T-shirt Slogans Needed

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope you’re enjoying your leftovers and if you went shopping, I hope that you got all the doorbusters you wanted.  I meant to do an entry about the duct tape dress form that I made last weekend, however, after standing in line at Best Buy for 3 hours this morning before going to work I’m a little too tired to type much that’s coherent.  So instead, I’m asking for help. 

I want to get some knitting shirts made up.  I’m looking for some ideas on what to have on them.  Something fun.  Something witty.  Something, well, that will make the non-knitters look twice.  I’d probably want Knitting Up North and the web address on the back or somehow incorporated.  Here’s what I have so far…

Knit Fast, It’s Cold Up Here. 

It’s a string thing. 

She who dies with the most yarn, dies warm. 

Give me the coffee and no one will get hurt. 

OK, maybe that last one doesn’t quite work.  Leave me a comment with your suggestions.  If I pick your idea, I’ll send you a free shirt. 

Are You Knitting Daily?

Thanks everyone for all the great comments you’ve been leaving me.  It’s so much fun to see how many people have been stopping by my blog every day.  Since having my blog featured on the front page of the Scrapbook section in Sunday’s New’s Tribune and in the November/December Living North magazine, I’ve seen a huge increase in readers.  Thanks everyone!  I hope you leave me a comment to say hello, then keep coming back for more. 


I promise I won’t let the 15 seconds of fame get to my head.  I do have one question for everyone. 

Are you knitting daily? 

Regardless of whether that answer is yes or no, go to Knitting Daily and sign up for their free newsletter.  You get a free ebook of 6 knitting patterns just for signing up.  Plus they have a wonderful pattern archive (a lot of which are free too!).  The newsletter that they send out is chock full of good stuff.  I had never really understood negative and positive ease until I started reading that newsletter.  They’ll show a completed pattern on 4-5 different people and talk about why the patterns fits the way it does on different body types and how to make it fit better.  Those Interweave Press people are just darn clever, and they know how to keep knitters happy.  Crocheters too, I hear.  

Gift Knitting

My husband informed me yesterday that my blog post the other day was really cranky.  I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be.  I’ve got a ton on my plate right now and am a little stressed about getting it done.  Plus, my husband is sick with pneumonia so I’m feeling very overwhelmed at home.  I appologize if I offended anyone.

The good news is that I have been cranking out some gifts already.  I made some cute little legwarmers for a 6 year old’s birthday party this last weekend.  I didn’t take any photos though.  Take my word for it, they were cute.  The Mom even asked if I made them in adult sizes. 

The other thing I got done for a birthday present was the hat you see above.  It’s the Boyfriend Hat from Stephanie Likes to Knit

Yarn:  Dye4Me – white with a touch of sparkle.  It’s amazingly soft because it’s made with… yak   buffalo  angora   well it’s made with something super soft that I can’t remember.  I carried a strand of Misti Alpaca Suri Alpaca along with it to give it some color.  The photo really doesn’t do it justice.  This hat is soooo soft I want to snuggle with it.

Modifications:  None.  I really love this pattern. 

Now I’m trying to decide if I could make a pair of Fair Isle Mittens out of the remainder.  Perhaps child size for an extremely lucky child? 

After 2 swimming parties with the kids in 2 days, plus nursing my husband (who quite probably has pneumonia) back to health, it’s entirely possible that I am too tired to knit.  My arms are worn out from carrying our 3 year old around in the pool all day.  I have a pile of Christmas knitting that is sitting there staring at me.  You know the Geico commercials where the stack of dollar bills has eyeballs on it?  Well, thats how I’m feeling.  My knitting is sitting there by the couch staring at me singing a little song.  It’s creepy, really. 

Today we are 40 days away from Christmas.  Although I don’t have a huge quantity of Christmas knitting to do, I have several large projects going.  I am less than halfway through the cabled scarf that needs to be sent to Chicago well before Christmas so it can be wrapped by the recepient’s receiver’s mother.  I keep trying to invision how long it’s going to be and if I’m going to have to buy another skein of yarn for it.  (I’m guessing the answer is yes).  I’ve pretty much written off the large men’s sweater I was planning.  I think if I can get the woman’s sweater done I’ll be in wonderful shape.  Oh yes, and the second sock.  And the 2 pairs of Fetchings that I bought yarn for.  And the Unoriginal Hat.  But those shouldn’t take long.  


