Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yarn Heaven

That's where Melissa and I were this past weekend. Stitches West was held in Shaumburg, not too far from us. We didn't take any of the classes, but we did go to the market on Friday and Sunday with people from our knitting group.

So here is what I bought.

This is tencel yarn (it is made from wood fibers). The colors don't show up very well in the picture, but it is very pretty. It will make a beautiful leafy shawl.

This is Habu Cotton. It feels like paper on the skein, but knits up into a very soft fabric. I'm going to make a scarf out of it. Hopefully it will be easy to knit with and won't break. I think just about everyone in our group bought some of this. This booth also had banana fiber yarn and some with cotton and steel in it. 

This is the same yarn I used to make my gloves with. I got another skein so that I could make a matching scarf. I'm sure that there will be enough left to knit something else too.

Of course I had to buy some sock yarn. I think this skein will make a perfect pair of socks for fall.

I couldn't resist getting the Noro yarn. This one is 100% wool and it was half price! Who couldn't resist such a great deal. Not sure what I'm going to do with it but I'm sure it will be something pretty.

Melissa bought some nice blue wool to make a sweater. She also got some of the Habu, two skeins for a scarf and 4 skeins of a pretty light teal color for a sweater. Yes she did get sock yarn too. She also got a drop spindle and two skeins of roving. 

A lady in one of the booths handed me a handful of roving and last night Melissa tried out the drop spindle. Here are the results, four yards of chunky yarn. Pretty good for a first try don't you think?

I'm itching to start a new project, but I promised myself that I wouldn't cast on anything new until I finished at least one project that I have on needles. The Blueberry Waffle socks are almost done so maybe next week I can dive into the new yarn.

Now it's time to get back to scrapbooking. It has been too long since I've made any pages and the pictures are piling up!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

They Are Finished!!

I finished the second glove last night. The pattern was pretty easy to follow and total knitting time for each glove was about five days. Not too bad since it takes me months to knit a pair of socks! Of course I didn't knit much else during the time I was working on gloves. 

I did work on this market bag while we were being held captive on the plane last Thursday afternoon. It is for a friend of mine from The Scrap Room. I just need to get it in the mail.

I knitting this little baby sweater on my knitting machine. The pattern is really unique. You knit it all in one piece and then fold it to turn it into the sweater. The seams are at the top of the shoulders. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, it was just fun to knit. If you know of anyone who needs a baby sweater, let me know.

I also knit a blanket on the knitting machine. It is done in three pieces so I still need to sew them together. I think it will be a car blanket when it is finished. Now I just need to do another one so that both Melissa and I will have a blanket for the car.

Stitches Midwest is this weekend in Shaumburg. They have classes, a huge yarn market and lots of fun things going on. We are going on Friday afternoon to check out the market and see what we want to buy. We are going again on Sunday with the ladies from our knitting group. I'm sure we will come home with some nice yarn.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New York

We had a great weekend in New York. The beginning however, was not fun. Due to thunderstorms in New York, we were over four hours late. Unfortunately more than half of that time was spend on the plane waiting for permission to take off. Towards the end, even the pilot was frustrated by the long delay. Thank goodness for knitting and iPods. I was able to finish a market bag that I have been working on for a while. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Anyway here is the view from our hotel room. At night the center white stripe in the middle of the building lights up in various patterns. It was really pretty. On Sunday morning, we could see two cruise ships docked at the pier, which is on the far left of the picture.

While Steve was in meetings on Friday, Melissa and I spent the day shopping. We found a couple of great stores full of buttons, ribbons and all kinds of trims imaginable. We also found a yarn shop and Melissa couldn't resist buying a couple of skeins of yarn to make a scarf with.

The highlight of the day (all three days really) was a stop a Pinkberry for this yummy treat.

On Friday night after a great dinner at Victor's (Cuban food, one of Steve's favorites) we went to see "In the Heights". It was one of the best musicals that we have ever seen.  

We happened to be walking by the theater on Saturday afternoon after the matinee so we waited to see if any of the cast members would come out. This is Robin De Jesus, one of the leads. He was very friendly, signing Melissa's ticket and posing with her for a picture. According to Melissa he gives good hugs. She was also able to get autographs from several other performers.

On Saturday night we went back after we saw Spring Awakening and were able to meet the author and star of the play, Lin-Manuel Miranda. He is so talented and was really nice to sign autographs and pose for pictures with everyone. Notice Melissa with the closed eyes!

If you want to see some of his work check out: these youtube videos
They are promotional videos for the show that are quite funny. 

On Saturday we took a boat cruise around Manhattan. It was a small boat, only 50 people and they had a great brunch. The weather was perfect and we took lots of pictures and Steve also made a video.

That evening we had dinner at Victor's again, love the watermelon mojitos and the dulce de leche gelato. After that we saw Spring Awakening. Right before the show started, this guy walked down the aisle and sat down two rows in front of us. Melissa turned to Steve and said, Isn't that..." and Steve said, "yes". It was Mel Gibson. 

On Sunday morning we had some money left on the subway card, so we took it to Central Park and had brunch at a little coffee shop. After that we took the subway back to Pinkberry for one last bit of swirly goodness (oh why isn't there any Pinkberry in Chicago?) before it was time to leave for the airport and home. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weekend Fun

We had a great weekend. Our friends Paul and Jeannie arrived on Thursday evening. On Friday after brunch at the Uptown Cafe, we headed to Milwaukee to see the Brewer's play. (Why not stay in town and see the Cubs you ask, we wanted to, but couldn't find any reasonably priced tickets. That's what happens when they're on a winning streak.) Back to our story...on the way to Milwaukee, we stopped in Lake Geneva and had lunch at a restaurant with this great view of the lake. 

The ballpark was great. We enjoyed the game (the Brewer's beat the Washington Nationals) and all the fun things that they did between innings.

On Saturday we took the train into town. We were going to go to the top of the Sears Tower and then take a river/lake cruise. The wait at the Sears Tower was about two hours so we decided to skip it. By the time we got to the boat cruise, the only tickets they had was for the 4:00 pm cruise. We got the tickets and decided to do some shopping on Michigan Ave and have some lunch. The weather was great for the cruise, partly cloudy and not too hot.

On Sunday we had tickets to see Jersey Boys, which was great. We got downtown early, so we decided to go to the art museum. This is Melissa's favorite painting in the museum.

After the show, we went to the Italian Village for dinner. It is the oldest Italian restaurant in Chicago. We had a little room all to ourselves. The food was delicious and we ate way too much.

After dinner we walked over to Millennium park to take a look at the water sculpture and Cloud Gate, or the bean as everyone calls it. See all of us reflected in the bean? If you look at the bottom right corner of the picture, you can see part of Paul's face and those hands are Jeannie's.

It was a great weekend and we hope Paul and Jeannie come to visit again soon.


You are probably asking "what the heck is Ravelympics"? Well there is a website for knitters and crocheters called Ravelry. It is a place to show off your work, find patterns and yarn and chat with other fiber obsessed people. A group of them decided to hold a competition during the olympics. The idea is to pick a project(s) and start them during the Olympic opening ceremonies and finish them during the closing ceremonies. The project you picked was supposed to challenge you in some way.

For my event, I decided to knit a pair of gloves. I've done lots of socks, so I thought how hard could a pair of gloves be. The answer is pretty easy. 

This picture is from Saturday morning on the train into the city.

This picture is from yesterday. Last night I finished the ring finger and I am almost done with the middle finger. Not bad for four days of knitting. I'm hoping to finish up the first glove at knitting group tonight.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.