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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sock Club and a Local Yarn Bombing Favorite

Earlier this month, I stopped in at Kiwi Knitting to visit Lynn {owner of Kiwi and purveyor of fine yarns and good company}, inhale some yarn fumes, and attend the monthly Sock Club meeting. It was pretty much a stellar day.

We had an unusually large group attending the informal knitting time that is Kiwi's Sock Club.
{wry grin - we do not police projects to ensure socks are being knit or that only sock yarn is being knit upon}.
We were joined by a few spinners and a ?sweater? class of some sort. T'was a fun and fascinating gathering of personalities, yarn, and talent.

I always meet interesting folks in our local yarn shops. A few Sock Club meetings ago, I met a nifty non-knitter who came in - with her 2 dogs - to have them measured for sweaters. ;-) And then it turned out we share Ceramics Lab at college and now we see each other often. {Typical of Tucson's 2-degrees of separation...)

The day of the October Sock Club meeting, a young lady/school teacher stopped by Kiwi to pick up some more yarn - having just come from a "Hooping" class. Of course, we asked what Hooping was - "Hooping? Is that the dance/gymnastics stuff I've seen in the Olympics?". She explained it was for fitness and dance and her passion was evident.  Not only did she bring in her adult-sized, colorful and perfectly-balanced-with-weights Hula Hoops to show to us, she did a Hooping routine for us outside in Kiwi's front parking lot! I think she was rather good and very graceful. It seems the routine she showed us is being developed to go with her Halloween costume and she will be preforming it for her students!

Whilst researching links for this post, I came across this charming and graceful video (Sapir is Hooping 2) that reminded me a bit of the live Hooping demonstration we were gifted with that day:
{I actually got pretty well distracted with quite a few videos on the Hooping.Org Blog.}

On Kiwi Sock Club day, I also took the opportunity to snap some pictures of my favorite local Yarn Bombing installation - The Kiwi Bicycle. It can usually be found near the front door unless it's raining and then it can be found in the classroom/kitchen area. I understand a variety of knitters contributed to it's creation and that new pieces are still occasionally added.
{As always, please click on the photos to enlarge.}



Sunday, October 20, 2013

30-day Sweater Challenge

In late September, I noted 2 tweets (from @ShepherdSusie and @CloudyNatKnits that mentioned a 30-day Sweater Challenge. I took a quick glance at the referenced website, and bookmarked it for a closer look later.
The closer look later intrigued me, gifted me with the very nifty "Ultimate Sweater Planning Guide" and I decided I'd take the challenge and try to knit a sweater in October.
{Pssst - I understand there is also a spiffy eWorkbook, online course, video tutorials, sweater calculators and more to support knitters on their sweater journeys. Oh, and the folks that purchase one of the books can also enter the Sweater Design Competition!}

Initially, I plotted to knit the Notre Dame de Grace with some spiffy denim blue Berroco Remix yarn.

The swatch convinced me that the yarn knits up very nicely but it did make me question if it would be a good match for the Notre Dame de Grace. {More swatching, this time with-pattern is planned.}

So....what else would work for a quick-get-ready sweater project?
A perusal of the stash found me looking at this:

It was part of my sister-in-law's stash that I'd purchased from my Big Brother. The pattern was included and she'd even started knitting on the Tofu Tee. There were 8 balls of Tofutsies yarn in the bag and I added a 9th from my stash:
The pattern is pretty much knit side-to-side so the yarn stripes run vertically. The pattern allows for a variety of modifications and calls for 5 balls of Tofutsies. Hmmmm - I literally had more yarn than I knew what to do with.
My SIL had an excellent sense of color. Mine is much less developed {understatement}.
Based on the sleeve the SIL had started, I was guessing this was the color plan she'd had:
The middle ball and next ball to its right have a bit of Olive green in them (a great color on her). While I do like those two balls of yarn, I like them more for... socks. And I must confess with a mildly heavy sigh - the other 3 balls of yarn contain a distinct amount of Pink. {sigh}
I generally abstain from pink stuff so there is more available for everyone else. {That's my story and I'm...} Actually, as previously confessed, I have an aversion to the color pink.

