Booga Bag craze

I decided to get on the Booga Bag bandwagon after trying out Special Companions, a mini-felted bag. It’s not as if I don’t have other projects to finish up! I purchased 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon at my LYS. The color is 148, which is a dark red/purple/reddish brown mix.

Noro Kureyon (color #148)

I had read posts from others who have used this yarn that it tends to break easily. With that in mind, I’m carefully knitting this bag. So far so good. It’s thinner than I expected, but the colors are pretty cool. I’m not usually a fan of variegated yarn, but this color scheme works for me. I prefer darker, earthtone colors. it seems almost a shame to felt this! But the finished results of other bags seem fine. I’m just getting used to the knit stitches of it currently.

Booga Bag made with Noro Kureyon (color 148)

It’s almost done… which isn’t saying much since I still have to make the handles, then off to felting it.

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Stitches Midwest 2004

I had my first taste of Stitches on the very last day. I knew I wouldn’t have much self-control in the Market, so I limited myself to one day. I’m glad it was Sunday so there was no way I could go back any following days. The fact that it was a little bit of a drive for me also helped with the temptation. However, I’ve heard that due to it’s popularity, it’s going to be moved to the Rosemont Convention Center next year. Not good news for me since it will be a lot closer to me.

After much self-debate whether or not I should attend the Market only or take a class, I broke down and signed up for one class. It really says something that I would sign up for an 8AM Sunday morning class. I signed up for Cable Needle Freedom. Practicing on my own, I was already somewhat heading towards that (motivated by constantly misplacing my cable needles), but I felt I needed the extra push, not to mention wanting to check out what the Stitches classes are all about.

The class was taught by Carole Wulster of Knitting Software, Inc. We had a few nice surprises in the class. All the students received Carole’s just published book, Cable Needle Freedom, compliments of Montat Publishing. It’s a very informative book if you need some help making cables without a cable needle. The pictures and illustrations are clear. The text not only explains the process, but also helps explain how to visualize cables so that you can eventually follow a cable pattern without having to check your chart. For those of us who are very dependent on looking at the chart, it gives the extra confidence to go without. In addition to the workbook part, the patterns for the items pictured on the cover are also included. The yarns used for the two sweaters and hat were from Black Water Abbey Yarns, who had a vendor booth at Stitches. Marilyn, from BWA was also in the class. After our mid-class coffee break, Marilyn brought up the wine cardigan that is featured in the book. She also brought in balls of yarn for all us students to take home. Both Carole and Marilyn were very nice. Carole didn’t know that Marilyn was going to be in the class & Marilyn didn’t know that the book was going to be handed out, but I’m glad that it worked out well. I had a question about a cable requiring two cable needles (one held at the front, the other at the back) that I had wanted to do without any cable needles, so she spent extra time after the class walking me through it. Carole is a very enthusiastic instructor and you can tell she genuinely enjoys teaching.

Since that was the only class I was taking, I was off to the Market. I walked into the Pheasant Run MegaCenter & was impressed at the number of vendors and the merchandise they had brought. Before the event, I had checked out the floor plan and the vendors, but actually seeing it in person didn’t do the floor plan justice. I walked up and down the aisles checking out the booths. I tried as much as I could to restrain myself from buying too much. I vowed not to go out to the car to put away my loot until I was finished. I figured that if I had too much to carry, I would prevent me from buying more. It helped a little, but I can consolidate bags and carry more that I had thought. I would up buying a few kits, but mostly little accessories & tools that you don’t see in all the LYS or online that much.

I was looking for a mug with a nice knitting theme. I picked this one up from the Fiberworks (Dayton, OH) booth:

mug from Fiberworks (Dayton, OH) mug from Fiberworks (Dayton, OH)
I also got these stitch markers from The Elegant Ewe (Concord, NH) booth:

stitch markers from The Elegant Ewe (Concord, NH) stitch markers from The Elegant Ewe (Concord, NH)
They’re a little dark because I reduced the flash intensity to minimize the reflection.Overall, my first experience at Stitches was very good. I’m looking forward to next year.

Reeling from Stitches Midwest

I went to Stitches Midwest Sunday. It was my first time & it was quite an experience (good). As expected, I bought more than I thought I should. I’m still reeling from everything, so I’ll post more when I have time.

The Stash Keeps Growing

As I was finishing up my final project for class this morning, my doorbell rang. The UPS man delivered my order from Webs. I took advantage of their summer sale. They also discount give additional discounts on large orders of yarn. Check out my newest stash addition:

Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Tahiti Teal
Filatura di Crosa Luna in Maroon

Makes me want to drop everything and knit something new!

Too much to do, too little time…

I haven’t been able to update my blog or touch my knitting other than move it off my table so I can work on my final project for my summer class. Today was the last day of class <insert the happy dance here>, but the project needs to be submitted by tomorrow night. I have about half of it done. I have three weeks before the next quarter begins. Think of all the knitting I can catch up on in that time!!! I also want to enjoy what’s left of my summer, too.