By the way, when I say those shouldn’t take too long, I mean that I shouldn’t be knitting all these things past Christmas.  It does not mean that I want people coming up to me with their knitting wish lists.  I like knitting.  I like knitting for people.  I don’t really like knitting on a deadline and knitting on someone else’s deadline is even more stressful.  But hey, if I run out of projects before Christmas, I’ll be sure to let you know. 

Edited to add:  I don’t mean for that to sound snotty.  I’m just worn out and I don’t have time to do projects for others right now.  However, I’m happy to point you in the direction of some excellent knitting teachers.

Charity Knitting

Knitters are some of the most generous people I know.  Recently 2 charity knitting opportunities have come to light in our area. 

The first is for the Bethany Crisis Nursery in Morgan Park.  They have been hit hard by the economy this year and their clothing room is suffering.  New or gently used winter outerwear in sizes infant – 6x are being collected by the Duluth Noon Optimist Club.  Clothing can be brought to the Incline Station for drop off before the end of November. 

The second is for the Kids Closet.  Kids Closet is a program in the Duluth Schools to give kids who need them a warm winter coat, hat and mittens.  The closets are out of mittens!!  School age sized mittens can be dropped of at Yarn Harbor.  If you’re an out of towner and want to help out with this cause, leave a comment and I’ll email you an address you can send mittens to. 


Gifts for Knitters

With the holidays right around the corner, I thought I would give all the non-knitters out there an idea of what constitutes a good gift for a knitter.  All of these ideas should be easily found in the KupN area (meaning Northern Wisconsin and Northern Minnesota).  For the love of all things holy, please please please go to a local store owned by a person who lives in your community.  If you walk into a big box store, ask someone where to buy a gift for a knitter and they casually wave you back to the "craft area,"  walk away.  Walk away quickly.  That is not the kind of gift that your knitter really wants.  If you go to a local store that your knitter usually frequents (HINT: they probably go there for a "Knit Night" of some sort) you will get personal service and the chances are good that someone who waits on you will know your knitter by name.  Translation:  They will help you pick a gift that your knitter really wants. 

Gift Ideas:

1.  Gift Certificates:  They come in any denomination and are always appreciated.  As Barb from Fabric Works says, "You know she’s going to spend the money on yarn anyway, you might as well give her a gift certificate for it and look like a hero." 

2.  Sock Yarn:  Most knitters knit socks at some point.  Or hats with sock yarn.  Or mittens.  Or… well, you get the idea.  Sock yarn is great because you can knit an entire pair of socks for $14-$20 which is a great price range for gift exchanges. Plus, one skein of sock yarn will easily fit in someone’s stocking. 

3.  Barbara Walker’s, A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.  This woman is amazing. Knitting greatness fairly oozes from her skin, she is that cool.  She and Meg Swanson belong on the Dream Team of knitting.  This book should be in the library of every knitter.  Hint, hint to my family – Fabric Works carries this book. 

 4.  Along those same lines, the Harmony Guides have been republished by Interweave Press.  There are 4 different versions, everything from how to make patterns using just Knit and Purl, to Lace and Cables.  Stitch guides are wonderful when you’re making up a new pattern or need to tweak a pattern that’s not quite what you want.  Or if you want to make some fun hats.  Or scarves. Or, well just suffice it to say they are darn handy to have around. 

Edited to add:  I believe Yarn Harbor carries the Harmony Guides.  They’re definitely at Barnes and Noble, but try Yarn Harbor or Playing with Yarn first. 

5.  Good tools.  Ask the yarn store about this.  Good tools are as imperative for knitters as they are for woodworking.  A really nice pair of scissors will warm your knitters heart.  What knitter doesn’t like a new bag, especially one with all sorts of pockets for your yarn and needles? 

