Thursday, October 4, 2007

Working on gifts

This is a Mason Dixon Dishcloth I recently finished. I got the book from the library and I've been working through some of the patterns as I've been working on gifts for the upcoming holidays. Anything I can find that will go fairly quick but be something people would actually want. I'm not one of those people who can knit sweaters for everyone on their holiday list. I do have a couple of special projects for special people and then I have a ton of smaller, "Hey, your my friend and I can't afford to buy you a gift so I made you this cool thing. :)" I've been making dishclothes, bibs, coasters, and now I'm doing a bunch of these really cut felted coin purses I found on the Lion Brand Yarn site. Since I came to knitting from the flashy Fun Fur yarn side and I am a born cheapskate, I am NOT a yarn snob. I believe if you like what the yarn looks like, feels like and knits like, then for gods sake, KNIT IT. Anyway, I just finished the first knitted portion of the coin purse and I went and bought 4 skeins of various colored Patons Classic Wool Merino for $4 each on sale at Michaels. I see lots of colorful little gifts in my future.
Well, I've got to get back to knitting. You know how time flies this time of year. And just because I think everyone should know the adorableness of Spanky and because I don't have any other knitting photos ready, here he is...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Over the River and Through the Woods..

What a great weekend! S and I decided it was time to get out of the big (sort of) city and head to the country for the weekend. Of course, we couldn't go without me finding some way to fit in knitting. Fortunately, S has decided to pursue spinning (oh darn, more yarn for me :) ) and so we were able to indulge both of our desires. We started by going to Carol Leigh's Hillcreek Fiber Studio just outside of Columbia, MO. We could not have asked for a nicer visit. Carol was extremely sweet and was more than happy to answer all the questions S could come up with in the hour or so we were there. And anyone who has ever met S, knows it was a LOT of questions. Carol showed us all of her weaving looms and the most beautiful yarns I've seen. Most of her stuff is focused on spinning and weaving and if you have any interest in these items, go to her website quick. She ships all over. We ended up getting about a pound of roving for S to spin. Some beautiful brown New Zealand Silver and some off white Churo which is the authentic material used when weaving Navajo rugs.
Our next stop was at Carol's daughter's store The Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe. According to her, her mom got tired of her "knitting obsessed friends taking over her weaving store" and therefore she was required to open her own store to support the knitters. Again, oh darn! It a very cute store just off the highway in Columbia and is really a pretty good size. They have a really nice table in a library type area for in-store knitting, a weaving corner, and a ton of yarn. Since "Vacation Yarn" doesn't count (just ask Lime and Violet) I knew it was time for SEX (Stash Enhancing Expedition, and no, I didn't make that up. Lime and Voilet again). I found the 3 skeins of Brown Sheep 85% wool/15% Mohair in purple on the sale table and it will work perfectly for some of the Holiday knitting I am doing. I also found this beautiful yarn...
to use to make my first Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket for a special little girl. The yarn is Papiro from Laines Du Nord, 100% Cotone (cotton) and made in Italy. This stuff is gorgeous!! Although the blue of my chair washes out the color some, the picture above is pretty accurate. I picked 2 balls of the blue, purple, and green for the main color in the jacket and the multi-hued green for some stripes. I got a good deal on it too. Bonus! I also actually bought the pattern. I did find this great website with instructions on how to knit it. So, if you want to know what I'm knitting, check it out.
Last stop on the trip was Arrow Rock State Park outside of Boonville. We had reserved a site on-line (follow this link and you can actually see it. How Cool?!) for Saturday night only since we needed 48 hours notice and didn't book until Thursda.When we got there, it was free so we pitched our tent. The park was really nice and the facilities were great. We bought fire wood from the volunteers at the park and I wasn't even afraid to use the toilets. The were cleaner than the toilets in most public schools. :)
This picture, by the way, is not of the toilets. This is actually the inside of the historic jail in the REALLY tiny town. The visitors center of the State Park is really nice and has lots of neat history type stuff that S really dug. We did enjoy the coffee shop in the town on Saturday morning and got a hot breakfast. We walked around the park a couple of times during the day and walked up to the lake (which is maybe a little generous description) at night. We also saw turtles and raccoons and heard a pack of wolves. I got a bunch of knitting done by the fire and the entire weekend was just really great!