Stitches Recap Day 1

I’m feeling snarly this morning.  I am definitely a night person.  I love staying up late, knitting, reading or watching tv.  I just love the house when it is dark and quiet and I know everyone in tucked inside where they should be.  However, I’ve been working really hard to get up at an insanely early hour early to work out several times a week.  I’ve been attending a class, but when I can’t make it to the class I try to run at the YMCA instead.  This morning a got up, and since it was an off day for the class, I planned to hit the elliptical machine.  People had the gall to be at my YMCA taking up all the elliptical machines.  Even the one that I don’t like that has the handles that move back and forth as you run.  I didn’t want to bike and the one treadmill that was open just looked sketchy.  So I decided to do the Nautilus machines instead.  Humph.  I just don’t feel like I got that cathartic, lung searing workout that I wanted.

I’ll get over it.  Let’s talk about something more fun.  Like Stitches.  Like my Bohus Stickning Class at Stitches.  By the way, I learned how to say Bohus.  It’s Boo-hoose and it’s a county in Sweden.  (I’m assuming that if my notes are incorrect, someone will nicely correct me on all this.)  The very condensed version of how Bohus started was that in the 30’s in Sweden they were in the midst of a Depression just like we were.  Most of the men of that county were workers in the quarries. Since quarry production was down due to the invention of asphalt, families were desperately poor and didn’t know where to turn to.  Several women got together and went to the governor’s wife, Emma, for help.

Emma, brilliant woman that she was, came up with the idea of knitting haute couture sweater for fashionable European women.  Each knitter earned 1/3 of the purchase price of the sweater.  The sweaters were distributed all over Europe and the United States for over 30 years.  Now, imagine being a woman in the 1930’s, whose husband perhaps isn’t real crazy with the idea of you earning money.  You’ve already put in a full day; cooking for your family, washing the clothes by hand, milking and perhaps making butter.  Now you have to knit a sweater with laceweight yarn on size 00 needles in poor lighting.  And if you don’t finish this sweater in 3 months, it will be the last Bohus sweater you make.  That’s not a threat, it’s just that Emma figured that if you can’t finish a sweater in 3 months, you don’t really need the money.

Suzanna Hansson was an amazing teacher.  She definitely has a passion for the subject and was able to convey that passion to us.  I loved that we started out the class knitting a sampler.  We each got enough yarn to knit wristers.  I’m hoping to make mine into mittens eventually.  Although I did rediscover that I need reading glasses for fine work like this.  I ended up borrowing a pair from the very nice knitter I sat with because my eyes were killing me.  Now all I need is to discover the money tree in the back yard so that I can buy a kit directly from Sweden.

Sorry for the orientation on this one.  I’m rushing off to get to work.  🙂

Stitches Recap – Part One

I have a stack of packages waiting to get mailed out today.  It’s the prizes from my Finish-a-Long Contest.  The third and final winner, Heidi from Duluth, won a skein of Misti Alpaca DK donated by Barb at Fabric Works.  I really love Misti Alpaca.  I’ve made several hats out of it and just finished a pair of mittens.  I’m always amazed by the yardage that comes out of one of those skeins.  For some reason it seems to be the skein that never ends.  You knit and you knit and you knit, but the ball never seems to get any smaller.  For instance, I finished the mittens and still have a good portion of the ball left.  Definitely enough to do an ear-warmer or maybe even a hat.  It’s not that I don’t have a pretty good grasp on the math; there’s 208 yds in the skein and I probably used about 100 on my mittens.  It’s just that it feels like so much!  If I needed to, I could weigh the skein to double check just how much I have, and double check the weight against how much I’d need for a simple hat pattern.  But really, where’s the adventure in that?

To get back on track, Congratulations to Heidi, Diane and Lisa for winning prizes.  Congratulations to everyone who took part, we all won by freeing up some brain power that those UFO’s (unfinished objects) were hanging onto.