6.  If you’re looking for something on the higher end or just a gift that will completely wow your knitter, join them in a Yarn of the Month Club.  Think Fruit of the Month Club, only for knitters.  One that I have heard nothing but amazing reviews from is the Rockin’ Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  Their sock yarn is amazing.  Along with the yarn, you also get a sock pattern and some fun items every month.  OK, so that suggestion isn’t from a local company, but it would make your knitter smile all year round. 

You’ve Got Mail!

I love getting packages in the mail.  I don’t know if it’s something about being the daughter of a mailman or what it is, but there’s just something special about getting a package or a handwritten letter in the mail. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of email, I just like getting snail mail too. 

Yesterday I received a giant box in the mail.  It was a birthday present from my parents.  Technically, they gave me a check in September to buy this item, it just took me a month to purchase it. 

It’s a Tait Tote from Daisy Muir.  I’ve needed/wanted a new knitting bag for awhile and really wanted one with inside pockets that would hold multiple skeins of yarn.  I tend to carry several projects at once, and things get a little tangled up in my bag.  The Tait Tote has six inside pockets.  It’s lined in a satin material so fiber won’t get caught along the inside and get fuzzies everywhere.  There’s also a little accessory bag that will hold scissors, lipstick, cellphones, etc. plus it’s attached to the bag by a strap so you won’t be loosing it all the time. 


I almost forgot to mention one of the coolest parts, the bag has a metal frame around the mouth that allows it to hold itself open.  Too cool!  The outside is a great grey pinstripe that looks as though it will withstand anything that my girls and I could throw at it.  There’s one big outside pocket on the back that will hold a pattern.  It’s cute, stylish and very practical.  This morning I took the essentials out of my purse and threw it into the Tait Tote.  I’m going to see if this can easily work as my purse/knitting bag. 

I met the owner of Daisy Muir and her daughter at Sock Summit in Portland.  At the time, I didn’t want to spend the $98 on a new knitting bag so I bought the Sock Sack instead.  I’m really happy with the Sock Sack, it’s doing it’s job admirably holding a sock in progress.  Knitting bags are like purses, you really can’t have just one. 

I’m anticipating the next item to arrive in the mail, a Year in Yarn Calendar.  It’s put out by several of the independent dyers that were at Sock Summit, including Three Irish Girls who I’ve talked about before. 

Here’s a discription off their website:  "We’re a group of indie yarn companies who have joined together to create the first Year in Yarn calendar, a must-have for fiber lovers. Each month features gorgeous photography of hand-dyed yarn and the calendar pages include important dates knitters will want to keep in mind for 2010 – like the deadline to apply for Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp, when and where Stitches and TNNA shows are taking place, and Elizabeth Zimmerman’s birthday."  Hmmm… I wonder if it includes a reminder to start saving my pennies for Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp. 

"This one time, at knitting camp…."

Little Pig, Little Pig, Go Away!

Swatchity Swatch Swatch


I would like to ask the swine flu to please leave my home.  We’ve been battling this bug since last Wednesday with one child or the other. 

In the meantime, very little knitting has been happening.  It’s hard to knit when you’re playing nurse to a 5 year old and a 3 year old.  I finished up one sock last night during the Packer/Viking game and got a start on the second.  Much of my day today has consisted of rocking the 3 year old who’s got a 103 fever.  The poor thing is miserable.  Even with Tylenol (whoever invented that should be sainted!) it only brings the fever down to 100. 

So today, I have a picture of a swatch.  Yep, pretty exciting.  In Knitting 101 (if I had taken the class, which I didn’t) you learn to do a gauge swatch before starting a project.  This one I actually did mostly correct.  That means I knit a 4 inch x 4 inch square.  Or at least I would have if I hadn’t run out of yarn.  I made this one from scraps of Debbie Bliss Merino Aran.  Then, I washed it and blocked it.  To be honest, I normally skip this step.  After it was dry, I took out the pins and measured gauge.  I’m really impressed with how soft this washed up. 

It’s important that this project fit correctly as the recipient is picky.  And since I only have 1100 yds of the particular color I want to make sure it will work out.  I’m thinking it’s going to be the Cobblestone Pullover from Brooklyn Tweed.  Or maybe an Elizabeth Zimmerman cabled sweater.  What do you think??