What’s on my Needles This Weekend

During the week I was doing my usual daily check of the Hot Right Now patterns on Ravelry and came across these adorable Easter bunnies.  These types of projects totally suck me in (see last year’s Easter knitting extravaganza).  The pattern was free and claimed it would only take an hour to knit a bunny.  Sold!

The pattern is from Filature du Vaulgaudemar which appears to be a French yarn company, it can be found here.  It calls for worsted weight yarn (although I think anything would do if you also substituted needle sizes as well).  Basically, the pattern tells you to knit a square and then has a photo tutorial for putting in stitches that are cinched which form the ears and face.  Here’s the fun part – the back is sewn along the top so the bunny bottom is left open and can be stuffed with candy.  The instructions then have you weave a ribbon through the bottom stitches so it can be cinched closed.  I don’t know about you, but I know a few small children who will think it’s hysterical that candy comes out of the bunny’s bum!!

For the one I knit yesterday I used leftover Zealana Artisan Tui which has a nice fuzzy look to it.  The instructions warn you to be careful not to break the yarn as you are forming the ears and I, of course, broke the yarn.  I’ve decided to use some scrap acryllic on the next one so that it is strong enough to pull tight.  It took me a bit longer than an hour to knit the square and then do all the assembling and I still need to sew up the back but this is what I got done yesterday.

It’s really like magic!  It’s another great stash buster, especially for any stash with a nice halo to it.  I’m hoping to knit up a few more for some of my little friends before Easter.  If you were looking for a quick, Easter knit I would definitely check out this pattern!!

What’s on My Needles This Weekend

The exciting news is all of my deadline knitting is off the needles!!!  That includes another Mermaid Tail blanket and the only Christmas present knitting I was doing.  I’m focusing on fun projects for the remainder of the month and will dig back in come January.

One of things that started making the rounds in the days following the election was Project Peace which is being hosted by The Healthy Knitter

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I used a gift certificate to my LYS to purchase some yarn for this KAL.  The notes had said that the stitch pattern would show up better with a solid or tonal yarn.  I really don’t have much in the way of solids in my stash (and will try to focus on that in the future).  It calls for kind of a weird yardage so I was having problems finding what I wanted.  I finally settled on 2 skeins of Woolfolk Sno as I have been known to stop and pet it often during knit night.  I chose a very light gray. The yardage was going to be very close to just enough but I figured I could figure something out.

When the pattern update came out I read that there is an option to add an i-cord edge. After the great picot bind off of October I feel that I may live to regret this decision but I think I’m going to go for it!  And, I think I’m going to use a different color for a little pop around the edges, which solves my somewhat short amount of the main color.  That leads me back to my lack of solids in my stash.  And, then, lightbulb, I had leftovers from my 3 Color Cashmere Shawl.  Now, I’m trying to decide which color to use for the edging (if I ever get that far)

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I think I know which one I’m leaning towards but feel free to let me know if you have a favorite!

The pattern is free which makes me filled with peace!  It’s a simple waffle stitch cowl.  My biggest hitch was casting on 318 stitches, which is a lot.  Luckily, I waited until knit night and I was talking about my plans for the i-cord edge.  My friends quickly replied that I should do a provisional cast on (as they laughed at the thought of an i-cord cast off on 318 stitches).  I never really got a grasp on the provisional cast on so they were kind enough to show me how to do a crochet cast on.  Now, I’m terrible with a crochet hook and my friend G is not the most patient person.  It did not take long before she asked if she could just do it for me because watching me struggle with the crochet hook and the knitting needle was too much for her.  She got about halfway through before she had to go but it gave me a good start.

I had decided I would knit a couple of rows straight to avoid twisting all of those stitches. I did that and then ended up joining in the round on the wrong side but I carried on.  The pattern is a 4 row repeat and I was about halfway through the second repeat when I realized my stitches were twisted.  #*@&@!  I stopped and thought about it but eventually decided it would bother me enough that I should go ahead and tear it out.  I was able to salvage the cast on and I’m back on track (I also moved it to 60 inch needles to avoid any future issues).

