Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finished Vacation Projects

In a previous post I talked about what projects I was taking with me on my vacation. Well I decided to take two small, simple, easily portable projects with me and I'm really glad I did, they came in handy when we were stuck in the airport waiting for our delayed flight.

The project I chose was The Question Bag from the Burien Yarn Stash. A free pattern given out during the 2011 LYS Tour. It was a really simple design and an easy to follow pattern.  Once I got into the rhythm of the pattern I was able to leave the pattern sheet in my bag and work away at it while announcement after announcement was made on how long our flight was being delayed.

I picked two really great colors to make my bags:

Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton in turquoise and periwinkle
I finished one bag on the last full day of my vacation and I gave it to my son's sister who was celebrating her 17th birthday.  I wanted her to have something to remember us by when we are so far away.

I guess I also got a little too much into the rhythm of the pattern because the first bag came out a little long. As you will see from the picture below:

The pattern didn't indicate how long the bag should be so I just kept knitting thinking that I was supposed to use the whole skein.  Well when I noticed it was looking more like a wine bottle gift bag than an a drawstring purse, I stopped knitting and binded off.

Compared to the picture of the one below that is shown on the Burien Yarn Stash's site as an example of the bag, I think I did go a little too long.

Photo courtesy of the Burien Yarn Stash

But that's okay, because Aiden's sister loved it anyway and with the added length she can stuff more things in it.

The second bag I finished on my first day back from vacation:

And I stopped before it got too long this time and it came out looking more like the example.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday afternoon - last official day of vacation!

It's raining today, what's a knitter to do on a day like today?  Well go visit the shops that were closed on Tuesday of course!

And I was not disappointed by the two shops I was able to visit, they were lovely and well stocked.  I saw a few yarns that I don't see back home - like at Trumpet Hill, located on New Karner Road in Albany, just a few miles from the Albany International Airport, I found: Frog Tree Pima Cotton/Silk - 85% Pima Cotton and 15% Silk (155 yds/50 gms/1.75oz), suggested needle size: #5 - gauge: 5sts/inch. Can't wait to make some baby booties and hat from this yarn, I'm sure I can find some great patterns on Ravelry. It is so very soft and it wasn't very expensive either, $6.10 a skein - of course I couldn't resist so I bought four skeins in this really great goldenrod color. Celeste was very nice and helpful, answered all my questions and was very pleasant to talk to.  Can't wait for my next trip home to check them out again.

At BeauKnits Ltd. in Cohoes, I met Barbara Hildreth, a lovely lady.  When I told her I was originally from Troy, she was very informative on the changes and happenings in the area.  It was nice to just sit and chat with her about the LYS's, yarn, and patterns.  She had a lovely shop as well, located in downtown historical Cohoes and if you ever get a chance to come to New York, you have to stop in and say "hello" to Barbara. At Barbara's shop I came across Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles which were totally in my price range - sizes 5-15 US, makes circular lengths from 17" to 58", they are airline safe and travels easily in it's compact carrying case.  Barbara was using a set, making a double roll brim hat from Fiber Trends - AC53e School Colors Hat and she swears by them.  So I had to get myself a set. I can't wait to give them a try.

Well my only regret, and I can't believe I did this, but I completely forgot to stop in to the Lion Brand Shop in the City yesterday.  Will just have to wait for my next visit I guess.

And I do highly recommend visiting both Trumpet Hill and BeauKnits Ltd., if you ever find yourself in the Capital District (upstate NY). They are fine shops and worth the visit.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Train ride into NYC...to see the sights for the day

My son and I decided to catch the train to Penn Station and see the sights for the day. And as you can imagine, the City is alive and moving early. We left Albany around 7 a.m. and arrived in NYC around 9:15 a.m. and even in the rain the people were out and about.

I don't think I remember walking so much, and seeing so many interesting sights:

Giant button and needle on Fashion Avenue
How often do you see something like a giant button and needle sticking through it?  Or for that matter a six foot Elmo character walking around?

We saw the usual sights: the Empire State Building, Times Square, Madison Square Garden (which was under construction of some kind so I didn't get a picture of it), Planet Hollywood, and Radio City Music Hall.

Me and my son Aiden standing near
the Radio City Music Hall
And then there was the Hershey's store, I was very tempted to go inside, but was afraid I'd blow all my spending money in there, so I opted for a photo instead!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Loving my vacation...

I'm having a great time on my vacation.  Loving being home with family and friends. Celebrated my son's 16th birthday here with cousins and siblings!

