrigan is taking a break, and the Quilt and Cable is still in time-out. I’ll get back to them soon, no worries.

I managed to make it to my Saturday and Sunday knit groups, as well as my Tuesday morning, but haven’t been anywhere since then. My lovely daughter turned 21 (that’s her in my header!) on Tuesday, so we took her out for karaoke and some not so wild drinking. Because she’s only had a margarita here and there, she has no tolerance and spent Wednesday trying not to move in an effort to keep water down. She very cleverly took Wednesday off from work, so she had the entire day and half of Thursday to recover and I stayed home to take care of her.

Last night, I had a painful flare of PCS (precordial catch syndrome) that lasted until 6am this morning. In spite of pain meds, I spent the night tossing and turning because I couldn’t breathe. I am hoping that taking time to stretch in between knitting frenzies will help it from happening too often. Just another bunch of letters to add to my alphabet soup of pain syndromes. Thank goodness for knitting, because it really helps take my mind off much of the pain.

In spite of that, I’m going to this weekend’s knit groups come hell or high water.