We can also use a little extra peace this year so if you haven’t joined in yet, check it out!

What’s on my Needles This Weekend

You might recall that I knit hats for my goddaughter and her twin.  I took the twin’s hat up to her two weeks ago and it was a huge hit!!  It was a very unseasonably warm weekend but she wore the hat all weekend.  This is my favorite picture that I managed to snap – she’s hard at work on her homework wearing her hat 🙂

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Her mother and I decided to get out for a little retail therapy and that included a stop at Spun Ann Arbor.  Now, I’ve had an ongoing debate with my friend G about this shop.  My first two visits were not the best but she loved it.  My best friend is moving so this was sort of a goodbye tour of all my favorite Ann Arbor spots. I had to hit Spun one more time and I had seen they were having a trunk show.  It was like a different store.  They had physically rearranged it and the people working were much more friendly so it was a much better experience and I can see why G loves it.  The trunk show was by Why Knot Fibers.  The girls were lovely and we were having quite a chat while my best friend wandered the store (I should note she is not a knitter).  As we were talking my friend came over with a hat in hand and asked if I could knit it for her.  I guess she was feeling left out of the hat fun!  I noted the pattern in Ravelry and she set out to pick out her yarn.

I had said I was not buying yarn but I could not leave without a skein from the Why Knot Fibers girls and they had shawl pins from Craftyflutterby and that’s been on my list for awhile.  So, despite my “I’m not buying any yarn, remind me of that” to my bff on the way in, this is what I left with.

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Now, my bff bought the yarn needed for her hat according to the tag on the hat.  The hat is Coze by Alex Tinsley and is designed so that you can knit two hats with huge pom poms out of 2 skeins of yarn.  My bff (like me) is anti pom pom so she bought the one skein.  What I did not realize until I was reading the pattern at her house later was that is called for the new Malabrigo Caracol and I looked in the bag and that’s what she bought and in one of my favorite Malabrigo colorways – Paris Night.  Can I just say, this yarn is just yummy!  What a delight to knit!  I’m about halfway through and almost to the point where I just want to get it done so I hope it will be finished here in the next couple of days.

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One last note for today, I’ve been hearing a lot about the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long which starts next week.  My needles are quite full right now but I’m hoping to find a small project to support a designer and join in on the fun.  I was completely sold when I saw this graphic on Instagram this morning.  A little world wide knitting might do us all some good right about now.

rv76m9fThere is more info in a Ravelry group called Indie Design Gift-A-Long so check that out if you’re looking for some fun over the next month or so and I know I’m looking for some fun!

What’s on the Needles This Weekend

I don’t usually have themes for each month but it seems that will be happening again this month.  Last month was all about knitting love and this month will be all about Rhinebeck!!!!!!!!  I might be getting a little excited 🙂

Traditionally, if you are attending Rhinebeck you knit a Rhinebeck sweater.  I don’t knit sweaters (although Joji Locatelli is really testing that theory with that latest collection of hers 🙂 ) so I figured I wouldn’t worry about it.  It’s not like a have a lack of knitwear to bring with me.  But then, I went to the Loopy Ewe in July and bought some fun yarn to knit the 3 Color Cashmere Shawl and then Becky from the Knit Actually podcast bought one of those same colors and knit an amazing sweater shrug and has decided we need to get a twinning picture while we’re at Rhinebeck.  Did I mention that you end up with 501 stitches at the end of this?  And, there’s a picot bind off?  No, well, that’s what in store for me this week.

Ideally I’d like to finish by next Sunday so I have time to block it before it has to be packed. At last count, I’m at 15 rows left and 9 days (or 7 to my goal deadline, 9 to drop dead it has to be done deadline).  The yarn is by Knerd String and I am totally in love with it.  The depth and tonal qualities of the her colors has me falling in love with solids all over again. The pattern is actually a pretty fun knit and if I didn’t have a few other things I had been working on that also had deadlines I probably would be a bit further along.

