Stacy Knits

Ramblings about knitting and whatever else crosses my mind

Saturday, December 31, 2005


Earlier this month, I resolved to be more neat with my knitting supplies. Needles would be neatly organized in a plastic box, yarn stash would be tidy, and all my little knitting supplies would be kept neatly in a small makeup bag. Things would be put up instead of scattered about the house. I am proud to say that I have kept that up but have been reminded in the meantime why I don't make New Year's resolutions. That neat little bag of's gone. I have no clue where it went. I can't remember taking it anywhere so it must be buried around the house somewhere. Perhaps at work but it hasn't turned up there. All my small things, the stitch markers, tapestry needles, scissors, etc. are gone.

I discovered this missing bag last Wednesday. Backyard Leaves was finished for Thursday's Secret Santa gift exchange, just a few ends to weave in. I couldn't find a needle! It was 10:00 at night, and a trip to the 24 hour Walmart was inevitable. I got the bright idea to check the couch cushions, and lo and behold, I found a lone needle and a couple of stitch markers.
You know you are a knitter when, buried in your couch cushions, instead of coins, you find supplies. I know the surest way to find the bag is to go buy all new stuff but I haven't yet. I'm determined to find it.

Ooh, what do we have here?

I ended up spending my LYS gift certificate on yarn for Salina from Rowan Vintage Knits. I've loved Salina ever since I saw it on Becky's blog and bought the book mostly for this pattern (and fortunately, there are several others I want to knit too and some I love but can't see myself knitting/wearing). It's a green shade in the book but I pictured it in a darker shade, burgundy or dark plum. My LYS doesn't carry Rowan but I thought Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool would be perfect. They only had 3 skeins of the plummy shade I really loved and wanted but when I laid eyes on this blue-green color, I decided to go for it instead. It's gorgeous, and my blue eyes tend to take on whatever color blue I am wearing so it will be a good color on me too.

I cast on for the Loopy Velez Cowl my co-worker asked me to make for her. It's in some stash white with a sparkly thread running through it Wool-Ease. I made one of these before, same yarn, (see picture here) and forgot just how annoying these loops can be! It's a mess. I somehow dropped 2 stitches in the first row of loops but didn't catch it until a couple rows later. I did just discover these directions for knitting the loop stitch that are a little different from the ones in SNB and are a little easier for my thread. The problem I was having is that the yarn is a little splitty because of that sparkly thread and K2Tog was tough. I was watching a basketball game at the same time so I wasn't paying super close attention either. I ripped out a couple hours of work but hopefully the rest will go more quickly!

Have a happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Belated Merry Christmas!

In the hustle and bustle of last week, I never did get around to posting to wish everyone a Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday! After a very late night at BF's company Christmas party Friday the 16th and having to drive back home for my cousin's Saturday wedding, I was pooped and had trouble recovering. I think I'm getting old. :) I even fell asleep late that night watching the tape of Kentucky clobbering Louisville in basketball. Can you believe it? Not only did someone schedule a wedding on this most sacred of days, I went to the wedding and only listened to it on the radio in the car driving there. I was too elated that we clobbered them to even complain too much!

I hope it was a good holiday all around. I had a very nice weekend, spent mostly at my parents' new house here, just outside of Lex. They just moved in last Friday. The house is beautiful, pretty much their dream house (within reason!), while being warm and cozy at the same time. We spent Christmas Eve with my Dad's parents and Christmas Day with my Mom's. The best present given: a treadmill from my parents to my Dad's parents. My grandpa had open heart surgery in August and went from being pretty active to not doing a thing. We hope this will get him moving again.

I got lots of wonderful things but most important, for this blog, were gift certificates to my LYS and one to WEBS! My LYS has their annual 20% off everything in the store sale starting tomorrow, and I will be there, armed with my g.c.! Ahhh, what to knit, what to knit?!?

