Crawling Along the Rockies…

It’s been a while since my last post. It has been really busy: more doctor appointments, a new drug (CellCept) to adjust to, and an infection that just refuses to die no matter how many antibiotics I swallow. I’m working hard at knitting up mitts and writing patterns for Alpaca Farm Days. The garden is suffering in the heat and cries to be watered. I’m way behind on my book reading. The cats are shedding in the heat and coating the house with hair. Then there was Yarn Along the Rockies

What is Yarn Along the Rockies you ask?

Just the biggest event of the knitting calendar year in this part of the world!  We are talking about  a yarn tour with a tote bag, a passport, free goodies and patterns. A chance to meet new friends, crawl along with old ones, and visit unique yarn stores with unknown, hidden but possibly fabulous treasures. If ever there was a time to learn how to use the GPS function of your cell phone, this was it!

The event is held over 9 days and involves 23 yarn shops up and down the front range of Colorado. One shop is up in the mountains. There are people who manage to complete the tour in the first weekend by driving like maniacs and dashing in and out of stores without really looking at the goodies. Whatever. I am not one of those folk. I wanted to savor the tour, discover new yarns and patterns,  make new friends, and locate some great stores. I split the tour into 4 different sections and drove a different section each day. Here’s how Yarn Along the Rockies works:

Passport.
Every participant of the tour carries a passport with them. Each yarn store stamps the passport when you arrive in their shop. Most of the stores had a free pattern for a knitted project and several also gifted us with goodies like stamps, stitch markers, and coupons. At the end of the tour the passport is left with the last store to enter it into the drawing for the five grand prizes. (Baskets with hundreds of dollars of yarns and notions!!)
Bag with buttons
Almost every person on the crawl had one of these canvas tote bags. Each shop gave us a button to put on the bag to record our progress. Cool! A lot of us bought things and stuffed them into the bags while we worked our way along the tour. Even more cool!!
Stitch markers.
You also received stitch markers at each 6th shop. The green marker was for completing the tour. If all this wasn’t enough incentive to lure knitters onto the tour there were also drawings for gift baskets stuffed with yarn, patterns and goodies at each individual shop. 

You can see how I got pulled into this. This isn’t a yarn crawl, it’s an adventure!! I tried to make a shopping plan for myself; I took patterns for future projects with me and decided on a shopping budget. Whatever. Sometimes it is best to just surrender to the experience. Here is what I ended up with.

Yarn
I found this Serenity by Zen Yarn Garden at Mew Mew’s Yarn Shop. This is DK weight cashmere/merino yarn that is just begging to become winter fingerless mitts. Can’t you just feel the cashmere through the computer screen? This yarn feels wonderful!! I feel better about winter already. 🙂
Shelter Yarn
I could not walk out of Fancy Tiger Crafts without some of this Shelter by Brooklyn Tweed. I’m going to knit a winter sweater for myself that will be warm and wonderfully comfy. I decided on the Daelyn Pullover for my pattern.
Yarn and mitt pattern
The cute pattern for Tea Time MItts was a free one at Needleworks by Holly Berry if you bought the silk/wool blend yarn. Of course I bought it!
Sock yarn.
My last stop on the tour was Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins in Boulder, Colorado where I found a big display of MJ Yarns. The display was enough to stop me in my tracks. This stuff is Opulent Fingering yarn. Cashmere, check! Nylon, check! Happy feet this winter, check! This put me over my budget, but I’m talking about my (poor, blue colored, Raynaud’s suffering) feet here, people! Socks happen!!

So that was the tour. 9 days. 23 shops. 2 tanks of gas and a shopping budget blown to bits.

What more could any shopping knitter hope for? Oh yeah. The drawing for the grand prize is tomorrow. What will I do with all that yarn if I win?

Hey everyone. I’ll have a big giveaway!! Keep your fingers crossed for me. 🙂

 

 

 

The Start of August: Garden Swing, Socks, Butterfly

My exceptionally annoying rib pain has improved (love those pain killers!) and I have gotten a lot of knitting done this week. The July socks are finished!

Finished Socks
The Lacy Cable socks (by Veronik Avery) fit well and the MJ Yarns Opulent Fingering is soft and cushy. The pattern was a little hard for me to memorize, but by the second sock I was doing much better and knitting faster. 
Finished socks
The twisted garter stitch heels were really slow to knit. I’m hoping that they wear well. The toes are normal garter; the decreases are worked in the knit row so they are hidden. Here are my project notes on Ravelry.

The other progress that I’ve been making is with the new seat for the garden swing. I got the crocheting finished last week and headed right outside to get it sewn onto the frame of the  garden chair.

Seat on Garden Swing
I’m just tying the crocheted seat to the frame right now to kind of stretch it into place. I’m working out an idea for a permanent crocheted attachment to the side frames. I also need to sew the tube that covers the bar at the bottom of the chair back. 
Cat on swing.
MacKenzie is not waiting for me to finish. He’s ready to sleep in his swing again now. Yep. I need to get that bottom stretched tighter, huh.

It is a little smaller than I wanted it to be but it is growing in size as I get it stretched to the frame. I’m still thinking about how to attached it to the sides; in my mind I have an idea of how to crochet the attachment. I have a few more days to think about this because my ribs are still too sore to take on the task right now.

Butterfly
I do need to get the chair done soon. Look at what I’m missing by not being able to read outside in the garden. 

August is starting out right. Woohoo, August!

 

July Resolution Socks

Oh my goodness, it is almost the middle of July and I haven’t started on the New Year’s Resolution socks for the month yet. I’m still working on the seat for the swinging lawn chair and my Clove Hitch Tee from the last post, but when did the thought of having another project on the needles ever slow me down? I mean, seriously, if I’m juggling less than a dozen different UFOs I’m good. There’s only two more weeks left to the month, so this is sort of an emergency!!!

Off to the knitting book stack I sent. I have a couple of books on top that I’ve marked with socks that I like, so it was pretty easy to select a pattern. The sock pattern that I picked has a busy lace pattern, so I dug through the yarn stash to find a sock yarn with little color variation and settled on a cashmere blend with the colorway of Fire Dragon. July, fire works, fire dragon. It was a fit. So, with no further ado, here are the socks for the month:

Close-up of knitted lace.
Isn’t this the best lace pattern? It looks like cables but there aren’t any lumpy twists; the texture is created by the lace pattern. This yarn is Opulent Fingering from MJ Yarns. Here are the project notes on Ravelry.
Sock Pattern
The pattern is Lacy Cable Socks from the book by Veronik Avery, Knitting 24/7. The heels and toes are done in garter stitch. That will be new…

I cast on yesterday and started knitting these babies while sitting out in the shade on my deck. It was kind of a breezy day and a little overcast, so it wasn’t too hot to knit. I really like knitting outside with the flowers and visiting wildlife. Check out this visitor.

Swallowtail Butterfly.
I still have lots of bees visiting the plants, but this week there has been an invasion of these Swallowtail butterflies. The cats are in heaven chasing along on the ground under these guys!

The year is more than half gone and for once I haven’t fallen off the resolutions. Of course, when it is socks it is a little easier to keep on track. Hot weather returns Thursday so I have one more day of outdoor knitting. Yeah! With some luck I’ll be done with the first sock by then. Of course, if I had the crocheted seat done for the the swinging garden seat it would be even nicer to knit outside. Sigh. So many projects, so little time. 🙂

Must keep working!!