Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Holidays

Hello and Happy Holidays! Yes, I am working hard teaching 3rd grade, but, I still make time for knitting. But, as the holidays roll in, I feel like I will NEVER FINISH MY PROJECTS!!!! Which ones you say? Well......

1) The MeMe Sweater! It's those damned sleeves!!! They just go on forever, and I just cannot get motivated to finish them. My mother-in-law wants her sweater, I know. She is so sweet about it though. She says she knows that knitting a sweater takes time. God bless her. I pray to finish by Christmas Eve so that she can have it for Christmas.

2) The Rasta Button Cowl for my mom. She decided that she did not want a sweater (wonder why) and asked for a funky, chunky cowl instead. I know, easy, quick knit. But, with that sweater hanging over me, I feel like I won't finish.

Okay, time for a game plan. Work on the sweater EVERYDAY until I finish it. I know I can do it. Hey, man walked on the moon, women in the US can vote, and I can finish that sweater!!!

There is a bit of joy thought. I have decided to make some changes to the blog. I will just ramble on about knitting like I am doing now. This way, I will not feel bad if I forgot to mention a book or something. Also....I FINISHED A HAT FOR MYSELF!!! I finished the Frukttradgtard beret from The Fibre Company.




I did it in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky, in their Navy colorway. So cute! I made it in bulky and did some number crunching to make it a bit bigger. I have big curly hair, and I needed the room. I do not know what is next for me, but, once the sweater is done, I will pick a new project to start on.

As far as reading goes, I have a new love: My Kindle! I love it. It is so wonderful. I just go to Amazon.com, look for books that I want to read, buy them and zap! They are ready for me to read, just like that! Now, I must say that knitting books will still be purchased in hard copy. There is just something about looking at all that fibery goodness in color!!! But, all my fiction stuff is headed for the Kindle.

I have also received my copy of the Winter 2010 Interweave Knits, as well as their Holiday Knits Issue. What can I say? Wonderful projects as usual, and cute gift items as well. Go and pick them up; you will not be disappointed.

OH! HOW COULD I FORGET! I will be teaching another knitting class at my job for the other teachers. This time, I will teach them how to knit a hat, in the round. Get this, I will teach them how to use either a 16" needle, or a 24" or longer for magic loop!!! Be still my heart! I just love sharing my craft. I hope the teachers will like the lesson. I even invited the male teachers. Will they come you say? We will just have to wait and see!

Well, I have two weeks off this month, so, I will try my best to blog back by then. I would like to post some New Year's plans. I heard on Belle of the Ball Podcast that there are some Ravelry groups for the new year that sound interesting. I will have to check those out. So, Happy Holidays again, and keep knitting!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hello! Kinda Slumped!

Hello. I have been working hard at school, educating America. I have been working so hard, that I have kinda gotten into a knitting slump. Not a "I don't want to knit" slump, but a "Gee, I have no time to knit" slump! Life soooooo sucks! Can't I just stay home a knit my life away? Oops! Was that out loud. Anyway...here we go!!!

What Am I Knitting?

Projects right now are kind of slow. I am still working on my MeMe Sweater for my mother-in-law. I hope to have it finished by Christmas. I have started the sleeves (two on one circ), and I am sooooo anxious to get to the yoke. I am still debating on whether or not to do some color work, or to do just plain bands of color. I will have to play around with color patterns to see if I can come up with something nice, but not difficult.

I have also become engrossed in shawls. I have seen some lovely ones on Ravelry, and I want to knit them all. I have to also learn how to put things in my queue on Ravelry. This way, I can check it and see what I want to knit. Right now, I just have a bunch of patterns sitting around looking at me, with no possibility of being knit. BUT, organization does things to me, so, if I get it together on Ravelry, I will me motivated to work on something. Maybe a KAL to put a flame under my butt? Hmmm?

Spinning

I have not spun anything too big lately. I just finished up some bamboo. That stuff is slippery! But, the color is beautiful, and it feels so soft to the touch. It is still on the bobbin, because I have to learn how to prep and ply it. So, I've got some research to do.

What I'm Reading

I have read a few new mags when they came out. Interweave Knits Weekend, Knit Simple the holiday issue, and a new mag to add to my collection, Knitting Today. The jury is still out on this one. I have to see at least one more issue to determine if it will be worth the $$$$. I have other mags that I bought and stopped buying because they did not interest me. However, I want very much to give this new mag a chance. Online mags have caught my eye too. Knit Circus is so much fun, and full of great information, and of course, Twist Collective rocks the house. I just have to get brave and begin knitting some of the cool stuff I see in these mags.

