Tuesday, September 18, 2007

::peeking back in::

Yarn Harlot!! I went and saw the Yarn Harlot! To be completely honest I hadn't read anything more than a couple of her posts a day or two prior to her speaking engagement here in Wichita. Despite that I went and picked up a free ticket to attend her "lecture." It was another "stepping out of the box" activity for myself. For years, (ok, most of my life) I have felt the need to drag friends and/or family with me to activities I want to go to on my own. In last couple of years I have tried to grow up and be a big girl and just go by myself. Sounds completely ridiculous but it's been something I've had to work on. I don't know what I thought would happen if I attended an activity or event by myself. Maybe I thought everyone else would turn and stare at the poor girl with no friends. Or that I'd have no one to make small talk with. Truthfully I think it had more to do with the thought of having to talk to strangers out of politeness (is that even a word?). No, I'm not painfully shy I just can't be rude to other. Was raised better than that. Even if I think a person is creepy or scary I'm still polite. Sad but true. But in an effort to be a big girl I've been venturing out a little more on my own and I'm loving it. Turns out I'm pretty good company for myself. And I haven't been forced into conversations with weird people. Either everyone else is afraid of getting into conversations with strangers as I am or I'm really effective at giving off the DON'T TALK TO ME vibe. Either way, it works for me :-)

So I went to see the Yarn Harlot and had a great time. I had no idea there were that many knitters in Wichita! I'm sure quite a few traveled in for the event but it was still a surprisingly large number. She was a delightful speaker and her sense of humor was right up my alley. It was a lovely little event. And I didn't speak to a soul for two hours. Ahhh, bliss.

I do have much progress to report. I have about eight weddings that I need to photoshop so I don't have time for a picture taking session. Ironic, isn't it? I will get those done in the next few days so I can share all of my progress.

I have completely finished the Drive-Thru sweater for Sabrina. She's already worn it to church once and received quite a few compliments. Being my first sweater and that it's for a five year old I used ultra cheap acrylic yarn on it in hopes that laundering the inevitable dirt will be easier. If I had it to do again I'd use something a little nicer but it was perfect for the first sweater project. I think the yarn is Caron Simply Soft. Could be worse I suppose. Not much worse, but there you go. The body of the cardigan is Soft Yellow, the "fair isle" portion is Orchid, Sage Green and Soft Pink. I used lavender buttons that match the orchid color as well. Very bright and sunny just like our little Sabrina.

After finishing that I dove into 12:01. I've had the yarn and pattern for over a year but I just can't work on things out of order or before I've finished an existing project. So after the Drive-Thru sweater was complete I could finally start it. I had purchased the yarn last year so I could make it as a gift for my best friend. That obviously didn't happen so it will be this year's birthday gift instead. Of course I love it so much I think I'll have to go buy more yarn and make another one for myself. It was my first experience with that particular increase and felting. All in all it went very well. It's sitting on my dresser stuffed full of plastic Wal-Mart bags hoping to form it into a permanent pumpkin shape. I think I'll probably have to purchase something stiff to kind of line it with but that's ok. It's really cute! I was surprised at how long it took to felt it. Perhaps it's my washing machine but the felting process took at least 10 trips through my washing machine. I think next time I might try felting by hand, might work out better.

During the knitting of 12:01 I discovered that we have a new knitting store here in town!!!! I was soooo excited. Twist Yarn Shop recently opened in the same area as my own business. It was so exciting to go into a local store and see all the things I usually have to order off of the internet. I've been in several times and have even taken a class. She has great supplies and it's a darling little shop. I have gone to the other yarn store in town but her needle selection was limited and she just didn't carry many of the contemporary, modern knitting items that I've been eyeing. I feel bad for the old yarn store as it looks like Twist is really taking off. Of course I'm thrilled for Twist that it looks like it's going so well. Maybe I'll stop by the old yarn store and buy something to temper my guilt. The old yarn shop is just dated and she wouldn't help folks that came in for help with a project unless they had purchased the materials and supplies from her. She did have open classes that you could come to for help and it was inexpensive ($1-$2) as I recall but it just wasn't convenient for me. I think it all boils down to they each serve a completely different clientele. Unfortunately it looks like one is on the rise and one is on the decline and it makes me sad. I don't like to see anyone's business suffer.

Anyway! I love Twist! I decided I wanted to learn how to knit socks so I signed up for a sock knitting class. Imagine my surprise when looking over the pattern that I had basically made my first sock when I made the girls Twinkle-Toes slippers. I am, perhaps, not the sharpest crayon in the box. It was very worthwhile and re-assuring though as I felt like I finally had permission to tackle a real honest to goodness sock. I was a little behind everyone else in the class progress wise during the first class due to my own cluelessness. I thought I had the right size needles in my bag when I left the house but I didn't so I had to buy some at the shop which put my start time behind everyone else. They were all flying through the pattern and ahead of me. I kept working at it and just worked on it throughout the rest of the week as I had free time. We used a larger yarn and bigger needles so the socks worked up very quickly. Plus they had a very short ribbed section at the ankle so they were quick. I figured I would be the only loser in the class if I came with out having at least one if not both finished. I was a little embarrassed to show up for the second class as the only over-achieving geek who finished not one but both socks. Doh! Oh well, I bought supplies for my next two projects and started on my first pair of Monkey socks! I'm loving this pattern and having a great time with it. I'm not entirely sure about my yarn choice but we'll see how it works. It was a rainy dreary day that morning which I'm sure influenced my choice of a very mellow blue/green yarn. They aren't as bright and over the top as many of the Monkey socks I've seen but I think I'll actually wear these on a regular basis as they'll match more things in my wardrobe and will look great with jeans and loafers.

So, next time I'll see if I can get pictures in. It's been busy at work. I've redone out website, made a business blog and had my busiest month yet for shooting. Thank heaven school finally started!


rkyarns said...

Hey! It's great that you found TWIST. I teach class there sometimes. Every Thursday night is Stich and Bitch. Everyone gathers around 6. It would be nice to see and meet you there!! There are a ton of knitters in Wichita!!

Amy said...

I'd love to go to the Stitch & Bitch on Thursdays but that's my hubby's guy's night out. Don't tell him but I secretly love it too. I put the kids to bed, get out my knitting and watch all my favorite Thursday night shows :-)