Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's that time of year....again.

6 months just flew by. Here I am, getting ready for inventory....again. Seems like Paul and I just did it (it was the end of June). Luckily, this year I have Jana and Yvette to help too! I hope that means it will take less time (plus we're working on it during store hours, so that's less time Paul and I spend during non-store hours on New Year's Day). Lots and lots and lots of counting. Of everything.

I've been working frantically on my Adult Surprise Jacket. I think it's about 3/4 done!:

I have another 3 inches to knit for the length, then picking up a million stitches for the front band, then picking up stitches to make the arms long enough. I don't think I'll be done by Jan 1 which was my in-my-head goal. (maybe if I'm done with the inventory, I'll have time on Jan 1 to knit!...)

Show and Tell:
Mary Jane's very cute fruit hat for her 4 month old granddaughter:

Karin's hat that she made for her son to wear at college:

Jan's warm and squooshy scarf (made from The Knit Stitch Book) made with Duo:

Annie's collection of cowl's, made for her co-workers:

5 made, 6 more to go!

Nancy's Bella's Mittens:

Made with Katia Peru - warm and toasty!

Amy's (I'm sorry if I got your name wrong - I'm pretty sure it's Amy!) Star Crossed Slouchy Beret:

Made with Noro Kureyon - adorable!

Trudi's beautiful shawl/scarf from the Swing Swagger and Drape book:

Made with Cascade 220 Heathers adn Noro Silk Garden.

And Trudi's adorable hat made for an upcoming newborn:


Monday, December 21, 2009

Saftey first

Paul was hanging out at the shop on Sunday morning for a little while. He was watching me use the swift and ballwinder and said that it seemed as if I could use some safety glasses because "you never know what can happen." That sparked a whole other conversation about how the fibers fly off the skein when it's being wound and that a dust mask would probably be appropriate as well. He said that this may be especially true when there are a lot of knitters here and there is such a knitting frenzy that fiber will be flying everywhere. Can you see it? Everyone wearing safety glasses and dust masks???? This was coming from the guy who keeps safety glasses in his car because when he walks in and out of work, he has to wear them (he walks through the manufacturing plant to get to his office). Steel toed shoes too. Safety is on his mind.

Meanwhile, I started my Adult Surprise Jacket:

I'm making it with the DiVe Autunno -- a yummily soft merino. So nice to work with. So far, the pattern is going well, after figuring out what my "K" was....

And remember the leg warmers Mandy was modeling? Here are the finished ones, ready for gift -giving:

On the right are leg warmers and scarves for the pups. On the left are hats and scarves for the owners!

Show and Tell:
Robin's myriad of little stockings:

Sally's Log Cabin Blanket:

So bright and colorful - it turned out great!

Karen's mini stockings and her yet to-be-felted gift pouch:


Pam's first pair of socks!

Made with Plymouth Sockin' Sox. She was so proud to have finished them!

Mary's second scarf made in the Weaving class:

Two different colors of Encore - beautiful!

Darla's woven scarf made with two different colors of the Duo:

Also beautiful!

Kathy's Fetching fingerless gloves and leg warmers:
The gloves were made with Cashmerino Aran and the leg warmers were made from her stash yarn. So cozy!
And two cowls Kathy made for her daughters using the Noro Kochoran:

And me modeling one!:
This yarn is so soft and cozy!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Model behavior

Mandy had the chance to make it big as a dog model. Janel, whom many of you know, in addition to knitting, sews. She loves to spoil her grand-dogs (standard poodles and another that I can't remember his lineage) and sews them lots of coats for when they are out running in the feilds or just out on the town (hence, some of the coats have lace and eyelet trim!). For the holidays she was making something new for them and asked if Mandy would try them on so she could get an idea of how they might fit on Gracie and Lula (the poodles - they've been featured on the blog before).

Leg warmers! I think she's got a future in modeling. (Actually, while she looks stellar in this photo, she was actually weirded out and couldn't figure out what the heck I was doing to her.)

Meanwhile, I knitted these Fetching fingerless gloves:

I was so excited at how fast they knit up. I started at 9pm on Friday night and finished yesterday, in between the bazillion customers! love. Love. LOVE them. Made with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran which is just so squooshy and yummy. Perfect for fingerless gloves.