I ordered and read Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmermann, and I now own all of her books. I dream of going to Knitting Camp and meeting Meg Swanson. I hope to save enough money, and go one day. It is over the summer, so it is perfect! I will be on vacation and everything. I will pray on it. But, I digress...back to blogging.

There is a blog called Knitting Zimmerman. The lady is knitting her way through the Knitting Almanac. Wow, to be so brave (sigh). I am also still waiting for Rachel Herron's new book to come out. It is a sequel to How to Knit a Love Song. Cannot wait!

Knit Events

The only knit happening that I hit after Stitches Midwest was YarnCon in Chicago. This is the city's fiber festival, and it is fun. I shopped and then had lunch with a friend. Believe it or not, I did not buy any yarn! I grabbed up some fiber, and a couple of project bags, but that was it. I know, I am being good. I just cannot see the point in buying more yarn.... until I see something extremely irresistible! Ha!

Podcasts

And finally, for podcasts. I am happy to announce that Chrissy from The Manic Purl Podcast is back in action. I missed her and was happy to see her back. I pray that her wrist will continue to heal, and that she will knit on. Oh, David Reedy of Sticks and Strings is terrific! I love that Australian accent! Crocodile Dundee with knitting needles! Too much; I swoon!

Time to sign off and knit. Once again, sorry for the long break. I hope to be more current in sharing my knitting life. Knit on.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Home From Stitches Midwest

Hello! I am back from my last summer getaway at Stitches Midwest. It was fun. I took a class and a couple market sessions, did some shopping, and stayed overnight. Away from my husband! Away from my kids! I know, mom's paradise, right?

Well, my 3 hour class was instructed by Sandi Rosner, a class called: You Don't Need a Pattern for That! She said that it should have been called Knitters Math, but no one would have signed up for it. The class showed us how, with a swatch and some simple 3rd grade math, we could come up with our own patterns. Now, as you know, I teach 3rd grade, and I expect, with practice, to be excellent at this! Sandi was a great teacher, and I hope to have class with her again at Stitches next year.

I took two market sessions: Continental Knitting, and Slip Stitch Knitting. Both classes were to help me improve my skills. I like slip stitch knitting, because it is color work without the Fair Isle. But, in case I ever decided to do Fair Isle, well, I would need to work with the yarn in both hands. Thus the need for the Continental Knitting class. Enough said!

I bought a few more circs for my collection and some beads to do a beaded scarf pattern in the future. I enjoyed myself, met some nice people (Hello, Tamara!), and I look forward to next year. Well, I go back to work tomorrow for another school year. I have been teaching for 13 years this fall, and I cannot think of another career for myself. I love teaching. Wish me luck this year, and I will blog again once the back to school hub-bub calms down. Oh, by the way, the MeMe sweater is getting along fine. I feel that Elizabeth herself is watching over my progess. I hope to finish it by November. God Bless, and keep knitting!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Stitches Midwest

Hello!!!! I am overly excited because Stitches Midwest is on the way. I will be taking a class and a couple of Market Sessions as well. I have been blessed by my mom with the funds to take those sessions and so..... a shout out to the lady who bore me. Thanks Mom!!!

On My Needles

I am knitting away on what I call "The MeMe Sweater". It is for my mother-in-law, who my children call MeMe. Thus the sweater name. I am using the Yoke Sweater pattern from the wonderful Elizabeth Zimmermann. I find that the EPS (Elizabeth's Percentage System) is pretty accurate. I only had to increase by four stitches and the sweater is progressing well. I hope to have it finished by her birthday in November, or by Christmas. She is excited about it, and so am I.

Other than that, I am hoping to start a pair of mittens and a new hat for myself soon, as well as a sweater for my mom. She saw my Modern Garden Cardi, and now she wants one. Mind you, this is the same woman who said when I started knitting: "I don't want any knitted gifts!" Well, how soon we change our feelings once we look upon good knitting. I still love her though.

As far as spinning, I am trying my hand at bamboo. Slippery little fiber! It was my challenge for The Tour, but, I am still working on it. I hope to have enough to ply/knit. I never seem to have enough to knit into something. I bought a ball or huge wad of Coopworth that I hope will spin into enough to knit a scarf or something.

What I am Reading

In the last few entries, I have neglected to add what I am reading. Well, I have read three wonderful books recently, and I just have to tell you about them. These books are a series written by Heidi Betts. The are Tangled Up in Love, Loves Me, Loves Me Knot, and Knocked Me for a Loop. These knitting inspired stories are funny, steamy, knitting stories that will keep you reading and have you wishing for a tall handsome man, and a sweet aunt who spins magic yarn for you. Get these books and read them. I promise that you will enjoy every page.

