Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Drinking Gloves

Now that we have a drinking scarf, it's time to work on the next accessory in our winter party wardrobe - drinking gloves! I've worked out the issue I stumbled over during the first attempt at this pattern, and have a completed prototype! I have to say it was fun making a fitted garment for the hand - it was a nice challenge after making so many garments for feet. The tailored shaping gives it a dressy quality, while the martini design and bowtie keep it fun and whimsical. I now need to work on the left glove, and then work through the math of some alternate sizes. This will be important given the fitted nature of the glove, and minimal stretchiness of the colorwork stripe.

I've also been working on With a Twist sock number 2 along with the other folks in the current Knitters Brewing KAL. It's fun to see them in so many colors! I'm about halfway down the leg, and try to give it at least a half-hour per day. Got a lot done on it last Sunday when I took it to the horse races!

The Sock-aholics are gearing up for the Martini Scarf KAL that starts 9/1. There's lots of excitement around this new pattern, and it sounds like many of these scarves will be given as gifts this year. The receivers will love them!

I suffered a hard drive failure last week, but thanks to the Geek Squad, was fully back in action in 4 days - with a brand new PC! It's fun to get new toys :-) I must say the Geek Squad was a great resource - it took them several tries and some serious troubleshooting, but they were eventually able to get all my files off the computer. I am vowing to be better about backing up my computer now, and will be looking into the online backup services. Those sound like a simple solution.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Whipping that WIP

Another FO has come off the needles! I've finally finished my White Zebra socks, and think they are pretty much the coolest socks ever! Thanks once again to Kelie for collaborating with The Brewery on her unique design. Many people joined our July Safari and had a great time creating Zebras and Tigers. I suspect this pattern kit will have ongoing popularity!

This represents another check off the WIP list that I whined about last June. Let's recap my WIP Whipping progress on that list:

1. With a Twist Socks: 50% done. Will finish this pair with the group during the current KAL.
2. Zebra Socks: Done!
3. Yet to be announced socks: 50% done, and not quite sure what to do with them.
4. River Run lace shawl: Managed one row per day in July, so there is slow progress.
5. Premiere Swing Top: Done!
6. Business collaboration related to sock #3: no progress
7. Holiday project 1 - Martini Scarf: Done, and kits have launched for a September KAL!
8. Holiday project 2 - Drinking Gloves: In process, and fun so far!
9. Holiday project 3 - TBD: Not started yet.
10. Big business idea mentioned in June: Still noodling it around.

So the big talley is that 30% have been knocked off the list, and progress has been made on another 40% - yay! Of course, I have some other new things in my mind that I want to make, but I'm really trying to avoid that tempting Cast On!

On another front, the With a Twist KAL started last Friday and is already really fun! It's going to be great to see all the different colors people come up with for this pattern. This KAL requires no purchase, and is going through the end of September. Click here to download the pattern and join in the fun!

Off to dye some martini scarfs...


Friday, August 7, 2009

FO Friday!

For you non-knitters, FO means Finished Object, and it excites us knitters terribly!

This is the Premiere Swing Top from CEY which I started in March. It's made using SWTC Therapi (Jadeite Fiber/Wool/Silk) which was very nice to work with and is nice to wear, too! I really thought I would finish this top much sooner, but I diverted to several "work" projects since March. Just glad I got it done while it's still summer!

The With a Twist KAL will be starting today for the Knitters Brewing Ravelry Group. More on that in the next post!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Road Knitting

I haven't been on a "car vacation" that required more than 4 hours of driving since I was a kid. One would think that those memories of my sister and I enduring endless boredom in the back of the station wagon with the family dogs, the squeeky styrofoam cooler, and a persistant case of "back-seat nausea" would have quenched any desire I had to do it again. But two things have changed. First, due to my knitting habit, I actually look forward to having long periods of idle time. Second, I'm a big girl now, so I've graduated to the front seat!

We're back from the Mammoth Lakes Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza, and what fun it was! On Thursday, we trekked up there via old Hwy 395, which goes through a string of dinky, desert semi-ghost towns that fueled a number of Wikipedia searches in hopes of answering the question "Why would anyone live here?!" Turns out the area's economy is fueled to a large extent by military weapons testing. Your tax dollars are going to train our armed forces to blow up cacti. It was 102F where we stopped for lunch - we are SO not used to that kind of heat and dryness!

Since the festival didn't start until Friday night, we had the day to play, and decided to do a little hiking. We found a 3 mile hike with a 500 foot elevation going from 9000 to 9500 feet. Needless to say, I was winded after walking from the car to the trail head. We made it through the hike without physical difficulty, but still aren't sure that we ended up at the right lake. The trails weren't marked at all, and there were several unexpected forks that we didn't know how to navigate. Whatever lake it was we found, it was beautiful and clear, and cold, and had good shady areas to rest in before the hike back. After returning to the resort, we treated our sore muscles with champage and a soak in the hottub, where we watched an intense lightening storm over the nearby hills.

The festival was great, and couldn't have been easier to attend. Mammoth seems to really want to keep drinkers out of their cars, so they have put a lot of effort into trollies and hotel shuttles to move people around. Friday night we participated in the BBQ dinner, saw two bands, and strategized where we wanted to park our chairs the next day. Saturday, we headed over to the event an hour early in hopes of securing a good place in line, but the volume
of attendees was far larger on day 2, and our prime seating strategy didn't work out. We did get a fairly decent spot, however, halfway between the performance stage and the beer tasting tents. From here we enjoyed 5 hours of beers being poured by 70 breweries, and 8 hours of live music spanning a fun range of blues styles. The weather was great, and there was some great people watching!

My favorite performer of the day was John Lee Hooker, Jr - here's a brief video clip:

Since we were only 25 miles south of Yosemite, we decided to take a detour through the park on our way home. This added 4 hours to the drive, but it was worth it to see the area and learn a little about its history. I'd love to spend a week or so camping there someday!

I'm pleased to report that the 20 hours in the car allowed me to make some serious progress on my Premiere Swing top. I'm almost done with the front, and will maybe even finish the knitting today! Then I'll need to do the assembly and some sort of finishing work around the neck and arms. I've already got my next "non-work" project brewing in my mind, and it involves using my stashed Big Berthas!