And here is my swirl scarf, 2/3 of the way done, for the class in January!:

Love how this is coming out too. Once I got going, it started zipping along. I've manged to time myself and now I can knit a swirl in about 40 minutes. There are currently 25 swirls. I have 12 more to go. You do the math. It's blocking now, since I want to have it as a sample for the class, and will continue on it when I demonstrate for the class.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The final push

Christmas is a week away (don't forget, the last shopping day at the shop will be Wednesday, Dec 23 10am-6pm!). I have no idea where the time went. Paul and I are still putting out the decorations at the house (at this rate, they won't be up very long at all). And I of course waited too long to call Altamont Country Kennels to board Mandy over the holiday since we'll be in and out a lot. They're full in case you were wondering. Luckily, Weston Kennels (Eileen and Chris Testo) in Westerlo had a spot for her! We aren't done with our gift shopping either. So, we decided we'd go get it done this Sunday at 2pm after the shop closes. It probably won't be TOO crowded then, right? HAH! But we have a plan. We have a list. We know the stores we're going to. We're prepared for it to be crowded, so that won't annoy us (yeah, right). We'll get it banged out quick, quick, quick! I'll let you know how that works out.

Then there's the preparation for the family party - I'm making eggplant, mozzarella and prosciutto roll-ups drizzled with balsamic syrup. Oh. My. Gosh. So yummy (got the recipe from Emeril a zillion years ago). And pigs in a blanket. Also yummy. And wrapping presents (we got my nephews this really cool metal detector - I hope they love it because I think it's cool and would kind of like one for myself!). Somehow it will all get done and then it will be nice to relax and visit with family!

Show and Tell:
Dierdre's Double Knit Checkerboard scarf made with Cascade 220 at the class here at the shop:
Warm and cozy!
Courtney's adorable little hat that will go on the top of a wine bottle (and has a matching scarf to go around the bottle neck that she didn't bring)!
How adorable is that? I realize this looks like a regular hat - I should have put a ruler in the picture to give you some perspective.

Also very adorable is Sue's Ribbon Candy ornament that she knitted:
And now it's on the tree in the front window - thanks Sue!
And Sue's felted hat, proving that light colors can felt:
At least the Lamb's Pride in "Creme" does!
Suzanne with her first ever finished project!:
A scarf made from Encore Worsted Colorspun. She's on to her next project now - I think a hat (?).
Stevie's cute little cell phone cases:
Inspired by Twilight (on the left) and Dr. Who (on the right)! And speaking of food (um, ok, so that was a while ago, back up there under the party food description...), Stevie brought these great cookies to the knit in the other night. Butter Pecan Cookies: Take a butter pecan cake mix and mix it with a tub of cool whip and an egg. Put the dough in the fridge to get really cold (becuase it's pretty sticky). Drop onto cookie sheets and bake (I forgot to ask oven temp and time! maybe Stevie will comment on the blog). They were good!
Nancy's Socks!:
She has made all of these since November 25 when she decided to knit a pair for all the people she works with. The balls on the left are the socks yet to be knit but she's knitting away!
Oh, one more thing! Apparently there is a holiday decoration contest going on in the village this weekend (somewhere around the 20th or 21st) for businesses and residences. Maybe the shop will get a prize! (thanks again to Jana's and Jean's wonderful decorating of my windows - if we win, it will be because of their talents).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Guilt knitting

Over the weekend I was frantically working on the swirl scarf, trying to get it done to have as the sample in the shop (for the upcoming class!). I need to finish it, so I can start my next project, the Adult Surprise Jacket. Lots of knitting to get done, and fast. Meanwhile I said something like, "Poor Paul has been waiting for a hat from me for a year and a half." He even picked out some yarn when we were on vacation this past summer. Then Robin said, "How long could it take? You should knit him that hat for Christmas." Then I started feeling all guilty. So, I put down the swirl scarf and knit him the hat:
Made with Berroco Ultra Alpaca. No, I don't have it in the shop. Some day I'd like to have it though! And Robin was right. It didn't take that long.
Once it was done, I was back to work on the swirl scarf. I'm using the Noro Silk Garden Sock and I'm making some good progress!
I finished the first column of 12 swirls and got ready to start the second column when I realized that the colorway to start the first swirl in the second column (next to the first swirl in the second coloumn) was exactly the same as the first swirl in the first column! (did you follow that?) In the picture, you can see the swirl in the bottom right corner is gray with magenta on the outside (the first swirl of the first column). And see the swirl in the bottom left corner? Also gray with magenta. So, I started the second column at the opposite end. Each consecutive swirl in the second, so far, is matching up with the first column's swirls. Noro being somewhat unpredictabl, though.... somewhere it will stop doing this and mess it all up.
I'm DYING to get started on the Adult Surprise Jacket, but I'm trying to restrain myself until I have AT LEAST two of the three column's done on the scarf (which is 8 more swirls). Plus, I was going to knit a pair of the Fetching fingerless gloves for my family secret santa pick.....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mystery Boxes

Ta-da! New shelving for the back part of the shop! yay - lots more room for more yarn...