I will talk to you again after Stitches. I hope to have much to tell!!! Thanks for reading and knit on!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Last Day on The Tour



For the last day of Tour de Fleece, I am spinning a bright golden yellow. Very similar to the yellow that the riders wear. I have had a great time doing the Tour, and I hope to do it again next year!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My First Sweater/Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair

Hello. So, I realize that I have not fallen off of my bike. In the Tour, there is a category for knitting. I cannot remember the name of the category, but, I fit it. Why? Because I finished my Modern Garden Cardi that's why. MY VERY FIRST SWEATER!!!! Now, I like my sweaters to sometimes fit long, and cover me up to keep me warm. Well, that is just what happened with this one. Remember, when I knit, it is not for perfection. If it fits and I have a flaw or two, who cares! I just knit a whole sweater. Here it is:





I am also now attending a knitting group at the Richton Park Library on Wednesday nights, twice a month. I am so happy to have a group to attend. Yeah me!!!

Now, along with this, I went to the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair up in Grayslake at the Lake County Fairgrounds. WAY FUN!!! I spent money (of course), and met some wonderful ladies from the Windy City Knitting Guild. I want so much to join the Guild, so, I will try my best to make it to the meeting on Tuesday. They meet up on the North Side once a month. I know I can get there, I will just need babysitters for the little people. It was nice to meet some other knitters. I also met a cute little fella there too. No, I still love my husband. This little fella had 4 legs, and a body full of luxurious hair, just waiting to be sheared and shared. Here he is:





I sent a picture of him to my husband jokingly saying that I had bought him. My husband texted back that he was moving. Some people are so touchy and not into the fiber jokes. Any-hoo, I am still spinning for the Tour, and will spin the new 100% bamboo that I got as my challenge on the 22nd. Well, I guess that is it for now. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back to the Tour

Okay, I kinda fell off my "bike" or wheel because of Multnomah and my Modern Garden Cardi. However, I am back to spinning and here is my latest work:



I will try to stay on my wheel everyday now!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Multnomah is finished!!!!

I just finished blocking my Multnomah shawl. It is lovely. I only did 3 feather and fan increases, but, it is wonderful!!!!!




Yea me!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tour de Fleece 2010 Creations

Hello. Just thought that I would post all of the yarn that I spin during the Tour de Fleece. I hope you enjoy it, and remember...I am on Team Rookie!!!!

7/22/10: This is my challenge fiber: bamboo!!! boo-hoo bamboo!!! It is sooooooo soft, and soooooooo slippery. I keep getting over twist coils, but, I will prevail!!!










I will add pictues to this post as I spin through the Tour. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Spinning on the Tour de Fleece

Hello. Yes, it has been a while. But.....I have been on vacation, going to cookouts, and well, sleeping!!!! Anywhoo, I am back and ready to tell you all about what has been going on in my knitting and now spinning life too. So, here we go.....

Podcasts
I have been listening to my usual podcasts, but, I have recently found a new one. Spin Control with Shilo. Shilo is from down state Illinois near St. Louis, and she is funny. She talks about not only knitting, spinning, sewing, and other crafts, but funny things too like her husband's ability to become injured or ill at the drop of a hat. She is worth a listen.

On My Needles

Okay, I have been busy. I am presently I am still working on my Multnomah shawl, and I am almost finished. I only have to finish the feather and fan border and then I can indulge in the wooly beauty and display it for the world to see.

I am also working on a sweater, The Modern Garden Cardi, and a pretty scarf, from the March/April 2010 issue of Piecework. I will just call it "The Grandma Scarf".


What am I Reading/Spinning
I have added spinning to this section because I now have a love for spinning. I have decided to join the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry. Since I am a rookie, I do not have a team, and am just spinning along. So far, I have spun one bobbin full of chocolate brown wool. I am not sure, but, I believe that it is BFL. It's not as springy as merino. But, I will spin for at least 10 minutes a day throughout the Tour. Wish me luck!!!



Knitting Events
I will be attending the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Show in Grayslake, IL on July 17th. I will be able to fondle fiber, and shop til I drop. Also, in late August before my coach turns into a pumpkin and I go back to work, I will be heading off to Stitches Midwest in Schamburg, IL. Once again, I will participate in their fine class offerings, and of course, shop til I drop....again!!!