Speaking of Rhinebeck, I’m going without a plan.  Crazy?  Dumb??  I’m not sure.  I know that what I really want to do is just soak up being there and enjoying hanging with my people.  Checking out everyone’s knitwear.  Meeting “friends” from near and far.  I’m sure I’ll buy some yarn but if I don’t get the freebies and I don’t get the show exclusives, I’m okay with that.  If you have any tips or suggestions feel free to leave a comment!!  And, if you’re going to be there let me know!!!

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What’s on My Needles This Weekend

Obvious answer this week – my Ravellenics project!!!  I love knitting and I love the Olympics so this is my favorite time of the year.  I joined Team Sasquatch this year and it’s the first year I’ve joined a team so I’m not really sure what that means.  But, I also have my local Olympics.  One of my friends hosts a little event each Olympics and it’s so much fun.  We meet on Opening night and cast on our projects in one of two categories – sprint or marathon.  We have to be complete by closing ceremonies and then she brings in some non-knitters to judge the projects.  I’m a two time medal winner so there’s a lot of pressure on me to three-peat!

I decided to use some of the yarn I bought at the Loopy Ewe last month.  I cast on the Fresh from the Cauldron sock yarn in the Tea Party colorway.  Although to me it’s more of a Halloween colorway.  I solicited some pattern ideas on Instagram and ended up going with Prism.  It’s a free pattern by Jaya Srikrishnan.  It calls for two different yarns but it works perfectly well with one variegated skein.  I started knitting and was thinking how it would be nice to have orange for the heels and toes but I’m not much of an orange person.  I did have some orange in my stash but it has no nylon so I was not comfortable using for heels. Then I remembered I had some left over sock yarn from Susquehanna Yarn and it was sparkle orange and matched perfectly!!!

Good news – the Olympics are half over and I’m done with one sock and through the cuff on the second so I think I’m well on my way to finishing.  I don’t have as much knitting time this weekend so we’ll see.  Side note – headed to see Yarn: The Movie on Sunday so I’ll share more on that soon!!

Here are some pictures of the socks in progress!

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What’s on my Needles This Weekend

I had very good intentions about getting a post up last week but what I wanted to write about was not corresponding with what I had photos of and I had a lot going on last weekend so I took the week off.

I want to try something new with my monthly WIP post.  That is, I’m going to include a list of everything I’m actively knitting on (not that is sitting in the land of forgotten projects or that has been banished to the corner of the yarn room) and then I will  talk about one of the projects in more detail.  I can then double check my progress month to month because nothing seems to be leaving the land of forgotten projects!

So, projects currently getting my attention include: Little Purple Sailor Coat which is by Sublime Yarn and my Derecho by Laura Aylor.  The Derecho is my knit night project unless I have a deadline knit and it may get finished, some day.  I finished all my current deadline projects so found myself being able to chose whatever I wanted to work on this week so it was definitely nice.  I’ll talk more about the Sailor Coat, maybe next month because that’s a longer story.

The last thing on my needles is a newborn hat which I will be listing in my Frekol shop. This does not sound like the most exciting thing to talk about but I think there are a few notable points.

When I was first contacted by the folks at Frekol to open a shop my Etsy shop had been empty for quite some time.  I never got any traction with my Etsy shop and with all the changes I felt a shop my size was just getting lost in the shuffle.  I sold more things to friends or being contacted outside of Etsy.  Frekol is like Etsy but all the sellers are in the Cleveland, Ohio area so a bit smaller.  As I was thinking about reopening the store, I knit a couple of small Christmas ornaments which were little sweaters, stockings, etc. out of some sock yarn for gifts.  I loved knitting them, they used very little yarn and a light bulb went off – this is something I could knit and make a few dollars on.  I could also knit newborn hats which don’t take very much time or yarn either.  This would be a way to use up leftover sock yarn (I always have a lot because I have super tiny feet) and be able knit things I enjoy knitting, look good and had some built in profit.

