Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let Someone Else Drive....(Part 2)

After cleaning out Yellow Dog, which we did with credit cards flying, there was lunch and a bit of time at the local Antique Emporium. Leave no corner unsearched for elephants and hedgehogs!

But it was neither collectible animal that caught my eye. In the back corner of the second of three floors, I spotted some silver vases and tea pots. I'm a magpie and this was irresistible.

I had a look at a couple of pieces and picked up one of the teapots. Everything was plate and the prices were okay but not fabulous. And then I picked up a vase.  Over a foot high, it was much heavier than anything else on the shelf. More interestingly, it had hallmarks on it. Now--I like silver but I'm not quite up on my hallmarks. And wouldn't you know that M, who knows these things, was out of the country that weekend?  Most inconvenient. I asked the gentleman behind the counter but all he could tell me was that it was plate and that it was English, which I'd already figured out.

And it was the same price as the much less interesting (and much lighter) little silver plate tea pot. I consulted with another member of the knitters, one who works in a jewelry store, and we agreed that it was just too interesting.

So, here it is, pre-shined up. It's a lot shinier now,  but I tossed my jar of silver polish and need to get another to keep everything shiny at Chez Hedgehog.  I tried to take a picture of the hallmarks but they're just proving impossible, recessed a couple inches into the bottom of the vase. I got a fuzzy picture but I won't inflict it on you. M is currently translating. 

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It should make a lovely straight needle holder, don't you think?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Let Someone Else Drive....(Part 1)

Every good yarn crawl should come with someone else behind the wheel. So when the reader's advisory librarian at La Crosse Public Library asked me if I thought we could fill a bus for a yarn crawl, I hastily agreed. We took names at the spring Knitting in Public Day.

The date was finally set for October 30. I had to get up at an entirely unreasonable hour to go. Gypsy was very confused that I was leaving the house before 7 a.m. That may be a more common occurrence now, *sigh*..

We headed out from the K-mart parking lot as the sky grew light. Our bus driver was a delightful man who teased us good naturedly about having so many beautiful women. I drank my coffee and knit and watched the sky lighten. I spend so much time behind the wheel, it's rare that I have the opportunity to just enjoy the scenery as it rolls by. I was a bit reminded that I can only knit for so long while riding in a car, I do get a smidge car-sick but nothing too awful.

The project was one of the endless City Shawls--but that's another post.  Suffice to say at least one other knitter in La Crosse is working on the same pattern!

Our first stop was Yellow Dog in Eau Claire. This was my second trip to EC--my first having been for blueberries last summer. I'd heard a lot about Yellow Dog, it's touted as one of the best shops in the region, and is probably the most well known. I had heard of it before moving there, which to me says a lot. They are known for having a lot of really good teachers come in. I really wanted to take the Knitting Runes course that was offered a couple of years ago but the prospect of driving three+ hours in the snow of January made me hesitant. Still, I think runes as colorwork could be fun. 

The store itself was a lot smaller than I expected. That's not a bad thing, I'm sure it's cozy generally, but 25 knitters made it just a tad bit squashed.  And as we were all now fully awake, we were in the mood to shop.  As the owner explained to us, she's one of the two stores in the US that is licensed to carry Garn Studios/Drops yarn, which is primarily found in the EU.  So that is 90% of what she carries, all of the different types of yarn that they have. I had heard that in England one goes to a Rowan store or a xyz brand store and wondered if this was what is was like.

She'd also invited in an art yarns spinner to demonstrate for us that morning.  I like art yarns but only in a bowl.  It was lovely to watch her spin though and certainly a different way of approaching spinning. I am staying far far far away from wheels. I'm just mildly terrified that if I were to buy my own wheel, I would have to move again to a bigger apartment to accommodate all of the fiber. Did I mention I have no closet space in the new place?

I was a little disappointed at what was available in the shop. While the owner was very willing to order and ship us whatever we were interested in, I was there to tangibly shop. I was seeking the impulse buy and getting something out of a catalog that would then be shipped to me just wasn't quite the order of the day. There was a lot of variety but, for me, not quite enough quantity.

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Not that I truly let that stop me. I found a sweater's worth of Karisma in a lovely aqua/sea foam. It's a DK superwash and will make a beautiful sweater if I ever get around to letting AudioGirl nag me into making one. As I am presently completely dissatisfied with the sweater contents of my wardrobe (one or two exceptions of course), this might happen sooner rather than later. Considering the amount of sweater quantities in my stash, this might not be a bad thing. 

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More on the rest of the trip in a bit...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Japanese Bags

If there's a link about hedgehogs, it often gets sent my way.  So when a friend found a Japanese bag maker who makes cute bags and fabric bins with hedgehogs on them....

Well, I might have had a bit of a falling down. Just a little one.

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Here's the haul.  I got three CD case bins, one large bin that's for DVDs, and one pencil case. Four with hedgehogs, one with coffee.

I got them with the intent of using them for knititng projects.  The smaller ones are just the right size for a skein of sock yarn, the pencil case will get traveling DPNs and the larger bag...not sure yet.  I actually am using a couple of the smaller ones for music cds at the moment.

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They are very well made--lined with pretty coordinating fabric.  And Gypsy, of course, had to be all nosy about them. 

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If you're interested in other pretty such things (not ALL hedgehogs), check out Seabreeze Studio on Etsy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Warm Monkeys....

So remember that late October I went to KidLitCon and spent the day knitting 2x2 watchcaps for the Navy ship?  That project has gone awfully well-- see here for the update from Shanti's mom.

But it wasn't my only knitting that weekend. As one of my best friend's parents were so gracious as to host a wandering and sneezing hedgehog (I was seriously ill that weekend), I brought them something warm in return.

Sock Monkey cup cozies!

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Now, I'm not a huge fan of sock monkeys. I don't understand the appeal of them. But the Master Sergeant had mentioned that his dad was a huge fan and that they had some sock monkeys around that apparently, I'd missed. Okay, duly noted. 

The sock monkeys are out of Cascade 220--mostly superwash. I forgot that I needed to use superwash and grabbed some red non-superwash that was leftover from another project. Face-palmed when I realized what I'd done.

Pattern: George Sock Monkey Cup Cozy
Modifications: I didn't do the solid ears, instead I did I-cord ears big enough to put your thumbs through.  Also I just used black yarn instead of buttons.

It was very fiddly overall and I'm not sure I'd made them again.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Not Dead...Just Wrapped in Cardboard

I was leaving a note on another blog and realized I hadn't blogged over here for a bit.  I popped over to see just how long I'd left you all hanging.

And now I hang my head in shame.  Sorry all, it's not that I haven't been knitting, that I don't love you or anything like that.

Reasons I haven't been Blogging Faithfully
1) I'm moving tomorrow and that's required a lot of prep work
2) Part of that was leaving my old job and I knit something for all of the women in my department (and the one boy). This meant that every spare moment was for knitting, not for blogging.
3) I'm a little overwhelmed with how much stuff I've knit recently and bought.  You'd think that a woman getting ready to move could restrain herself. Apparently not.

I did have a stash sale with one of the local groups.  They were very nice and bought up a bunch of yarn that I wasn't feeling totally viscerally attached to.  Of course, then AudioGirl came up and we went yarn shopping...

And there was the yarn bus tour, and Kathryn's open house, and and and...

Aaack.  Okay.  Let me go finish wrapping up the glassware and while I watch the final episodes of Castle, Season 2, I'll see if perhaps I can get caught up a bit here. 

Begrudgingly Entrelac'd

My Loopy Academy Senior Year Entrelac project has been completed. I did enough to complete the yardage and bound off.  It's a 5&#...