Thursday, November 26, 2009

Knitting for Men, Pt. 2

Well, I finished the hat for my sweet husband and......he's even worn it! It wound up being just a simple 4x2 ribbed hat and I decreased in pattern so that the ribbed sections continued on all the way to the top. I used Berroco Pure Merino in Black (of course!) and I am very happy with how it came out. I love using this yarn for just about anything anyway.

Now it's on to a pair of fingerless mittens for my dear Mom who is a greeter at Wal-Mart and gets so cold every time the door opens and closes. I've chosen the Whither Mitts and will do a matching neckwarmer in the same pattern to keep her even warmer.

I'm using Lana Gatto VIP Sport which is a blend of 80% superfine merino and 20% cashmere. Yep, Mom is totally worth it!

I'm up making a few desserts for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. We've been invited to the home of some very dear friends who always include us in this holiday feast and all of us here are looking forward to the gathering. Hope you all enjoy this day of thanks wherever you are!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Knitting for Men

So recently, I decide that I would like to make my husband a hat. I figured it was about time that the man who so willingly supports my knitting hobby (addiction) is rewarded with a hand knit item. I purchase a skein of yarn in a nice wine heather shade and ask him if he'd like a hat in this yarn. It matches his winter coat pretty well so I think, hey, I'm golden. He says....."how about black". Ok, another reason to buy yarn. I can do that. So then I start working on finding a pattern.

I ask "Would you like a cabled hat?"

"Huh?", he says.

"You know, a hat with cables", I respond.

His answer, "Are those the twist-y things? I'm not so big on those."

Ok, so at this point I think to myself that I have a fair amount of knitting skill, I work in a yarn shop and I sometimes help other people figure out a problem when they hit a snag in their knitting. I had envisioned making my husband a really intricate cabled hat. I had self-centered daydreams of co-workers and friends asking him "Where did you get that great hat?". So now, I have come back to reality and accepted the fact that I will be knitting a stockinette hat....... in black.

But, hey, there's still a skein of soft wool in a lovely wine heather color just waiting to be turned into fabulous Celtic knots.....with braids......and ropes..........where are my needles?

Monday, September 14, 2009

No More......... wheels on her bike. The Incredible Digit Girl decided that she had just about enough of leaning to one side and wanted to try riding without the extra "help". She took to two-wheeling just fine and we can hardly keep her off her bike.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First and Five

As in First Grade......

......and Five Years Old!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm blaming Facebook.........

.....for the utter dearth of entries here from the Digit household. Yes, it's true. I most certainly drank the Facebook kool-aid and have been posting regularly in the land of near instant gratification. All kidding aside, I am seriously overdue for even just a few words here.

The summer has been treating us well and the kids have definitely been having a great time. I have been pretty busy, too. I've worked several knitting/fiber related shows including, Sock Summit, the most recent (and largest). I'm probably the only person who has waited this long to post their pics/write about attending. As always, I worked for the fabulous Morgaine at Carolina Homespun and helped out at Stitchjones for the wonderful Sharon. I didn't take many pictures but Morgaine is below in the long gold-toned coat and her lovely wife Lann is at the checkout/register. They are such awesome people.

Next is another angle of the very large Carolina Homespun booth. The yarn on the closest corner is Curious Creek fibers. Christine of Curious Creek does a great job of dyeing and has some of my favorite shades in tone-on-tone colorways.
I was also luck enough to meet and work with the lovely Jen of Spirit Trails Fibers. She is just a sweetheart and dyes fiber and yarn in the most amazing colors. Honestly, her product just glows.
Next is the wonderful Sharon (center) of Stitchjones along with two of our knitting group buds - Angela and the elusive Kerin, who we don't see as often as we would all like.
I then stopped by the Abstract Fiber booth to say hello to Susan. I had knit a sock sample in one of Cindy's newest patterns, Come Sail Away, using Susan's sock yarn in the merino/tencel blend so I wanted to come take a look.
I also volunteered at the Sock Museum at Sock Summit which I enjoyed. I liked the historical items the most. The picture below is of two pairs of Civil War style socks - North and South right next to each other. Chris Lanning the person who put the whole museum together explained that the soldiers didn't have uniforms in the way we would think of them today. They had certain guidelines for color and garment style that they had to follow and provide what they could.
I didn't buy much as I was working a lot at the show but the skein below just about jumped off it's display and came home with me. It's from Royal Hare yarns and the colors just make me happy every time I look at then.

And I couldn't pass up the Elemental Affects Shetland yarn dyed by Judith MacKenzie McCuin. It's going to be perfect for a pair of multi-color mittens.

Oregon Flock & Fiber is coming up near the end of September. I attended my first last year and loved it. Can't wait to go this year. I'll have a few items for sale. More on that later.

The biggest change in my schedule has been my new part-time job at All About Yarn - a great yarn shop in Tigard, Oregon. The owner and my co-workers are a great group of people and I'm really enjoying my time at the shop. I'm there on Tuesdays and Fridays so if you're in the area and in need of some yarn (who isn't?!) stop by and say hello.