It has also turned out that at my new job we have to take 1/2 hour break but we are also allowed to eat at our cubicles.  This means I eat as I work and then break for 1/2 hour and knit things to put in my store.  When I had my Etsy store, I never had time to specifically knit for the store so everything was listed as knit to order.  I was also doing much more complicated hats for babies and kids which still did not take much time (but definitely more time) or yarn.  These had a very low profit margin.  Now, I have products stocked and have time dedicated to knitting things just for the shop.  If I need to knit more it will only take a day or two instead of a week or two so I’m hoping these might start selling come fall when people are starting to think about Christmas.

When I was at the Great Lakes Fiber Show a couple of weeks ago I found some great yarn that is in the colors of the Cleveland Browns.  I’ve been focusing on finding yarns that are the colors of the local sports teams because we in Cleveland love our sports! (and if anyone knows where I can pick up some Cavs colored yarn let me know!!)  I could not wait to dive in.  I whipped up this little stocking ornament.  I then cast on a newborn hat and I love the way you can see the change in the striping based on the size of the object.

For my hats, I’ve been casting on 85 stitches on size 4 needles and knitting until it’s about 4 inches. I hate ribbing so I just knit and let the bottom edge roll up.  I then use the Knitulator found on the Eskimimi’s Makes blog to work my decreases.  This is a great (free) tool.  All you have to do is enter the number of stitches you have and then the number you want to decrease and it will work out the spacing so it’s even all the way around.  And, that’s it – hat done.  It’s great lunchtime knitting and it’s also good for meetings and waiting so I always have one in my bag now

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What’s on my Needles This Weekend (and a little bit of science)

May 1st marked the start of Kino Knits Graduate Your Stash KAL.  What is that you may ask? Well, Mary came up with a great idea – use the oldest thing in your stash whether it be yarn, fiber or a wip and finish it up during graduation season.  You can read about all the rules and prizes in her Ravely group.  I loved this from the minute she talked about it on her podcast.  I set of in search of my oldest yarn.  Two things to remember – 1. I’ve only been knitting for just about 13 years and 2. I didn’t really start accumulating yarn for the first few yearn.  I was more of a recreational knitter.  I didn’t realize that at some point you stop being able to knit all the new yarn you buy as fast as you buy it.

With those disclaimers – my oldest skein of yarn was from 2006.  It took awhile to confirm the date because the trip was pre-Facebook for me and I quickly learned that anything I can’t date on Facebook, I can’t date at all!  I also learned that my digital picture storage is a disaster that needs to be addressed soon, but I digress.  I went to Oregon with a knitting friend and we visited a yarn store in Eugene.  It might have been Soft Horizons Fibre but I’m not completely sure.  (note, this is where the second disclaimer comes in – I just figured I would knit it right away…)  Also, this was pre-Ravelry for me so I wasn’t really tracking any of my knitting or yarn store visiting.  Anyway, I bought this awesome skein of yarn and all the hand-written tag said was “Labrador”, 200 yards, $28.  Nothing about fiber content. I feel like I bought it because it was unique and made there at the store but who knows??  I wound it into a ball and what a ball it is!

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It looks kind of woolly – it’s got fibers at least.  I searched Ravelry for a pattern and found a free pattern called Stash Busting Project Bags and Bowls which just happens to be written by my friend Molly in California so that was fun!  It’s a great free pattern for felted bags and bowls – there are five total options and she does the yarn requirements by weight so you can use up that stash!

Right after I wound the ball I took the yarn ties from the skein, put them under hot water and used my scrubbie sponge to agitate them.  It looked like they were thinking of felting and they definitely smelled like wet wool so I forged ahead.  But, I need to know if this yarn will felt.  So, I posted a picture of the bowl I started on Instagram and got some interesting suggestions.