I’m going to do a recap of Stitches Midwest, bit by bit.  Let me just say that every knitter needs to go to something like this at least once.  The camaraderie of knitters is wonderful.  The classes are amazing.  And it’s just plain fun to talk yarn all day (not to mention shop for it all day!).  I took 2 classes while I was there, Bohus Stickning and Stashology 201.  Both were fantastic classes taught by wonderful instructors.

I searched the market long and hard for the skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock to finish up my husband’s socks.  I wasn’t able to find the colorway Olivia, but I did find a contrasting color to use.  I also found Lily Chin walking through the conference center.  I didn’t realize who she was, but admired the wonderful dress she was wearing.

A little while later I saw her signing books at one of the booths.  I ended up buying the book and complimenting her on her dress.  She offered to pose for a picture with me and with the scarves she had knitted for the book.  She also pointed out that I really needed to feel the darker of the two scarves, because it was cashmere.  I feel a little star struck over the whole thing!  Lily Chin is definitely a Knitting Rock Star.


I’m a little frustrated with the blogging software right now.  I’m sure it’s the learning curve and that I’ll figure it out soon.  However, if someone knows WordPress and would like to help me figure out how to get my Blogroll to show on the left hand side or to have my Ravelry Progress bars show up, I’d appreciate it.

I’m about to head out to Stitches Midwest, but before I go I want to announce some winners.  I have three winners from the Finish-a-long Contest.  The first winner is getting a skein of Yarni sock yarn.  It’s beautifully soft yarn dyed in St. Paul, MN.  I only know of one store that carries this yarn, and that’s the Yarnery on Grand
Ave.  This skein goes to Diane, for finishing 12 projects over the course of the contest.

The next winner is getting this book, The Queensland Collection Book: Jane Ellison #3.  Sorry for the crummy picture, for some reason I took the photo with my phone instead of the camera.  Rookie mistake.  This is donated by Barb at Fabric Works.  Thanks Barb!!

The book is going to Lisa for having finished the oldest project.  Lisa, send me your address and I’ll get this out to you when I get back from Stitches.

There is one more prize, but you’ll have to wait until next week for that.  If you haven’t emailed me a list of what you finished, there’s still time.  You have until Monday.  I forgot my list of contest participants back at the office.  The prize is pretty yarn donated by Fabric Works.  Also coming next week will be some finished object pictures.  I finished one in time to be counted in the contest and one I just finished last night.

Are You Finished Yet?

The sock I'm sick of seeing.  How are you doing on finishing up those projects?  If you’re anything like me, you’re trying desperately to get the last one or two finished up before today’s deadline for the Finish-a-Long Contest.  The rules for the contest are here.  Although I don’t feel like I’ve made any great strides in getting things finished (I keep finding old projects that I could work on!), I have heard wonderful stories of people being motivated to finish old projects.

Lisa from Rubyringz has finished projects from the 1980’s, which blows my mind.

Diane in my knitting group has finished 11 projects.

Knittymuggins is knitting away despite being a full time mom to a 6 month old.

That’s just a small sampling of the wonderful stories I have heard of people finishing up projects.  Everyone’s stories have been great motivation for me to keep going on these socks.  The socks have gone everywhere with me the last few weeks.  They seem to have entered that black hole of knitting where you seem to knit and knit and you never really get any further on them.  The only thing I do notice is that my ball of yarn is getting dangerously small.  It’s a size 12 mens sock, so it requires A LOT of yarn.  I am very afraid that I’m going to end up with one toe that doesn’t match the other.  My husband says he doesn’t mind that the socks will be different.  I bought the yarn in Stillwater at Darn.Knit.Anyway.  Although I could probably find another skein of Madelinetosh that would be close, I’m not sure I want a whole skein.  What do you think?  Should I just deal with  it and do the second toe in a different, complimentary color?  Should I buy a matching skein?  Should I rip out the toe of the first sock and do both toes in a different color?

