Tuesday, May 15, 2012

FO heaven

It has been a busy month and also a few FO's flew off the hooks and needles.  They were all small projects with the exception of this basketweave baby blanket which is finally finished and gifted to the cute little guy.  Without any planning, it coordinates with a handmade quilt that an awesome friend made for the new baby. I couldn't get any pictures of him because he managed to be hungry during sit-n-knit and only mama could feed him.  I redid the edging three seperate times, because the basketweave pattern didn't look right with just a straight border. In the end I went with a repeat of 4sc and 4dc and that seemed to compliment the pattern the best.  The yarn is so soft and cuddly.  This picture doesn't quite show the brightness of the green. It isn't neon but it is a bright springy color. I used 9.5 balls for this blanket.  The dimensions are just shy of 36x36.

    Another project that just flew off the hooks was this wonderful shawl.  It is a pattern and limited edition yarn from the yarn shop hop I attended in April.  The pattern was quick, however I did have to rip out half of the border and redo because I misread the directions. It isn't overly large but does cover my shoulders and looks great with a rhinestone pin holding the front together.

This extra-wide headband was completed in about 2 hours using front and back post dc stitches. I always get dizzy after a run or walk if I don't cover my forehead and ears.  It even happens on windy warm days.  Needless to say this has been in use constantly.  It is made from Noro in a black/orange/raspberry colorway.  There were only about 100 yards in the skein and I used all but 3 inches. The headband is approximately 5 inches tall.  The best part is my ponytail can pop out the top!

This was by far my favorite project. Urban Shepherdess is a great short-row collar.  The yarn is a single ply roving.  It is a great topper for a t-shirt or scarf alternative.  I am on the hunt for the right button.  I may end up using some sculpey clay and making one.

      These mitts were a little 2-day project.  The pattern leaflet is from Blue Sky Alpacas Traveler's Series.  The pattern is well written. I could have gone down to a size 5 needle, but then the thumb gusset would be too snug.

      Overall I am thrilled to have knocked out so many projects in the last month.  I do have a couple pair of socks in progress and a sweater just beginning.

      Tomorrow I will get my two remaining wisdom teeth taken out, so I may have a couple days to make a dent in the knitting pile!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hop Hop Hop Day 3

For our last day we visited the MPLS city shops.  First was Needlework Unlimited. They have the best crochet offerings of any of the stores we visited and their crochet samples are beautiful! The atmosphere was bright and cheerful.

Next we went to StevenBe's and what a visual experience we had.  StevenBe worked the crowd wonderfully and signed my Vogue Knitting copy!!  I was so overwhelmed there,with all there was, I didn't get to the very back where the roving was.  It was fun to find yarn in drawers and a dog sweater on a twig dog, quirky things in corners and gorgeous yarn everywhere.

Our last stop was at Crafty Planet.  They are a fabric store besides carrying yarn.  They had some local fiber artist yarns and great fabrics.  The LE yarn was bright and they had socks worked up in the yarn along with the nesting doll pouches.

I will end this post with two pictures from our first day of the event.  They really describe what we loved about our time in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.  Color, Creativity, Customer Service, Local Fiber Artists, Fun, Flair, Energy, ....We can't wait until next year.

Since I have taken so much time to get this shop hop experience posted, I must say the elapsed time has caused us to take another day trip to Minneapolis because Mairin won a door prize at 3Kittens Needle Arts and a first prize at Needlework Unlimited.  We drove down to collect the prize and managed to squeeze in a visit to the Mall of America and the Walker Art Center.  Mairin is now busily knitting.  She had already completed the shrug pattern from The Sheepy Yarn Shoppe and wore it on the return trip.  It was nice to visit both shops again without the crowds from the shop hop event, and we were able to take in more of the stores offerings.  The Fab Grab Bag at 3 Kittens was super awesome.  Two of my other daughters each bought one and they loved the yarn that was in the bags, yarn they can't normally afford.  So I guess you could say we had a mini shop hop because we couldn't get enough the first time around.

Hop Hop Hop Day 2

The second day of the Shop Hop was rainy, rainy, rainy. We decided to go to all the perimeter stores and save the central MPLS stores for the last day.

We started with 3 Kittens Needle Arts.  We arrived early so we ducked in to Caribou Coffee for sandwiches and coffee.  The coffee shop was packed full so we headed back to the car to eat and worked on the driving route for the rest of the day.  3 Kittens was a lot of fun to shop in.  They had both patterns on display.  The store was well lit, great displays everywhere, and the needlework section was all in one area.  The LE yarn was Lorna's Laces in the Babbling Brook colorway.

Our next stop was The Yarn Garage. Floor to ceiling yarn describes this store best.  There were two colorways for the LE yarn and a hat/cowl pattern.  We found a large selection of blingy yarn in the back.  I bought two hanks of silk strips

At Skeins we found a friendly colorful store.  The yarn was displayed as single skeins in all colorways. At purchase the employees got as many skeins as you wanted from their stock in back.

Amazing Threads was a two level store with a very large classroom on the upper floor as was the sale yarn. We loved their displays especially their "Eiffel Tower" of LE yarn.

Coldwater Lakeside Yarn was a fun shop.  Their LE yarn was undyed Icelandic wool.  The pattern was a pillow and the yarn came with the necessary buttons for the project.  This was one of the smaller stores but so full of yummy yarn and a great sales staff.

Our last stop of the day was Shepherd's Choice in Anoka.  It was in an older building and had an upper floor/loft with roving and spinning items.  They also had a rug hooking area.  They carried a good selection of local fiber artists products.       
That sums up day two.  I was exhausted when we were done .