My blogging and Instagram friend Missy, from Missy’s Crafty Mess mentioned both the burn and bleach tests to determine fiber content.  I did a little research and set off to experiment.  I started with the bleach last night.  Basically, you snip off a couple inch piece of yarn, place it in a glass jar, put a tablespoon of bleach over it, put the lid on and wait and see what happens.  From what I read, if it was fizzing that was a good sign.  Leave it overnight and if in the morning there is no more yarn then it should be wool.  I definitely had fizzing going on not long after capping the “jar” (the only glass container with a lid that I had was a salad dressing bottle…).  This morning there was still yarn left in the jar but it was very broken down and there was not much left to it which leads me to think there may be some other fiber mixed in with the wool.

This morning my Dad was coming over and I asked him to come a few minutes early because I needed to burn some yarn and take pictures so was in desperate need of a third hand.  I set it up with a big glass bowl and a large cup of water (for safety) and I cut a piece of yarn about six inches long and then took my candle lighter to it.    While it’s burning you note whether is self-extinguishes,  the smell, the flame and what remains to try and determine fiber content.  I found a great fiber burn chart on ditzyprints.com.  The yarn did extinguish when the flame was removed and it did smell really awful.  What remained was the yarn – I felt like I was charring a pepper because every time it burned I could scrape off the char and find more yarn underneath so it did not fall neatly in any of the burn chart boxes.

You can see how small of a flame there was – it never really “caught fire” and these embers were what remained and the fibers are still very intact under the char.  I’m pretty convinced at this point that it is mostly wool but there is either some other fiber spun in or there is some sort of coating on the yarn.

I finished a bowl with the yarn and may attempt to felt it tomorrow while I’m home doing a ton of other things.  Fingers crossed it will felt!  If it does I will use up the rest of the yarn making additional bowls.  I’ve decided to start a gift/donation box of knit items so when I need a gift or someone asks for a donation I can go to my box and pull something out. These will make great gifts, if they actually felt!  If not, back to the drawing board for a new pattern for what’s left of this mystery yarn.

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What’s on My Needles This Weekend

On the good news front – I finally finished the socks (more on those in this month’s FO post) I had been working on since July which opened up my sock needles/bag.  Oddly, I’m really starting to use up my sock yarn (not really, but sock yarn that I want to be socks is getting low) and I was trying to decide what socks to cast on next.  I went into my yarn room and this sock yarn that I bought on clearance at my LYS last year jumped out at me.

Now, I have many sock issues which I will detail in a future post.  For my next pair I decided to do a little reading of my Sock Architecture book and hope it would help correct those issues. The yarn I chose is Indulgence 6-Ply by Knitting Fever which has been (very sadly) discontinued.  A few of us bought skeins when they migrated over to the clearance area and two of my friends made baby sweaters (the Sprinkle from Juju’s Loops which is adorable!) It’s a heavier, DK, yarn as compared to usual fingering weight sock yarn.  That made it the perfect choice because I wanted to try using 9 inch circulars.  And, the 9 inch circs that I have are size 2.  I usually knit my socks on 1’s and with the DK weight would have needed to use a larger size anyway.

I settled on the Arithmophobia socks from Sock Architecture which uses a short row heel with no stitches to pick up (I hate picking up stitches).  I’ve heard mixed reviews on the 9 inch circs so I was anxious to dive in.  Casting on is a bit of a pain because there is not much to hold on to and the first couple of rows are a little difficult but after that the sock practically knits itself!!!  A couple of people at knit night said they do not like them because they lack the dexterity to manipulate the tiny needles and you do need to be able to work the tiny needles.  I love circular needles but hate magic loop because I can’t deal with all that cable so this is really the perfect solution for me.  I’ve never knit socks as fast as these are knitting up.  Of course, it probably helps the yarn is a bit thicker too but I don’t care because I love these socks so much and I can’t wait to wear them!

