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September 2008

Knitting, again

So, I am now a little more than half way down the African felted tote bag from Bully Woolies. I love this bag. I hope I don't screw up felting it. I was working on it a little bit at the counter this morning (a very little bit; it was really busy today!) and a woman came by and admired it. We talked about knitting for a little while and then I went off to help some other customer and put the bag project away. A few minutes later the knitting lady who had admired the bag came up and bought the felted tote bag kit! She has never done two-color knitting before and I think this will be a great chance for her to learn :)

Also, just before I went off on the first knitting cruise I started knitting "Rhinebeck" from Lisa Lloyd's book, A Fine Fleece. Toward the end of the cruise I finished the socks I was knitting and picked up Rhinebeck again. At that point I only had about 2 inches done on it. I have worked on it here and there all week, and am pleased to report that I only have one and three quarters inches left before I split the body up into the back and two front parts. I think that makes it about a third done! I plan to work on it during the next knitting cruise too, and hopefully I will make some progress then.

Bag Lady

One of my many current projects that I am working on, and that I am LOVING, is this fabulous felted tote bag (called "African") from Bully Woolies. I blush to confess, I have never made a knitted, felted object before. I made some felted slippers at a class at Halcyon once, using raw wool that we placed and felted by hand with washboards. That was a LOT of work. However, I have never done felting the easy way, and I decided it was time to try!

We have been selling Bully Woolies kits for a few years now, ever since Stacy started making them right here in the midcoast region. I love her design ideas and I love her sense of color! So it was natural for me to pick a Bully Woolies kit for my first felted bag.

Here are some pictures of my bag in progress:



I love knitting this: the colors, the feel of the wool, the ease of the pattern... and the kit comes with the lovely handles pictured above. I can't wait to see what it looks like felted! And even though it is sorta, kinda a model for the store.... I plan to carry it everywhere :)

Maybe I can finish it on the boat next week!

Knitting Cruise, June 10 through 14, was GREAT!!

I went out on the first knitting cruise of the year a week ago, and we had a blast! The weather was perfect, the Evans is in great shape, the food was amazing and the knitters were very industrious :) :)

The next cruise boards on Wednesday, just a few more days away! Wooohooo! I get to knit and sail again! And there is lobster! It will be fun :)

Here are some pictures of the last cruise to entertain and delight you:

Hpim0209_132530 Hpim0211_132530 Hpim0221_132530








What I'm Knitting

I'm not knitting much :(   

I have been working far too long on a scarf. You would think I would be done by now. However, I really did not realize that 1 3/4 ounces of laceweight cashmere would make a twelve foot long scarf. Actually, we may never know how long the scarf would be, because I am binding it off before it gets any longer and threatens to take over the world. I'm a little discouraged because the reason I wanted to make the scarf in the first place was because I got some fabulous $50 skeins of this handpainted cashmere singles, laceweight; I got 10 skeins (all I could afford) and I figured I would need to make some kind of model with it so people would be willing to shell out fifty bucks to make a scarf. However, it has taken a realllllly long time to knit the dang thing, and I only have 3 skeins of the cashmere left in stock! So now I am in the odd position of having a finished model and needing to buy more yarn to sell from it. Usually it works the other way around!

I have a pair of socks partly done. They are made from some fingering weight wool/bamboo blend that we no longer sell; I liked the navy/dark green color combination because it reminded me of a Black Watch tartan, but I am not sure I really like the feel of the yarn. Maybe it will feel nicer when it has been washed and dried. I have one sock done and the second is part way down the leg. It's a pretty basic project, but there you are.

I finished a pair of baby socks last week. That took me two weeks to knit. Gah, I can't get anything done lately!!

What I really want to work on are my Hanne Falkenberg jacket, or one of the 5 or 6 lace shawls I have started, or my A Fine Fleece cardigan (I am making Rhinebeck, using Hempwol in a nice dark purple). I have about 7 more pair of socks I want to make. I have numerous (really really numerous) sweaters either partly started or waiting to be begun, and I want to work on all of them! I have many store models that NEEEEED to be knit, and some of them I want to do, and some of them are just work. So much knitting, mountains of knitting, oceans of knitting, and yet I can't seem to get one scarf done. Sigh.

Speaking of oceans of knitting, I am pretty excited to be boarding the Isaac H. Evans Tuesday night for the first of four knitting cruises this year! Woohoooo! It will be fun! And if you wanna go, make your reservations immediately and come on this cruise with me, cuz all three of the other knitting cruises I am doing this year are already BOOKED FULL.  Live the adventure, drop everything and come sailing with me. And don't forget to bring your pointy sticks :):)

Get Your [Knitting] Geek On

No wonder geeks like to knit, and lots of knitters are geeks. I mean, look at Ravelry, a huge on-line knitting community, or Sock Wars, or the Mystery Stole phenomenon. Who but a geek would figure out a way to spend hours of knitting time in front of a computer?

It makes sense, to combine knitting and geekery. Knitting is binary: knit, purl instead of 1, 0. Knitting patterns are like computer programs written in an object-oriented computer language. A knitting pattern has a library (list of materials to be used); calls functions (pattern stitches); has a set syntax; uses globals (special stitch abbreviations defined for that particular pattern only); mathematically increments and decrements (increases and decreases); creates loops ("repeat from *" until a certain requirement is met); and often has syntax errors while being compiled (errata, mistakes in the pattern). Yup, knitting is geek heaven.

Check out these Top 10 Geekiest Yarn Creations on the Web, if you think there aren't other knitting geeks out there. (I know, it is an old post, but I still think it is cool!)

Yarn Shop Humor

Heh heh, yes, I guess the yarn fumes do sometimes get to us at Unique One. Occasionally I run across images on the web that bring up charming details from the past...

We used to sell a great yarn, whose name escapes me, but it was from the Needful Yarns yarn company. However, the actual yarn ball band had the brand "Lana Gatto" on it. I am sure it was a great yarn, and I am sure that all yarns from Needful Yarns or Lana Gatto are wonderful. To be honest, I cannot remember one single thing about this yarn, whether it was wool or mohair or alpaca or spun snake, or if it was fingering or DK or worsted. The only thing I really remember about it was that at Unique One, we called it 'Evil Kitty' yarn, because of the picture on the ball band:


Do you blame us???

{goes off giggling madly}

Have a great day, and please share your own private names for any favorite brands, in the comments below :)

Oh, and a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RACHEL!!! to my sister Rachel :):) Hugs and kisses!