BTW:  My almost 6 year old daughter just told me that boys and girls kissing was “yuck,” complete with tongue out and a chopping motion across her neck.  We’ll see how long that notion lasts.

Change, It Is A Coming

The blog is going to be changing to a new format shortly.  Our company is changing over to a Wordpress format.  This won’t affect most of you, unless you have this blog saved as a favorite or follow a link here.  I’m not sure if the old links will work.  The new link is 


As for this pretty little ball of fluff, it’s Romney Rambouillet mix.  The long fibers of the Romney mix very nicely with the shorter Rambouillet.  I think it’s going to spin like a dream.  It’s beautiful, soft roving and I am thrilled beyond words at having it. 

One of the women in my knitting group raises sheep and she and I have briefly talked about hooking up and getting some fleece from her.  I would love to take the girls out to her farm to visit with the sheep.  Last week on a whim I brought the girls to knit night with me.  We thought we would treat the women to fresh picked raspberries from our yard; and the girls like going to the yarn store to visit.  I was shocked to find this roving waiting for me!  What a wonderful gift and such a surprise! 

Flashing the Stash

My friend Knittymuggins and I are working on a trade.  We’re each clearing out a little of our stash and possibly trading with each other for some new yarn.  I took some pictures this morning of the skeins I am clearing out.  If Knittymuggins doesn’t want them, then this yarn is going to be quickly made into socks… or maybe used as prizes in our Finish-a-Long.  It’s all really good yarn, I just don’t love it as much as I used to. 

Speaking of the Finish-a-Long, we are just a week away from the finish date.  I know a lot of you are doing better than I am.  I’ve heard of people finishing projects that have been sitting since the 1980’s.  One person has finished 10 items so far!  That’s amazing!  I’m still working on my socks and mittens.  Although I don’t think I’ll have time to finish the wrap I started 3 years ago, I do want to still get it done before Stitches. 

Now, a little flash of my stash…

Hazel Knits, Artisan Sock in It’s a Wrap.  This is an exclusive sock club colorway. 

Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sock in Rainbow. I bought this forever ago, probably right after I knit my first pair of socks. I always thought this would make great socks for the kids.  Or fun legwarmers.

ON Line Supersocke 100.  I think this came from a swap package.  I’ve never really known what to do with it as I never really dug the colors all that much.  Which is a bit strange since I love pink and green together.  I think I just have trouble knitting with something that is multicolored.  I tend towards the tonal colorways. 

Hello Yarn sock yarn in Fruit Bowl.  I’ve always wanted some Hello Yarn sock yarn but never seem to be online when she has inventory available.  This was the only skein left in her inventory and although it’s not really my style, I snatched it up.  Now I don’t know what to do with it. 

Progress is Slow

I’m still working on the green sock for my husband, but progress has slowed to a crawl.  Something more important has come up. 

You know it’s bad when the child who swears she never sleeps (and only a few people can prove her wrong on that), leaves the dining room table to fall asleep on the couch sitting up.  She has a confirmed case of strep throat.  The part of the day that I didn’t spend in Urgent Care or waiting for our perscription to be filled, was spent cuddled on the couch trying to get her to drink something. 

I did sneak in some knitting time over the last week though.  I knit a bit at the Tall Ships booth (and was able to talk about the blog a bit) and was able to knit while walking around Treasure Adventure.  Something was wrong with me yesterday though.  I started working on the heel flap while at Treasure Adventure.  It must have been the high heat and humidity, because I ripped out the heel flap once only to discover that I had dropped a stitch (while trying to pick up stitches while walking).  So I ripped it out again.  The third time was a charm once I figured out how to actually turn a heel.  Don’t ask me how many times I’ve successfully turned a heel in the past.  And please don’t ask me how I managed to turn the heel on the first sock because obviously I didn’t have 2 brain cells to rub together at that point.  Clearly I needed to be hydrating with what the Renaissance Fair vendors were drinking because water just wasn’t cutting it.  Now that I’m chugging along the gusset decreases, I just hope my yardage will hold out.