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What’s on my podcast playlist this weekend, you ask???  Well, I saw on Instagram that Vickie Howell had started a new podcast and she released three episodes last week.  They are all interviews and they include Rachael Herron (whose book I had just read a few weeks ago), Clara Parks (who has been on numerous podcasts but this interview is completely different) and the CEO of Spoonflower which was also very interesting.  She’s going to be releasing new episodes every Tuesday for six weeks so check that one out!

Another new one that I’ve been enjoying is Cultivate and Create.  It’s hosted by Sarah, or Mrs. Shoo and I love her format.  The episodes are usually about 20-30 minutes and she talks about something she wants, something she needs, something to wear and something to read so it’s a lot of fun in a short time.  She’s on Episode 10 so it’s easy to catch up with her, especially if you want to some good book recommendations to go with your knitting.

I always feel badly that I don’t use iTunes because apparently Apple really wants pressures prodcasters to get reviews to increase their visibility.  I have all Android and Windows products here so I figure I can at least give them a shout out here!  Check them out and if you use iTunes leave them a review from me!

What’s on My Needles This Weekend

As usual, the needles are full this weekend.  I’ve spent most of the week working on a test knit (a cool poncho) and a commissioned piece (my 5th mermaid lapghan!).  I’m not too far into the test knit so I will hold off talking about that until I get further in and I have nothing new to say about the mermaid lapghan, I can almost knit that in my sleep at this point!

The other project that I got some rounds in on this week was my purse socks.  Over the last six weeks I’ve had quite a bit of dental work done, at least for me.  Let’s just say I’m not a good patient (for any medical professional).  The first appointment was supposed to be a quick check and ended up lasting 3 hours.  I had not brought any knitting and by the end I think both me and the dentist needed a drink.  So on Monday I went prepared – socks in bag.  I knit in the waiting room and I knit once they took me back to start the work. They even let me knit while the Novocaine sunk in.  Turned out my dentist got a learn how to crochet book for Christmas and was trying to teach herself crochet.  And, yes, she did know the difference between knitting and crocheting!

I returned on Friday for the appointment.  I had my trusty knitting bag in hand.  And, I think it helped.  I think I was much more relaxed on both of these visits (that’s not saying much but any improvement is a step in the right direction).  Even just holding my knitting while they worked (if only I could have continued during all the drilling) seemed to help keep me calm.  It kind of worked like a security blanket.  My dentist caught on during Friday’s visit and talked about her efforts to learn crochet while she was drilling. Smart woman – keep me distracted!

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There are so many articles that document the health benefits of knitting.  I know when I read them I think – of course!  But, it’s another thing to actually experience it firsthand. Bonus – got the cuff done on sock 2!

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Here’s the other really cool part of this story.  By the end of Friday’s appointment I was sharing the number to my LYS so my dentist could call and arrange a private crochet lesson.  She was also showing me her Pinterest page and asking me to make her a hat for the baby she is expecting in August.  She had found a picture of a baby who was wearing a hat shaped like a tooth with a big smile on it.  It is adorable and perfect for a dentist’s baby!  It was crocheted but she doubted she would get up both the skill and time to crochet it before the baby arrived.

I came home and checked Ravely and there were no knit tooth hats.  So, I put the picture up on Facebook and asked my knitting friends if anyone had ideas on converting it to a knit pattern so I could make one for her.  My friend who has the blog Wool Forward is a hat genius.  If you check out her blog you will see her 30 hats in 30 days project which was amazing!!  She is going to work on it for me which is awesome!  The thing she pointed out (which I always wondered) is why so many of these cute, shaped hats (a lot of them are used as photo props) are crocheted.  Marie explained that it is because the crochet fabric comes out stiffer than knitting. And that is the exact problem when I’ve tried knitting a hat that I originally saw in a crochet version.  But she loves a challenge so stay tuned!

 

What’s on My Needles This Weekend (or Merry Christmas to me!)