Well, that's it until next time. Keep knitting and spinning!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hanging Out in Maryland

Hello from Maryland. I have so much to tell. School is finally out, and I am on vacation. Not only have I received my Little Meggie kick spindle, but a Fidelis spinning wheel too!!! I will post pictures when I return home. I am so excited about spinning. So excited, that I just knew that I would find some great fiber here in Maryland and Virginia. But, no dice. I have been so unlucky in the fiber department. I did hit a couple of yarn shops: Woolwinders in Rockville, MD, and Knitting Sisters in Williamsburg, VA. Cute shops, lots of yarn, but NO FIBER!!!!! Oh well, I will just have to hold out until the Midwest Fiber Fest in July, and Stitches in August. I hope I can survive.

As far as what's on the needles, I am still working on my Multnomah shawl. I have 56more stitches to go before I am at 229 stitches. After that, I can start my feather and fan border. I have also started a sweater of which the name escapes me. I will make sure to edit this entry once I return home to my knitting nook with patterns and such available at my finger tips.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!!!!

Hello!!! I know it has been a few weeks, but, health issues both family and personal took over. I had an emergency root canal, and my son had the stomach flu. He loves me so much, that he shared with me as well. What a good son. But, here I am, and yes, tomorrow is Mother's Day (Happy Mother's Day to all of you), and the day after is my birthday. So, this is my weekend. Well, here we go!!!

Podcasts
I found out this week that Wonder Mike of The Fiber Beat podcast, is also on the Y Knit podcast also. I felt somewhat sheepish when I found out, because he did Y Knit before The Fiber Beat. Oh well, I just have a new podcast to listen to. On Belle of the Ball, knitting literature is discussed. A number of great titles were mentioned including A Good Yarn. I was somewhat disappointed to not hear How to Knit a Love Song mentioned. Bummer! Never Not Knitting discusses Icelandic Knitting, and Yarn Craft discusses favorites (tips, books, movies, tools, yarns) of knitting.

On My Needles
Right now, I have a bunch of stuff on my needles. I am still working on Multnomah, but, I have switched to to Berroco Vintage Wool. I just had to use it because the Douglas Fur colorway just called to me. I also started a Pi Shawl after watching Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Workshop. Such inspiration. I am almost done with my Garter Stitch Through the Loop Bowtie Scarf, but, my Morning Frost Wrap is still in the works. I hope to start my summer sweater project on the last day of school which is June 9th!!!! WHOO-HOOO!!!

What am I Reading
The Summer 2010 issue of Interweave Knits has made from my mailbox to my hot little hands!!!! Lovely patterns and a great article on buttonholes. Get one!!!

Knitting Events
Okay, I must register for Stitches Midwest as soon as I am done paying for my emergency root canal. I am also making plans to attend the Midwest Folk and Fiber Arts Fest this summer too. My plan is to stay busy and learn much.

What's New
Okay, as you know, I bought a drop spindle kit and I must say, I am lacking in the drop spindle skills. So, I decided that there had to be a better way to spin. Spinning wheel? Only if I sale a kidney on the black market. Gotta save up for that! However, in my search for a better way to spin, I ran across a kick spindle on Etsy. It is sold by Heavenly Handspinning, and there are demo videos on YouTube. I watched, was fascinated, and ordered one for my birthday. I am excited to try it, and will let you know how it goes. http://heavenlyhandspinning.com/e-commerce-solutions-catalog2.html is the web site. Check it out yourself.

Okay, that's it for this posting. I took some pictures of my tiny, little knitting nook in our family room. I adding them. Enjoy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fiber Fest!!




Hello! Welcome to the Nappy Ewe. I am glad that you are back again. I have a bit to tell you about the past couple of weeks, so here we go.....

Podcasts
This past week I listened to Alana's Never Not Knitting. She has an interview with Kristen Nicholas, and dicusses Kristen's new book on color work. There is a new contest to win the book, and a bag of yarn from Kristen's new line!!!

I also began listening to Webs, the podcast from the Webs Store (aka: yarn.com). The discussion included a run down of what was on sale during their anniversay sale (still going on), and an interview with the head of XRX. XRX handles Knitter's magazine and ALL of the Stitches Conferences. Worth a listen.


On my needles
I have begun working on a Multnomah Shawl. I am knitting it in Socks That Rock, colorway Cock-Eyed. It was a very gracious gift from a shop owner. I am also working on the Morning Frost Wrap from Debbie Stoller's Stitch Nation Yarn Booklet
#1. I am knitting the wrap in Sea Foam from Red Heart Softee. Yes, I said Red Heart, and yes, it is 100% acrylic!!! It is so soft, and easy to work with. Hey, I am no yarn snob, but, that is a topic for another blog!!!I am excited about both projects, and I look forward to their completion.

