Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The purlSide ... my new favorite hangout

Yeah... the purlSide is now open! The opening was a week ago today and it was great to be back in our own LYS. Thursday night we had our knit night back in the shop. Verdict... it's GREAT!

Jayne, the owner (sitting in front of a quilt that is a family heirloom, has done a great job setting the place up. It's spacious without feeling too empty. Great design... good colors... great places to sit and knit!

She's getting more yarn in every day and boy is it fun to find new things you just have to have.

And the best thing ... it's a wonderful place to be to hang out with really great friends. Jayne, thanks for making this such a great place to be.

The purlSide
1200 E Route 66 #109
Glendora, CA 91740

located across from the Golden Spur restaurant and next to Headquarters Hair Salon

Tuesday – Friday
11:00 am to 5:30 pm

12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Closed Sunday and Monday

Classes Wednesdays 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Saturday 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
By appointment or class schedule
Prices will vary depending on class

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Valentine!

Last week at my knit night, my friend Sharon passed along a Morehouse Farm pattern she had received for free with a purchase she made from them -- a Valentine Heart Card.

This will be the perfect Valentine greeting for S when he arrives home from Brazil later this afternoon!

It's a cute little idea and easy to execute... knits and purls used in contrast to show the heart design, knit up into a bit of a swatch and then stitched to a card. Love it. Can't wait to share it with my honey!

Valentine Heart Card "kit" from Morehouse Farm
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
<1 ball
US 4 circulars
Cast on February 16, 2009
Finished a short time later .. February 16, 2009

Ravelry details here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Aran Afghan... done?

After my little frogging game I got totally inspired to work on more blocks for this afghan. And now look... a baby version, 6 squares big, 2' by 3' is done!

And you know what... I really like it!

Seeing it all seamed together rather than just as a stack of blocks is remarkable. I still was ambivalent looking at it all laying out on the table. But once it was seamed... I don't know, it just seemed to transform in front of my eyes!

So now that I like it, the question is "should I be done?". Should I be done? Should I keep knitting more? I could knit three more squares and have a 3' by 3' lap blanket or I could knit 6 more and have a 4' by 4' bigger lap blanket. This is a true dilemma. I need your help!

So far I've used the honeycomb pattern as the primary block. It's half of the current 6 squares. (If I made it bigger, I think I would stick with keeping honeycomb as half the blocks). I also have two squares of nothing but bobbles (trinity stitch to be more formal) and one square of moss stitch filled diamonds.

Who knew this would turn out so well. Again, I need to remember... I like texture. I can't believe I forget that... I can be such a dolt. So what do you think... knit some more or be happy with what I have?

Baby Aran Afghan
All About Aran afghan by Janet Szabo (as featured on Knitty Gritty)
Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Natural Heather
(20% wool, 80% acrylic)
US 7 circulars
Cast on about September 4, 2006 (but of course the squares I knit way back then all got frogged)
Cast on for squares now actually in afghan about September 2008
Finished (??) February 8, 2009

Modifications: none other than to use only 6 squares (so far) and to pick my own assortment of square patterns (others are in the pattern and I did not use them)

Ravelry details here.

Help me decide my friends?

Monday, February 09, 2009

My 333rd post & 48 years

And to celebrate such auspicious numbers... more natural heather colored yarn photos!

This weekend I finished up my final aran afghan square ( #6) and seamed them all together (yes I did my finishing!) and you know what? I love it. Now I may have to knit more squares. I have to think about it. I don't have a photo of the current "FO" but will take one when it stops raining (yes... it's one of the 6 days a year it rains in Southern California so I couldn't take a photo... I need to hang it up outside somewhere to get a good pic I think). So with the blanket "maybe finished" I spent the majority of the weekend swatching.

My knitting group has been talking about wanting to learn to cable and I've said I'd be willing. Now that we're going to have a new LYS, I *might* be teaching an actual cabling class. I'm happy to do it... I just want to confirm that the new owner isn't just joking and really wants me to do a class.

So if I'm going to do a class, I need a pattern to teach. Hence, swatching. Behold the beginnings of the "Gemma" cabled scarf.

You can see on the left the different permutations of the scarf that I'm putting together. I started with the center cable as the prominent feature surrounded by two smaller cables. After a few inches of that I realized that the center was too small (only a 9 stitch cable) and decided to switch up to a 13 stitch center cable. I liked that one much better. After a while though I realized I don't really like the row of knit along each side of the center cable. This is similiar to what's in the luxe cable sweater, which I love, but I just don't like it here. I think it's too busy for such a small space. So out with the knits and in with plain purls in the center. A little less filler in the fourth try and I think I have something that looks not too bad. The knitting on the right is that final pattern. It should stretch out a bit wider once I wash it, but all in all, not too shabby I think. I love the texture you know, and this one has lots of it.

So will it be too complicated for a beginners class? I hope not. It's really just a left leaning cable and a right leaning cable (different numbers of stitches, some left, some right).

Only the great OZ knows whether this will turn into a class or not, but at the least I'll get a fun new scarf out of it. I'll write it up later for others who are interested too.

And in honor of my mom, a true Irish girl, I'm going to call it the Gemma Cabled Scarf. It seems quite fitting that in a post about cables and aran knitting, I get to honor my mom and dad. My mom who was born and raised in Derry and only moved to the states after she was swept off her feet by a yank.

Happy 48th anniversary Mom and Dad!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Just when you thought I was done . . .

suddenly there's another square.

There is something crazy about unloading. The day that I posted that I wasn't going to make the afghan and that I had frogged three squares, I cast on another square. Yep... I must be crazy. I don't know, all of a sudden I just had three lovely squares and no real interest in making them into pillows. I started looking a the Mason-Dixon moderne log cabin baby blanket and suddenly realized that I was halfway to a baby blanket with my three squares.

Today... well now I have 5. Only one left to go and I'm about 20% through that one too! When I'm done I'll just box it up until the time is right and some friend decides to add to their family.

It's wonderful when things work out that way.

Good for me that something is working out right too. Work just sucks these days. Not work, per say. Just parts of work. You know what? I really don't like parts of my work. I don't like it when people don't do what they should and I'm the one that has to do the documentation and the "firing." I don't like it when people who have been "fired" are too stupid to understand what that means and just keep coming back again and again with more appeals. Sigh. If I could just do my job, I'd get so much more done.

On a more positive note... my better half is having a good time off traveling again. Yes my previous-South Bend, Indiana residing spouse now is off in Brazil! I don't know, some excuse about doing fieldwork for a dissertation [laugh]! He spent his first 10 days near the rain forests in Belem and is to arrive in Rio today. He spends another 10 days there "working" and then finishes up his trip in Sao Paulo. Sounds tough hmm? I get updates and have seen a few pics. Looks like all is going well there.

So that's me... working too much on soul-sucking tasks, hanging out with the boys (the cats and dogs), and looking forward to another Thursday night knitting club. And best news of all ... my LYS is definitely going to re-open (sort of). One of the women who works there is going to open her own store in another location not too far away. This is the best... I can't wait!

Happpy February friends!