Monday, July 6, 2009

How To Make A Spinner Cry

This mess of a ball is what I was trying to finish this morning. I was plying a single merino/tencel strand that I had wound into a center pull ball. Well, the outside strand of the ball had been winding sort of funny but I thought it was still okay to work with ......... WRONG!! After plying for only a few minutes the outside strand starting unwinding in big chunks and before I could stop the whole mess was hopelessly wound together. I made the fool-hardy attempt to somehow start pulling it apart. After this literally brought me to tears, I gave up and threw the whole thing in the trash. I wouldn't normally classify myself as the weepy type....but this morning was definitely the exception.

I was very disappointed by losing so much effort but then I reminded myself that I have six ounces of this fiber left. Plenty to work with. I'm taking a little time out from the wheel, though.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Black Sheep Gathering

No, it's not a meeting of disgraced family members. It's a fiber festival here in the Pacific Northwest. I'm off to work a few booths and fondle lots of yarn and fiber. I get to use my spinning wheel for "work"......gotta love that.

Lots of pics from Black Sheep Gathering and WWKIP day to follow soon. If you'll be in Eugene for the fiber festival this weekend, look for me at either the Stitchjones booth with the fabulous Sharon or at the Carolina Homespun booth with the wonderful Morgaine.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Nothing In Particular

Yep, that's right.......haven't posted in over a month and still don't have a particular focus or point to this post.  I'll just wing it. 

Hmmm, what's new.  Let's see.  My children are turning shades of brown with all the playing in the sunshine.  We've been going to the fountains and setting up sprinklers for their amusement. One of their favorite places to go is Jamison Fountain.  They can't get enough of the place. 

Even the walk back to the car was fun......

......and scenic.

All in all a very enjoyable day!

On the knitting front, I've got a couple of secret projects that can't be mentioned for a few months (very cool stuff, I must say).  Also, there are two patterns of my own that I will self publish with in the next few weeks.  Plus, I'm really looking forward to WWKIP Day.  One of my patterns will be included in the goodie bags for our local WWKIP event in Hillsboro.  After that Black Sheep Gathering is on the horizon.  This will be my first year attending and I'm really looking forward it.  Plus, I will work the vendor booth for Carolina Homespun thanks to the wonderful Morgaine.   Lots and lots to keep me busy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Knock, knock, knock.....

.....yes, the lights are on and there is indeed someone home.

It's been a bit of "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" around the Digit household lately. Suffice it so say that life/the universe/whatever gave us a little kick in the pants recently and we've been making the needed adjustments here at home. Luckily, the four of us here in the Digit household are, for the most part, healthy again. A few sniffles here and there but nothing like the last couple of months.

I could go over a long laundry list of things that have been going on but no. Look at these pretty pics of our garden instead.

We also got our veggies planted as evidenced below.

We've got Walla Walla Onions, a Northwest variety of garlic, Hood strawberries, a variety of lettuce and a few herbs.  We also planted some seeds for tomatoes, sweet peas (just for flowers) and a funny French type of carrot that is a little round globe instead of the normal long tapered variety.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the rather brazen squirrel in my yard will stop digging up the soil.  I've already secured my title as "crazy neighbor" after I screamed semi-obscenties (my daughter was present otherwise I would have gone for the full f-word variety) at the afore-mentioned squirrel when I found him digging around in the onions.  The squirrel merely looked up, finished his/her digging and then jumped to the dogwood tree as I finally got close enough to throw something.  

On a more enjoyable note, the Incredible Digit Girl and I attended the yearly Beaverton Women's Club Tea.  Dear friends of ours are related to the organizers and we always get invited to join their table.  It's a fun event with dozens of raffle prizes.  The best part is that each year the funds are applied to a scholarship that is awarded to a woman in the local community.  The recipient this year is a single mom with two small children.  With her scholarship she is completing a micro-electrical engineering degree.  Who knew that eating tea sandwiches and chocolate could help someone support their family?   There was also a very enjoyable speaker, Leigh Anne Jasheway-Bryant.  She is a writer of stress management books and also teaches related courses.  Bascially, though, she is just hilarious!  

Finally, since the law states that I must feed my children, I'm off to make lunch.  Enjoy your day wherever you are :-) !!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Hate the Flu

This is all I have to say to my germs.  "Aloha.......Aloha, HARD!"

(Sorry, couldn't get around the auto commercial that plays at the beginning.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Sheared A Dog (and other firsts)

Yes, that's right. I sheared a dog. A cute little poodle named Jack. His mommy Carissa, better known as the proprietor of The Cupcake Factory, had been curious about using his furry coat for spinning. My contribution to the experiment was to offer my clipper set to the project.  Notice how springy and fluffy his "hair" is on top of his head. 

That is what he looked like all over until we did this:

Luckily, Jack's got plenty of fluff left to keep him warm and Carissa has plenty to experiment with as evidenced by the bag below.  

But the main reason I was there was to pick up the 3.7 pound Alpaca fleece that I purchased.  

It's a beautiful multi-colored fleece that I'm processing a few different ways (another first!).  I separated one pound each of the dark brown and the lighter "apricot" shade.  Those two pounds are going to Fantasy Fibers for professional, machine processing.  The remaining 1.7 pounds is going to be hand-processed by me - plenty to practice.  I've already done a little under 100 grams myself and I'm really happy with how it came out.  I got most of the guard hairs out and it has spun up really soft.  Yeah!

Speaking of Alpaca, I found some dyed Alpaca fiber in the most unlikely place....Cost Plus World Market!  I should admit it was the Incredible Digit Girl who first spotted it.  We were wandering through the store when my daughter said, "Look, Mommy, fiber!".  How cool is  my kid!    
What a deal!  I got ten different colors of hand-dyed alpaca for $12.99.  This was definitely the first time I found spinning fiber at a retail home decor store.  It may be a very temporary item, though.  I could not find it listed on their website to post a link :-( .

And, last but certainly not least, is my most exciting first.  The current issue of the KnitPicks catalog has two original designs by yours truly.  

The first is the Arrow Knee Sock which is a lace-y sock pattern in KnitPicks Gloss yarn which is a merino/silk blend that is very soft and has a lovely sheen.  

The second is the Dellarobbia Legwarmer in KnitPicks Swish DK yarn ... a soft and squishy merino yarn that I really enjoy using.   This pattern also has an optional foot section to make the legwarmer into a warm and comfortable knee sock.  Perfect for cold winter days.  

Many thanks to K & K (you know who you are) for giving me the opportunity to design these two patterns!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Weather Report......

......courtesy of the Incredible Digit Girl. I couldn't help myself.  I thought it was quite poetic for a six-year-old.  I'm her mom...I get to brag.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thirty Lashes With Some Wet Handspun

Oy, has it been too long since I posted here and I definitely have some info to share.  

Let's see.....fiber first.  There are a few exciting things coming down the pike for me.  I have two, count 'em two, patterns to be included in the upcoming catalog for KnitPicks!   I can't wait to share all the details.  Just a few more weeks.  

I also have a few new patterns for Stitchjones.  The lovely Sharon has been traveling far and wide to get her fabulous yarn into more shops in the Northwest and beyond.  I have been adding a pattern here and there using both her worsted and sock weight yarns.  So far, in the Dyepot Worsted there is the "Sunset Highway Scarf"

and the soon-to-be-released "Lefty Lucy, Righty Tidy Scarf" which gives the option of tilting the pattern in one of two directions (I'll get pics up soon).   There is also a lace scarf in the works that will be made using the amazing Glam Sock yarn that Sharon makes in such lovely colors.   There will also be some errata forthcoming on the Little Feet sock kits.  I was in such a hurry to get these to Sharon that I missed a few things that need to be corrected.  My apologies!  

There is also a neckwarmer pattern of mine that is available through Abstract Fiber.  Susan, of Abstract Fiber, has included my Lace Slip Neckwarmer in bookmark form for handouts at various fiber/knitting shows.  I spun up a small sample amount of her fiber in the very pretty "Sea Turtle" colorway and had enough for a project.  Luckily for me, Susan liked it enough to include with her handouts!   Here's a pic with giggly model, Rachel.  

In December, Tammy invited me to join the Ravelry group, "The Twelve Days of Spinning".  With everyone's schedule being busy during the actual holidays, though, we didn't start until the 6th of January.  There were a few different categories but I chose the "Spin from Your Stash" option 'cause we all know I've got plenty of fiber stashed in my house.  I only got six completed but I'm very happy with the results.  Starting from the top here is: 

Abstract Fiber Superwash BFL in "Shady Glade" 

Come In Spinner 100% Aussie Merino in Cairns.  I cannot express adequately how soft this is!!

This little sparkly is a hand blended mix of Pink Merino, Wine and Purple Bamboo and coordinating Firestar.  I purchased all of the contents at Northwest Wools.

Crown Mountain Farms 50% Tussah Silk/50% Baby Camel in Natural Ivory/Beige.   Very shiny and soft. 
Crown Mountain Farms Baby Huacaya in Natural Dark Brown (undyed).

Woodland Woolworks blend of Teal Corriedale Wool and Brown Alpaca fiber. 
And last, but not least, a partial quantity of Stitchjones Merino in the Earth Angel colorway. 

I have it spun up but need to take pictures.  You can't see it in the photo but there's a very pretty pale blue that just glows in the finished yarn.  Oh, where the heck is my camera?!

And, as you have already noticed, there is music on my blog.  I saw/heard music on both Angela and Sharon's blogs and couldn't get to the site fast enough.  By all means, turn it off if it's not your cup of tea :-).   Otherwise, rock out a little while your looking at all the yarn-y goodness.