With the unexpected surprise of finishing my Christmas knitting by Thanksgiving I decided to participate in The Knitmore Girls‘ #Grinchalong this year.  If you don’t listen to their podcast (and, you should listen!) this is the second year they have done the #Grinchalong.  Last year I was in too deep with Christmas knitting to even think about it.  The contest rules are simple – do something that brings you joy and do NO Christmas knitting.

This was all going to play out well because I managed to hit a shop updated on Voolenvine Yarns so I treated myself to one of her Christmas colors – Deck the Halls.  It was set to be delivered on 12/5 and I planned on casting on the Verdure Shawlette by Fluffy Fibers (who also has an awesome podcast!).  However, the USPS did not cooperate and my yarn took quite a journey.

All was not lost because that first weekend of December I headed to Ann Arbor, MI to visit my best friend and her family.  I had read that Spun Ann Arbor was opening that week.  I mentioned to my friend that I’d like to stop in and check it out.  I need to insert a short back story at this point.  Before my friend had her four kids we got together each December and spent at least a day, if not a weekend doing our Christmas shopping.  We managed to continue when the kids were little but as they got older and had more activities it got to be a bit of a scheduling issue.  Sometimes life gets in the way but one day those kids will all be grown and so we adjust.

Back to my recent trip – I arrived at her house around noon and we took her oldest to his friend’s house and then had an entire four hours to ourselves!  We lingered over lunch and then headed to the yarn store.  It’s located in an historic old building in downtown Ann Arbor.  The building has been converted to house several small stores.  The shop was absolutely adorable and I loved it!  It was quite busy as it was opening weekend so I had little interaction with the staff who were busy assisting other customers.

I mean, look how cute it all was!!!  I always find it interesting to bring a non-knitter with me.  My BFF is a trooper and this wasn’t her first yarn store with me.  She was fascinated with the yarn swift which was in constant action with the lovely purchases.  Spun carries a wide range of both local Michigan yarns and other well known brands.  I was going with my eye out for Fibre Company Tundra to make the Ice River Snood by Curious Handmade.  I found it and they had it in the colors it called for – Snowdrift and Glacier (what perfect winter names!)  How could I leave it there?  And, then I touched it and it was all over – those lovely little clouds of poof were coming home with me.  It was a bit of a splurge but it was exactly what I wanted and it just seemed meant to be.

It may come as a surprise that I did not spend our entire four hours at the yarn store but I do try to be considerate of my non-knitting friends.  We did check out a few other shops, including a cool store called Found that did a lot of upcycling crafts and then stopped for a spot of tea at a great tea store down the street.  It was downright heavenly and I’m sure we both needed that time so much.

I came home and cast on the snood and knit it in two days – a record for me.  I also knit so long the last night that my shoulder was sore for two days.  I blame this on a very addictive knit and the Survivor finale.  Anyway, the pattern is amazing and I love how clearly she writes and even color codes her patterns.  The fabric this yarn created is just to die for.  I’ve barely taken it off since I finished it (and it does need a bit of blocking, maybe tomorrow).  I loved it so much and had yarn left over that I cast on for the Ice River Hat which I’m doing in the stripe color and perhaps adding a few of the neutral color stripes.

Sometimes knitting is something more than just a finished object. Sometimes it represents a time, place, memory of where it was knitted or where the yarn came from or what was going on at the time.  For me, every time I put on this snood and hat I will remember the unseasonably warm, December afternoon that I spent with my BFF enjoying the beauty of the season and the comfort of a 30 year old friendship.  That certainly makes this the best #Grinchalong project as nothing could bring more joy than knitting and my friends.  Maybe the post office did me a small favor by shuffling my Christmas yarn all over the country…

So, this is my Christmas present to me and now that yarn and that hat are calling my name.

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I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!  And, if you don’t celebrate I hope you are enjoying festivities at this time of year and I hope that you take some time and knit something for yourself!