What am I reading now?
I just got the new issue of Yarn Forward, May 2010. I know, they are $10.99 a pop, but they are sooooooo worth it. The pattens are goregous. I hope to make a decision as to what to knit from this issue soon. I just cannot decide. Pray for me, that I will receive guidance. This issue includes an article about podcasts, and it has an interview with Kelley Petkun of KnitPicks! She talks about podcasting, and how the KnitPicks podcast has bloomed. I am also reading Dirty Sexy Knitting by Christie Ridgeway. What can I say? Knitting, sex, a yarn shop in Malibu, and lots of yarn. There are other things in the book too, but, these are the things that stood out so far. HA!

Knitting Events
I went to the First Beverly Fiber Festival on April 11th. Photos of my finds are above. It was wonderful! Not to big, not to small, just right for Mama Bear. I bought a drop spendle kit from Cloudlover, and I received a hank of Socks that Rock from Toni of The Fold out in Marengo, IL. She was so nice, and I really appreciated her kindness. I will have to take a trip out to Marengo to visit The Fold and get a few things. Road trip!!! I hope to soon register for Stitches Midwest coming up in August. I am looking forward to this event. I will take a class and browse the marketplace looking for fiber deals.

Okay, I guess that is it. I will be back next week with more info and updates. If you like this blog, let me know. Please leave a comment, and let me know what you would like to see here. I have a few ideas of what to write, but, hearing from those who read the blog is also helpful. God Bless, and KEEP KNITTING!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hello!


This is my first posting to my blog. My intention with this blog is to write about all of my adventures through the ongoing chapter of my life called knitting. My blog is called "The Nappy Ewe" because, like a ewe, I am a girl with thick, curly hair. Cute, huh? What can I say?

During the day, I am a 3rd grade teacher in the south suburbs of Chicago, and at night, I am a wife of ten years, and a loving mother to two very cute kids. In between educating America, and taking care of my family and home, I knit.

I began my knitting adventure in March 2009, and I just recently celebrated my "yarnnivsary". One year and still going strong. I love to learn all I can about knitting, and therefore I attend classes, workshops, fiber festivals and conventions. I read numerous magazines and books, and I spend a lot of time on Ravelry. I would like to set up this blog in the following pattern: podcasts to listen to, what's on my needles, what I am reading, and knitting events that I will be attending.

Podcasts: I enjoy listening to podcasts, and reading their respective blogs. My favorites to date are:

Never Not Knitting
Knit Science
Knit Picks
Yarn Craft
Knitting in the Round
Manic Purl
The Anatomy of Knitting
Fiber Beat

You can find these online or through my favorite venue, Microsoft Zune. They are also available through iTunes. Give them a listen. I think you will enjoy them, especially Fiber Beat!!! It offers video interviews and tutorials. This week, Kelly Petkin of the Knit Picks Podcast is discussing how to read a pattern. Yes, I know, you know how to do it already. BUT, Kelly has some great tips and information about reading charts, and copyrights. Wonder Mike of Fiber Beat has a cool video interview with Cookie A of Sock Innovations, and one with Jacey Boggs of Insubordiknit podcast and the video Sit and Spin. Great podcasts this week. Give them a listen!!!

On my needles: Presently on my needles is The Garter Stitch Through the Loop Scarf from 101 Designer one-skein Wonders. I am knitting it in Rowan Cashsoft DK. I hope to finish this soon, because I want to knit a baby sweater for my cousin-in-law who is pregnant. The baby is due in September, so, I have time. I would also like to work on a sweater for myself, the Clover Cardi from Knitscene Winter07/Spring08 issue, and sweater for my mother-in-law.

What am I reading now?: I just got the Knitscene Easy 2010 today. Too cute! Go get your issue. It has cute, easy projects, tips and tools that knitters or all levels will enjoy. I also just finished reading How to Knit a Love Song by Rachael Herron. WONDERFUL!!! It had everything I like: romance, cowboys, knitting, and even a little bit of yoga!!

Knitting Events: I will be attending the first Beverly Hills Fiber Festival on 4/11/10 from 11am-5pm at the Beverely Arts Center. It is hosted by My Sister's Knits yarn shop, located at 99th and Walden Parkway in Chicago's Beverly Neighbohood. $2 to get in and shop 'til you drop!!! Bring some money and a smile. Oh yeah, there will be a charity there, I cannot remember the name, but, they will be collecting knitted and crocheted hats for chemo patients. Bring a hat, and warm a heart.

I hope that this blog will be a resource of fun and information for you, and I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to let me know what you think!!! I am still learning how to blog, so as I learn, I will add more photos, links and other fun items. Thanks for reading!