Fortunately, I have some ideas! I got a g.c. from Barnes and Noble and finally splurged on the Vintage Style book I'd been wanting. It kills me to pay $25 for a book I may knit one or two things from but since the g.c. was the same price as the book, I figured it was time! First up will be either Salina, Elise, or Magnolia. It will probably be Salina or Elise but Magnolia looks like such a big, fluffy, cozy sweater.

Oh yeah, all that Christmas knitting. I only had 2 gifts that I HAD to have done by Christmas. One was Backyard Leaves for my work Secret Santa, and the other was a Crystal Palace Splash scarf for my cousin Amy. Both went over great! The work SS makes jewelry so I knew she would enjoy something handmade. My cousin LOVED her fluffy scarf. She told me that she had just told our grandmother on Christmas Eve that she had wanted me to do a scarf for her but had never followed up with me on it. Lucky I drew her name, right? Her 9 year old daughter, Brooke, grabbed the scarf and wore it around. She loved it! My Mom got her a kid's knitting machine kit so hopefully that will peak some interest. I don't see her that often but next time there is a family gathering, I'm going to take some stash yarn and needles and see if she wants to learn.

I didn't get a chance to take pics of either of these projects before they were given away. I can say that I LOVED Backyard Leaves and would love to make another for myself anytime!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Christmas knitting rush begins...

What's this I see? New yarn for gifts? Next time, we'll start this in August. Hahaha, right. I had one nice knit gift for a very special person planned but the list has grown as people have started dropping hints. If you are on my knitlist, I don't care if you look at this picture, what you are getting from said yarn (and this is not all of the skeins) will still be a surprise. Except for the Crystal Palace Splash. That could only be one thing, a scarf. Since I doubt my cousin Amy reads my blog, we're safe. I'm not a novelty yarn fan but the one Splash scarf I made, I really liked.

The only non-surprise is the creamy colored yarn in the front. It's America's Alpaca Glimmer. It's a super soft alpaca yarn with small bits of sparkle along it. That's something for me, the Opera scarf from Blue Sky Alpacas. I thought the yarn was so pretty and the pattern so elegant. I intended to use Blue Sky's Alpaca Silk but I am crazy over this. It knits at only a slightly smaller gauge, and I loved the sparkle. I'm a sucker for sparkle.

I cannot work on it until after Christmas knitting is done. I don't care how much I want to wear it.
I cannot work on it until after Christmas knitting is done. I don't care how much I want to wear it.
I cannot work on it until after Christmas knitting is done. I don't care how much I want to wear it.

I have cast on and worked at least a few rows on each of the Christmas projects so hopefully that keeps me going on everything.

The "need to have Backyard Leaves finished by" date has been moved from the 16th to the 22nd. On one hand, it's good I don't have to rush through it AND through another project I want done by next week. On the other hand, it probably means I'll mess around and be frantically blocking it on the 21st.

I blocked the first half and tried to snap a decent picture of it. I pinned the sides out gently, not stretching it a whole lot. The edges pull in a little and have a nice soft wave. Have I mentioned that I love this pattern?

The color looks reasonably accurate on my computer monitor, perhaps a little on the light side.

Let's try for an up close shot. My camera doesn't capture the details well but maybe you can get an idea. If not, check out the Keyboard Biologist's blog. Her closeup of the same scarf looks really good!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Gift Knitting

We're under our first snow storm watch of the year. From what I'm hearing, a whopping 2-4" is predicted but that's plenty to send LexVegas Kroger stores into a bread/milk shopping frenzy. I plan to spend tomorrow night inside, curled on the couch with Survivor, the Apprentice, and knitting. The local weather guy is probably soiling his pants with excitement right now. You know how they get.

Has anyone ever knit anything on a whim, thinking they wouldn't get much use of it, really just wanted to try the pattern, and find they use it constantly? The Velez Loopy Cowl from SNB has been this for me. I started it last year because I'd only done a couple of things on circs and thought the loops looked pretty cool. I had some sparkly white Wool-Ease that I didn't have planned for anything else so away I went. A couple of weeks ago, I pulled it out and wore it. It's so warm! You can really snuggle into it on a windy, cold day.

A co-worker saw my Cowl and went crazy over it. She told me that she wants one just like it, same yarn and everything. I happen to have plenty of the yarn left. I was going to do a scarf as a Christmas present for her anyway but it was going to be a novelty yarn quickie type scarf. The loops take awhile but otherwise it's a quick, mindless knit. She is one of those people that will really appreciate a handknit gift so I'm thrilled to get to do it for her. She's insisting on paying me for it but I say no. It's stash Wool-Ease so it's not like it's breaking me up.

The Backyard Leaves scarf for the work Secret Santa is coming along great. I finished the first half and plan to cast on for the second tonight. I decided to go ahead and block it because I am so anxious to see what it looks like once blocked. It looks great! Blocking makes a huge difference. I soaked it then pinned it out on the bed to dry. The pattern calls for 11 repeats of the leaf pattern and says that the scarf should end up 36" per piece. I did 10 repeats and my first piece is 39". Someone's row gauge is off! I only have 330 yards of yarn, and the pattern calls for 400 so there's a chance I may not get as many repeats before running out in my other half. We'll see. I tried to figure how many repeats to do so that I get the scarf as long as I can without running out of yarn since I bought the last 3 balls of this color at my LYS.

Oh yeah, Plymouth Suri Alpaca is so soft after blocking! I was afraid it would be a bit fuzzy to show the pattern well but it looks really good. I'm not sure that this yarn would hold up well without pilling in sweaters but I think it's going to be wonderful for scarves. At about $5 for 110 yards, the price is more than reasonable. The colors are nice, and it feels really good to knit.

In lieu of knitting photos, a picture of me and my guy from this weekend at my friend's band's show. Aren't we cute? :)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Backyard Leaves

Being a small town southern girl that spent almost every fall Friday evening from the age of 5 until graduation at my high school's football games, I must scream this from the rooftop of my blog.


The last time we won was 1978 when I hadn't even attended my first game yet! I could have sworn our coach was 100 years old because he was old when I was there over 10 years ago but in reality, it's just 67. Whatever his age, it's good for him to get another one of these things. And it took some sting off the horrid UK basketball loss earlier in the day.

I'm making some really good progress on Backyard Leaves. The pattern is a lot of fun to work on and now that I've gotten going, has been smooth sailing.. If you aren't familiar with it, it's knit in 2 pieces and seamed at the middle. It makes the leaves go the same direction on both sides. It's really a smart design by Annie Modesitt. I've done 7 repeats so far. The pattern says to do 11 per side. I'm not sure if I'll do that many. The pattern calls for almost 400 yards of yarn, and I only have 330. It's plenty for a scarf with some good length but I'll have to pay attention to make sure I don't run out before finishing end #2.

To demonstrate yet again how I cannot take pictures and have the color come out the same in any two, especially on a dreary Kentucky day, here are 2 pictures. The top picture is probably closer to accurate. Blocking will make a huge difference in the finished product.

I need to have this done by the 16th. I should be okay because it's moving quickly. I haven't done a bit on it this weekend but I've had a great weekend nonetheless. In spite of the terrible UK loss Saturday. :( Friday night, it was dinner and shopping with my Mom. Saturday, I went to a sports bar to watch the UK game. It was a miserable game but good company at least.

Saturday night, we went to dinner with a fellow exec in the BF's company and then the BF and I went to see Tim Wilson at Comedy Off Broadway. He's hilarious, and I'm not a big fan of redneck humor, usually. He was really good. After that, we went to a little karaoke place to watch a friend's first performance with his band, to benefit Toys for Tots. We had a blast!

You know, the less knitting I get done on the weekends probably means I've had a better weekend!