I decided to stray from her original plan, discussed it with some friends {one who is particularly known for her amazing color-sense} and I'm planning to knit the TofuTee with this color progression:
There is still some pink involved, but the progression to the red/grey and then teal/grey to the enticing ball of rainbow yarn {which still contains pink} should make this a Tee I'll wear without grimacing.

I researched the Ravelry project notes of the people that had knit this before me and there was a nice range of helpful comments and pattern alterations to consider. {My thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences on Ravelry!}

I swatched {I know, but I keep hoping}, achieved gauge on the first needle-try {bizarre}, and I even virtuously washed my swatch to see what would happen. The yarn (Superwash Wool, Soysilk, Cotton, & Chitin) behaved very nicely and did not shrink or turn all pink.

It'll be bright, that's for sure. But the pink isn't bugging me too much and there will be a bit more yellow in the Tee since I swatched without doing a section of yellow by itself. Since the swatch, I've decided to include that section.

After all this quick-get-ready considering, researching, and swatching, I sat down and cast on my Tofu Tee on .......... October 17th! {grin} Speedy, aren't I?
And then...I ripped it out last night, having decided to include the yellow section mentioned above.
{wry grin}
Odds are I won't finish the Tee in October, but I'm still hopeful that I might be able to knit it in 30 days.
{No, we're not going to discuss the Hitchiker scarf I cast on in early October for the Knitmore Girls Behm-a-long and the hats I'm also knitting for Halos of Hope. Yet} ;-)
Wish me luck!
The Hitchiker - about a week old

Friday, October 18, 2013

School Clothes (or Crimony I have a lot of T-shirts!)

I know I haven't posted for a bit - I've been immersed in school stuff.

We've been exploring free form tapestry in weaving and I've been expending a lot of lab time trying to get that project done within the 2-class period time frame. {tapestry seems to take a VERY long time and it wears out my brain and seems to burn up calories. No, I'm not kidding - I'm ravenously hungry after about an hour and a half. What is with that?}
The start of my Free Form Tapestry project
I struggled to learn to how to throw a cylinder on a pottery wheel for over a week and then I accidentally threw a pot {with some coaching from the instructor}.
I was very surprised to create this. 
Now I seem to be able to make pots on purpose. Mind boggling.
My 2nd Thrown Pot. I'm still surprised.
Oh - there's this paper I have to write about a favored ceramics artist and then give a presentation....so as usual, there is plenty to keep me occupied. {Yeah, I'm stressing some about the deadlines this week.}

I wear a large denim shirt in ceramics class to reduce how much clay I wear home, but I still leave well-marked with clay and sometimes with spots of clay on my face. It all seems to wash out pretty well {so far as I can tell}.

And the silly point of this post? Yep, my school clothes. Specifically, the shirts I wear each week.
I have noted on a few occasions that I am easily entertained. This is another of those occasions.

A few weeks ago, I was choosing a shirt to wear to school and there were several "contenders". So - I decided to wear them all - throughout the week. When I realized the shirts were of a similar theme, I liked the concept so I started picking a related 3-fer set of shirts to wear to school each week.

It am a bit agog at the number of t-shirts I own and they seem to wear the years lightly despite being hung outside {albeit inside out} in the Arizona Sun to dry.

Here's a few of the weekly themes for my school clothes:
Red Cross Blood Donation Shirts {aka "Bloodletting Shirts"}:
{Vintage} Arizona Renaissance Festival Shirts:
Shirts from the Tucson Botanical Gardens La Fiesta de los Chile festivals. These are also vintage shirts - TBG stopped the Chile Festival years ago when they started Butterfly Magic.
Not surprisingly, I have several Firefly/Serenity Shirts (2 of them were gifted to me). Obviously Gryphon chose this set of shirts to begin helping me take pictures. {wry grin}
{Appropriately, the back of the "BrownCoat" shirt he is laying
upon says: "I aim to misbehave"}
 A few of my t-shirts from the Bear Cabin Retreats:
Well of course I have shirts that represent my fondness {addiction} for chocolate! {wry grin} The two shirts on the left were gifted to me.  I purchased the two on the right at the M&M store in Las Vegas {along with a colorful range of M&Ms!}. {grin-er}
 Gryphon was still helping:
 Lastly, from a little black cat on shirts to the big cats on shirts: