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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Coffee, Tea, and Spinning

(No, I wasn't doing the spinning {I'm still resisting taking up spinning - for now}.)

Last week, I met one of my Weaving classmates from last semester for tea at a Coffeehouse that was new to both of us. We visited the Cartel Coffee Lab - the location on Campbell.
It was Stephanie's suggestion - and I think, a good one. 
We both had tea {I believe she brought a cup with her - clever and green!} and I tried the coffee cake. Her omelet looked good and was handily consumed so I think we can offer 2 "thumbs-up" on the Cartel food and beverage. (I plan to take the DH there for coffee - his AM beverage of choice.)
We were also appreciative of the wood-n-iron tables, chairs, benches - which I understand the owner constructs. It was an open, pleasant environment {with sparkly lights!}.
Oh - and they recycle!! {Which deepens my positive impression.}

As usual, I brought my knitting - working on the Comfort Shawl and the heel flap of the Jaywalker Socks.
Stephanie brought her spinning wheel AND she gifted me with a lovely sampling of her handspun yarn! {Happy Feet!! Thank you again!}
And I discovered Stephanie has an Etsy shop: SpinstressInTheMakin.

(As always, please click on the pictures to enlarge. Disclaimer - these pictures do not do these spun fibers justice. {Woof - getting a semi-accurate picture of red stuff is always a challenge…}) 

This is Forest Stream:
Love the blue and blue-green in this. The plied color contrast makes me smile!

And Frankenstein: 
Ok, I know purple and green are supposed to give off a Halloween vibe, but this yarn has me thinking of blooming flowers in rich brown earth. Spiffy!

And my tactile favorite, Red Whisper:
{The red in the sunshine is the closest to color-reality.} Yummy. Soft. Excuse me whilst I go pet that skein a little more. {Happy sigh.}


I knit and Stephanie spun the majority of the time we were there and she very patiently answered my ignorant questions about spinning and fiber.
Graceful hands creating a fine yarn. Pretty cool. 
Now, I've mentioned before that Knitting in Public is pretty much an every-day thing for me. People will stop by and ask questions, usually commenting that they "don't have the patience to knit", their "Grandmother used to knit", and {wry grin} I'm often asked if I'm crocheting. ;-)


Stephanie's spinning drew a variety of people over to admire her work, the wheel, and to ask questions. One very young man-ling had no interest in watching - he wanted to hands-on spin the wheel himself! Some people asked about the yarn she was making, what she would do with it, how the wheel worked, where to get one (Grandma's Spinning Wheel), and more than one person asked if she was working on a Loom. {grin-er}

All in all, it was a excellent outing and we're plotting another in the future.

{Updated later to add - I've heard from several Crocheters that when they are crocheting in public they are often asked if they are knitting. {grin}}

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Bit O'Knitterly News and Followup

Well, the Winter break between semesters is almost over. {sigh}
I'm excited about the new semester (weaving and ceramics) but a bit daunted at the expectation of extended and focused creation of original artful projects.

I'm also a'wishing that I'd accomplished more on my between-semester to-do list. Ok, I did accomplish quite a bit…but not as much as I'd hoped {I haven't even seen the 2nd Hobbit movie yet!!}.
{Tsk - sometimes there's just no pleasing me.}

I did accomplish a fair bit o'knitting:
I knit several fistfuls of fingerless mitts for family and friends. {grin-I was knitting them and giving them away too quickly to take many pictures!}
The Peekaboo Mitts pattern is a quick knit and fits most everyone nicely!
Pretty much anyone who didn't get a pair of fingerless mitts last year got them this year.
I also knit a few of these cabled mitts knit to gift away: Mitt Envy is the pattern.


I still have one 2013 Christmas gift on the needles - a 2nd Knotty but Nice hat like this one:

My lecture/between-class knitting for part of last semester were hats for the Podcaster Throwdown - Halos of Hope knit-a-long. In a very good-natured competition, several podcasters asked their listeners to knit hats for Chemo patients. Last week I washed and shipped the 3 hats I'd knit to Purlescence Yarns for delivery to the Halos of Hope folks (for the Team Knitmore Girls and Team CraftLit Podcasts).
The pre-wash photo. 
After I finished and delivered the majority of the 2013 Gift-knitting, I giddily enjoyed finishing off the "Hitchhiker"scarf. I was initially drawn to it for my perception of the curved/pointed "dragon-tail" end of the scarf. I became more tickled with the pattern when I found the points on the scarf represent "the answer to the question about the universe and everything" from Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"!! (The picture on the left is a more accurate color representation.)


Follow-up topics: 
The Origami Pullover. Last year I started knitting upon the Origami Pullover. I mentioned this pullover in the blog a few times, even posting a semi-rant when I realized my stitch gauge swatch had misled me {it lied} and I had to re-start the silly thing over again. I finished the smaller of the two rectangles and had happily started the larger rectangle when reality set in regarding how much there was yet to knit and how few balls of yarn were left. {sigh}
The moral of my Origami Pullover project is - don't just ask the sales clerk (who is holding the pattern you've yet to read) how many balls of yarn you need - check the pattern and do the math yourself.
The knitting has been frogged and the yarn and pattern await new pairings.

The 30-day Sweater Challenge/Tofu Tee.
{Ha - 30-days! grin} Um, well, the Tofu Tee is still under construction. In a lame stretch of the 30-day perspective: I didn't say the 30-day challenge would be consecutive days. {wry grin}

When the blog last heard-tell of this project, I had swatched, cast-on, knit for a bit and then I'd ripped it  out to change the yarn color progression.
After that blog-post, I made some headway but then ripped back again to avoid having to partially repeat the color sections when I got to the right shoulder. I got past the mid-way point on this Tee before it was abandoned for rampant Holiday Gift-knitting.
I'm looking forward to finishing it off…within 30-days. ;-)

Lastly - as previously reported, the Preemie Hat pledge from my Year 5 Blogiversary Post was fulfilled (and then some).
Preemie Hats about to be soaked. 
I found that the Old Pueblo Knitter's Guild (the local chapter of TKGA) collects preemie hats for delivery to local hospitals.
I attended the January OPK guild meeting and I got to hear an excellent presentation by Yumiko Alexander of DanDoh Designs.  I {and pretty much everyone at the meeting} became smitten with her clever, fun, and beautiful designs. "Fluid" was an apt description from the fellow knitter I sat next to for the meeting. One of my favorites of her patterns was Wavy Leaves. Oh, and Forest Weave is unusual and lovely. Then there's this vest pattern she's still designing. {happy sigh} I suspect Ms. Alexander's presentation will inspire an interest in projects that contain both knitting and crochet.

I also dropped off the preemie hats knit by myself and DrLeonesse.
I think there were 14 tiny hats in this bag.
Hmmm - I guess I do accomplish more than I realize. ;-)