Paul and I put these together Sunday night. It was relatively easy but boy is it heavy!
Can't wait until it is filled up.

On Sunday we also put up our Christmas tree and started working on decorating it. It's looking very festive at our house now!

Show and Tell:
Sally's Leaf Scarf made with Noro Kureyon:

Looks great with the natural colors!

Robin's felted wine bottle cozy made with Pastaza:

She made this with leftover colors of Pastaza (some held together) from other projects -- a great project for sash busting!

Darla's scarf made with Swedish Yarns' Duo:

She decided to make it into a sampler scarf when she got tired of the pattern and decided to finish it in garter stitch! Such pretty colors - and VERY soft.

And here is Diane with her wonderful felted hat made with yarn from her stash:

She made the brim extra wide in front to help protect her glasses from the snow/rain!

And her scarves and hat, ready to be sent to Colorado as Christmas presents:

So pretty!

Friday, December 11, 2009

This week's day-off adventure...

.....driving to North Branford, CT to bring Paul's transmission to be fixed. Here is what I did in the car on the way there:
You've already seen this in it's finished form, but for the sake of an interesting post, I wanted to put in some more pictures, especially since this appears to be the only one that came out of the phone! (forgot the camera)
So, no pictures to show you of our next stop, IKEA (!) in New Haven. I'm not a huge fan of the IKEA store set up. Lots of confusion and need for maps=no fun. Although some of their products are nice and affordable so we put up with it. We got this:
Ha! Since my other pictures didn't come out of the phone correctly, you get a picture of the boxes as they are in the shop. Stay tuned for a future blog post when you find out what it is!
And of course, what would one of our trips be without getting some sort of food???? We got IKEA cinnamon buns, hot out of the oven. Oh. My.Gosh. They were good. Seriously, though, how could we help it? There was this big announcement over the loud speaker in the store that they were ready and waiting for us. How could we not? Seriously.
We left at 6:30am and were home by 2:30 pm so Paul could get some work done. Whirlwind trip. (and yes, at some point he/we will go back to pick up the transmission!.... and maybe more cinnamon buns)
Show and Tell:
Here is Naomi:
Is that not the most adorable hat you've ever seen???? Flora made this for her and she loves it!

And here is Kathy's Cable Cap that she made in class and has now embellished with a pansy!
Also adorable!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Holiday Happenings

Sunday was the Altamont Holiday Traditions celebration and there was a lot going on. Early in the day, there was an event for dogs. Look at these cuties dressed up:

Later they had Santa come on the train:

My pictures didn't come out so well in the dark, but trust me, he did arrive on this train (it was actually pretty exciting) and then he let the kids come tell him what they wanted for Christmas. I couldn't believe how many people were there!

As we walked back to the car, I could resist taking some pictures of the building with all the lights:

And a close-up of the tree with all of Jana's little knitted sweaters on it:


What am I knitting these days? See below for my finished projects in the show and tell. Right now I'm working on the Swirl Scarf:

This is a Jojoland pattern, and I'm using Silk Garden Sock yarn to knit it. The Yarn Harlot was knitting it on her blog recently. For some reason I'm having trouble pasting a link in here, so just click on her blog (righthand side of my blog page), and look for the post titled " Quiet Time"

I had a little trouble attaching the second swirl but now I'm in the groove and I think it should go fairly quickly (knock wood!). It is a fun pattern and neat because it's not your ordinary scarf. This will be a class in January!

Show and Tell:
My little baby booties made with Sirdar Baby Bamboo:

Aren't they so cute??? This will also be a class in January. They are a pretty quick knit too!

And my Pebble Yoke Sweater (a Green Mountain Spinnery pattern) also made with Baby Bamboo:

Also a class scheduled for January! and also a quick knit (I think this took me about 8 hours) -- top down. The Baby Bamboo is a nice, soft yarn and good for baby items because it is machine washable!

Dorah's fingerless mitts ( the Spinning Room pattern!) made with the DiVe Autunno, and her Bella's Mittens made with her stash yarn:
Warm and toasty!
And Dorah's second Constant Companion bag made with Lamb's Pride Bulky:
And she's working on her third!

Kathy's Cable Hat made with Eco Wool DK and Fetching Fingerless Gloves made with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran:
Both made in classes here at the shop!
And her collection of Scrappy Flap hats, made for various members of her family:
4 balls of stash yarn ( 1 of each color) made all these hats!

And finally, Elaine's socks made with yarn she spun herself from roving she grew on her own sheep. AND she dyed the blue yarn herself.
How cool is that????