My son celebrating his 16th with family
Also during my down time I've been working on my Question Bag in the pretty turquoise color that I picked out.  Here it is so far:

Can't wait to hit up some of the local yarn shops.  I checked the Fiber Arts blog to see where the local yarn shops are located.  Want to check out: Trumpet Hill here in Albany, there are a few others in the area, including: BeauKnits and Eastside Weavers that I hope I will be able to visit as well.

Happy Knitting from New York!

Later today:

Bummer, all the yarn shops I visited were closed. Not open on Tuesday's, what is up with that?!  Anyway, I will try to hit-up at least one of them before I leave to head back west!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What project do you take with you on vacation?

So I've been checking the airline sites to see what is allowed and not allowed in my carry-on for my vacation which is coming up really soon.  I'm going for a visit to my hometown in upstate New York and I'd like to take a small project or two with me to work on while sitting on the long six hour flight and layover in New Jersey. I usually bring a book or two with me, but since I'm not checking any bags this time around, I didn't want my carry-on to be too heavy and with the added laptop bag, I'm already at my two bag limit for carry-ons, so I figured I could find some easy, light-weight project(s) to bring on the plane.

I've been reading other blogs looking for ideas, advice, and suggestions and what I've come up with is I'll work on making two small drawstring bags.  I got this really great pattern during the LYS Tour-Puget Sound called The Question Bag that was a free pattern give-away from the Buren Yarn Stash.  I only need to bring a size 4 needle - 16" needle and one skein of the Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton. I think I can only squeeze two skeins into my purse, so I'll be able to make two of them.

I've already picked out the colors that I want to use as you can see from the picture below. These are really great colors for this bag.  When I was at the Burien Yarn Stash, I saw this bag made in the Ultra Pima in a beautiful red and the color made the pattern pop and the stitches really stand out. I fell in love with the design. I only hope that mine come out as good.

Turquoise and Periwinkle Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton
Great colors to use for this project

The Question Bag
Are you going on any vacations this summer?  Where are you going and what kinds of projects do you bring along with you to work on?  Leave me a comment, would love to hear from you.

On a side note:
Just finished a pair of felted slippers for a friend at work. He was very happy with the results.  He wanted a pair of felted slippers in purple and black in size 10.5...so here they are!

Monday, June 6, 2011

More Baby Stuff...

I finished another baby outfit this weekend.  The Violet Dress is a free pattern from Shelby Dyas of Shelby Knits. It was a lot of fun to make and as you can see its a simple design that can be made for all ages.  Here it is in a size 2T.

Free pattern from Shelby Knits
Violet Dress - Size 2T
by Shelby Dyas

Beginning stages: increases at top -
front and back and along the bottom for skirt
I modified the design a little by using a smaller size needle so it will fit a newborn to 3 month old and I added crochet ruffles to the shoulder straps and instead of the garter stitch bottom - I added crochet ruffles to match the shoulder straps, sewed ladybug buttons along the neckline for embellishment and paired it with a ruffled diaper cover and a pair of booties.This design is worked from the top down - the neck and shoulder straps are worked at once and then you increase for the bodice and then again for the skirt.

This is a great fun in the sun dress made with Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton - a durable and machine washable cotton (which is always a good combination for children's clothes) that is comfortable to wear in the summer months and this sunny yellow is great summertime color.

This just in - June 7, 2011: I already got a request to make the sun dress and diaper cover - and here I thought I was done making baby stuff!

On a side note:

My friend Holly was kind enough to take my finished shawl and afghan to her church on Sunday and had her congregation give it a healing blessing so that I may send them to my sister with all my love and that she and my nephew will be wrapped in Jesus's healing warmth and they be surrounded by our love and support.  She is also the one who is holding the shawl in this picture.  Thank you so much to Holly, the Evergreen Mennonite Church, and Pastor Jeanne Rempel.

Finished object with fringe added and a healing blessing

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The votes are in...and the winner is...

Thank you all for your votes and comments on what you would like to see my "I Knit So I Don't Kill People" logo design on next.  There was a tie between totes and mugs.  So coming next month totes will be available for purchase.  Below is an example of the tote style:
Dimensions: 14.5" tall x 13.25" wide

I am looking at mug styles here are some of the choices I'm considering:

And the winner of the cute lady bug tape measure is Candy! Congratulations and I will be contacting you via email.  Thank you.

On a side note:

I'm happy to report that over the long holiday weekend I finished the afghan for my nephew and the shawl for my sister:

Beginning Stages

Finished object - without fringe

Finished object: Popcorn granny square afghan