This weekend, Stitches Midwest will be in St. Charles, IL. I’ve never been, but I’m looking forward to it, especially after hearing so many good things about it on KR. I need to keep saving the pennies and clear out the trunk of my car to stash my stash.

Enough procrastinating.

I’m off to finish up my project.

<ALT><TAB> and away I go….

Oh, baby!

I’ve ranted about the Curse of the Love Sweater. However, my biggest complaint is that it’s not exactly instant gratification. What can satify that urge? Baby sweaters! They’re not quite instant, but something I’d like to think is a shorter-lived delayed gratification. I turned to Debbie Bliss books. The Baby Cashmerino book caught my eye… well, more specifically, the Cable and Teddybear Jacket.

I decided to make two of these, using the baby cashmerino called for in the pattern (dusty pink and light lilac). They pattern has two sizes 6-12 & 12-18 months. I picked the largest one I could make. Each jacket uses eight balls in total. Here is the yarn supply for the light lilac one:

 

I started with the back in lilac, but it didn’t look right, so I frogged it. At the same time, I was also working on the sleeves, which was much easier to do. The sleeves are done in seed stitch. I finished one.

I’m almost done with the other sleeve.

Naturally, I got antsy with working on the pink one and started on that, too. Since I only had one pair of size 2 and 3 straight needles, I’ll have to work on the pink one on circs. I’m not frogging this one, even though I made a mistake with one of the cables. Can you spot it? (Hint: It’s dead center.)

Here is the ribbing for the first sleeve of the pink one.

I had to stop since I need to change to my size 3 needles to continue, but those circs are being used on the back. And no, I didn’t tear out the pages from the pattern book. It had creased so much that the binding just let go. No worries, though. It’s actually easier to tote around.

 

Curse of the Love Sweater?

Or the “Boyfriend Sweater Curse”, however you want to refer to it, is something people talk about and make some hesitate to knit for him. Picture this: You’re dating this special guy, you decide to take the big step and knit him a sweater. You painstakingly research over which pattern he would like or you design it yourself. You agonize which yarn and color would look best to match his eyes and his physique. You spend weeks constructing the perfect sweater for him and present it it to him with all of you love and heart and time put into it… and shortly after, he promptly dumps you.

Is this a curse or merely a coincidence? Is there a way to fend off this curse? Ignore it? Knit a strand of your hair into it secretly? Superstitious or not, life is too short. Knit to your heart’s content for whomever you want!

Am I following my own advice? Damn straight I am! Knock on wood (Hey, it’s an ounce of prevention.) So begins my journey into the SOS, “Significant Other Sweater”. I think it’s aptly titled and much better than the BS, “Boyfriend Sweater”. If the curse rears its ugly head, then it will be dubbed the latter.

Ever since I started knitting (and I started for purely selfish reasons: to make myself some really cool sweaters), I wanted to be able to make a sweater for my best friend/boyfriend. I wanted to make him something that he could be proud to wear and didn’t make him itch (the latter that was a requirement from him). I picked up Jo Sharp’s Family (Book Number Seven). After seeing the Classic Wavy Cable, I decided that was the sweater to make. It’s simple, yet textured.

After stumbling upon a decent deal on Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran Cotton, I started on this project. I had to decide on my game plan. I had the 25 balls of Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran Cotton in indian ink all set and ready to go.

The tools required are a pair each of (US) size 6 and 8 needles, size 6 circular needle, and a cable needle. I admit, I didn’t make a swatch gauge. <gasp> The sweater is oversized, so I’m pretty sure I’m OK. If not, I can keep the sweater for myself.

I recently bought the Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles and figured this would be the perfect project on which to start using them. The feel is different from the bamboo straight needles that I am used to, but my wrists and hands are appreciative. Plus, I was able to verify my gauge on the cord after a few rows.

This sweater is comprised of 3 stitches: K, P, C4F. Since I’m a fairly new knitter, I’m quite proud that I have been able to make cables. The next step for me is to make cables without a cable needle. I had already signed up for “Cable Needle Freedom” at Stitches Midwest 2004 in my attempt to cable sans needle. However, since it’s not until next week and I recalled a detailed explanation in the winter 2003 issue of Vogue Knitting, I decided to prepare myself for this class and begin my SOS project. Although initially intimidating, I was quite pleased with the results and the time saved using this method. I think I can tackle Cr6F cables and so on with less fear.

I must say I really do enjoy the Denise needles. It’s great to be able to knit one row on a circular needle, decide to do the next few rows on a pair of flex needles, then go back to a circular needle with a longer cord.

Here is my current progress on the SOS: Classic Wavy Cable sans cable needle:

Here is a close-up:

Not perfect, but not bad for a newbie hack knitter, if I do say so myself. It’s a dark sweater so the imperfections and the strand of hair are nicely hidden. Did I say “strand of hair”? I meant, “brand of care”, as I reach for some Eucalan.

So far, I’m 53 rows into the front part of the sweater. It’s used up about 2.5 balls of yarn. Instead of joining a new ball of yarn an the beginning of a row, I decided to go the Russian join way and graft the end of the working yarn to the beginning of a new ball of yarn.

The journey continues…