Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Avoiding Temptation

I am getting better at avoiding temptation. Maybe it is guilt over the huge stash in my house, but I have had two opportunities in the past couple of weeks to get some 'good buys' at yarn shop closeouts in my area and I decided NOT to go there.

I am trying very hard not to buy anything else for awhile since I have a lot of stuff to pick from already. Of course, I did buy those two skeins of Merino Lace yarn in OKC on a visit to my mom a couple of weeks ago......but at only $15 a skein compared to $36 for the single skein of Prism Lace Wool I am already working on, it was hard to pass up.

So, I wish all you folks well who are getting good buys and fantastic deals on yarn and accessories this summer. Think of me, sitting at home or here at the Boiler Room Coffee Bar in Sherman, TX, and knitting on stuff I purchased.....LAST YEAR!

Happy Yarn Shopping!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ravelry

I thought I would take the time to plug a great website: Ravelry. If you aren't familiar with it, you can find tons of great stuff there including free patterns and other people who are working similar projects that are of interest to you.

You can click the link to create an account and have access to groups and forums on a variety of subjects. There are even groups for you spinners and weavers as well as knitters and crocheters.

Drop by Ravelry, sign up, and you won't regret it. I just spent an hour searching their pattern base for scarf patterns for my knitting group and marked them to my favorites so that I can share them with the ladies.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Time with Friends

I just spent two wonderful hours with a knitting friend at The Boiler Room in Sherman, TX. We talked of family and knitting and religion and before we knew it she had to go. I treasure the time we spend and I always learn something from my friend. She is wise and kind and I miss her when we don't have time to spend together.

So, spend time with a friend soon. You won't regret it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Swallowtail Lace Shawl


I finally decided on a pattern for my skein of Prism Lace Wool. I really like the looks of Evelyn Clark's Swallowtail Lace Shawl available in a pdf file for free. I discovered the link on Ravelry while searching for free patterns. Any serious knitter, or crocheter for that matter, should check out Ravelry if you haven't done so yet. They also have groups for spinners and weavers as well.

I have had the Prism Lace Wool since May of 2008 when I purchased it in Willimsburg, VA, at Knitting Sisters while on a visit to our daughter. There was one skein in Antique colorway and I didn't know what I would do with it, but it called my name and so I bought it. I don't often pay $36 for one skein of yarn, but this was too gorgeous to pass up.

The Swallowtail Lace Shawl pattern in lace weight yarn only calls for 437 yards, making a very small shawl. I plan to keep increasing until it is big enough to suit me, which won't be a problem since there is 1,460 yards in this skein! So far, so good as the knitting goes. The chart is easy to read and once I manage to get the repeat to remain in my brain long enough I won't even need the chart. The main part of the pattern is only 3 pattern rows with purl rows following.

The only thing cooler than knitting and blogging is being able to do both away from home....yep, that's right! I am sitting at Panera bread in Sherman, TX as I write this. I took the photo after knitting a few more rows, uploaded the photo and posted it here. I love technology! (when it works)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Shawl for a Friend



I began knitting a shawl for a friend of mine and had to put it aside to knit a couple of baby blankets for the two youngest grand-daughters. Both blankets are finished and I have started back on the shawl.

It will be a square shawl with an opening down the front, a collar and a sideways lace border along the bottom. I am using a size 8 Addi Turbo Lace needle and Naturally Caron's Country in three colors in a Cat's Paw pattern. I don't recommend this yarn for knitting because it is a cabled yarn that is plied in the opposite direction and tends to untwist when knitting.



Note: Most knitting yarns are spun Z and plied S, meaning the slant of the twist will mirror the slant to the right for the letter Z and to the left for the letter S. This cable yarn uses several strands of 2-ply and is then plied the opposite direction for a Z twist, which is better for crocheting than knitting. There are probably cabled yarns that are spun S and plied Z and then several plies spun S for the finished yarn. I need to do a bit of research on that subject, but it would make sense to me that someone would have figured out the problem with cabled yarns used in knitting when the final plying is done Z instead of S.

A New Juicer in the House


I recently purchased a Breville Juice Fountain Plus Juice Extractor from Bed Bath and Beyond. It is a much better product than the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer.

The Juice Fountain has a one piece blade/filter basket that has NO threads, unlike the Power Juicer which has a two-piece assembly with plastic threads. There are three grooves in the Juice Fountain filter basket that fit snugly onto the base unit. The pusher has a groove as well that keeps it snugly fitted with no rattle while running, unlike the Power Juicer.

It comes with a covered one liter plastic juice jug that fits over a spout on the filter bowl surround and eliminates any splashing. The jug has an insert that will separate the froth if you prefer. The pulp container has a rounded bottom for easy cleanup without any crevasses to catch bits of pulp. It also comes with a long handled brush for cleaning the filter basket. The entire Juice Fountain is easier to clean than the Power Juicer and there is no juice left in the pulp container at all. Letting it run for a minute after juicing results in no drip from the spout, unlike the Power Juicer which continues to drip. It sells for $149.99, but I had a coupon for 20% off which lowered the price to $119.

We will box up the Power Juicer and ship it to our daughter in Virginia to store for when we visit them later this year. We stay in a suite at the Hampton Inn Suites when we are there and being able to prepare some of our meals and not have to eat out as much is a great help. The kitchen sink in the suite has a garbage disposer so we will have no problems cleaning up when we juice.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sarah's Blanket


I just finished knitting grand-baby Sarah's blanket. It is 41 inches square before washing and I still need to finish off the ends. I wove in the tails, but I will use sewing thread and a needle to whip the ends down so they don't ravel on me. The Bernat Cottontots is a great yarn, but it can be difficult to secure the ends because it won't split and give you several plies to weave in. Tomorrow I will finish it up and launder it and get it ready to send off to Virginia....along with some books for our daughter to use in homeschooling.

Note: My math was way off....I just took the blanket out of the dryer and laid it out on my mom's carpet and it is 41"x45"