Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cooperstown

Whew, the last trip of the traveling season! For our fifth anniversary, DH and I went back to Cooperstown. We technically got married by the florist-cum-mayor, in her flower shop. Here we are 5 years later, same place.
flowershop2


Usually, we seek out the bookstores. This time, serendipitously, the bookstores found us. The 17th annual Cooperstonian book fair was going on. Oooh, books! We unfortunately came home to hideous silt and badness in the basement due to flash floods, so I haven't even unpacked, but when I do I'll post pics of the great needlework book I found.
bookfair1

bookfair2

Great effort went into trying to go to a local yarn shop. The nearest LYS is supposedly Knitting it all Together, on Main Street in Oneonta. However when I called it forwarded to what sounded like a personal voicemail, and never heard back as to whether it's still open. Does anyone have any news of this LYS?

Otherwise, there was a lot of admiring of green hills
verdant


and pretty trees.
tree-cooperstown

I did finish a project, so--promise promise--there will be a FO next time. For now though, the new kittehs (real reason for trip)!
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We are Polly (white snout) and Molly (all gray)! We are cute!

By the way, I have never been to that Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Maybe next time!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

FO, Minneapolis, and catching up

ivyleague-mitts6

Well here they are, at last! This pine tree was the saddest runty little brown softball-sized thing when I planted it 6 years ago. Now it is almost as tall as I am! Which is not saying a lot, but still, the tree/bush is an excellent hobo glove model. DH and I call it the Sleeper Hit of the Garden. Behind it you can barely see the clematis, which is the Runner-Up Sleeper Hit of the Garden.

The tree/bush is the model, because I tried to take a whole mess of pictures wearing the gloves, and it's quite comical how badly/fuzzy all the photos turned out. This is the best self-timed pic, of around 20. If anyone has any great ideas for taking self-timed pictures of their own hands without making impressionist fuzzy blots, I am all ears.
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The stitch pattern is from Ivy League Vest, by Eunny Jang, with fingerless glove modifications from Accordionpie (thanks, Julie!) The only mods I made, besides changing colors, is doing the thumbs 5 stitches before/after the end of the round, for the right/left glove. After I finished knitting, I realized that was completely stupid, because there are no decreases or other "edge" aspects to the pattern, ie the thumbs will fit wherever they are knitted. So my mods are quite useless and just mess up the fair isle pattern. These were knitted as a knitalong during a college reunion, along with a college roommate Lizclink, for a 10th college reunion.
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I used a leftover yarns from my Flutter gloves (yellow) and Hippocampi gloves (black), and mainly from Silvana's Ivy League Vest. It's funny how fair isle hobo gloves don't use up any yarn. All the yarn balls still appear to be the same size, but I stuffed in all of my similar yarns into the ziploc bag, to pay it forward. How fun would it be to knit these types of small colorwork projects, if you got a big bag of dozens of colors in the mail, knitted, then added 1-2 more balls before passing it along!
ivyleague-mitts1


In other news, sorry for the bloggy break, I was away in Minneapolis--yes, it's a travel-heavy season. I really liked it there--it's like St Louis, except cleaner, not blighted, and cooler (temperature wise, and hipness wise too). I stayed downtown, where there was a lot of pretty architecture featuring old stone--the most impressive was this Presby church.

Minneapolis has a large African community, so I absolutely had to go to an Ethi restaurant. I went to T's Place, which is billed as Ethi-Asian, but really, just Ethi.

If you are ever there, go! It's very authentic--I was the closest thing to a white person there. The injera is amazing, and you can get Ethi beers too.

Of course, no trip to the Twin Cities would be complete without the Mall of America (MOA).

Yes, I am that dork that takes a picture of the mall map, for reference during the rest of the mall-excursion. Except for the big amusement park with roller coasters and water rides,

this was a pretty typical American mall. The only unusual feature was the Lego store! I took a LOT of pictures. How cool is it that all of these are made of legos?!?!


The whole time, I was singing "MOA, MOA, MOA! How do you like it? How do you like it?" disco-like in my head. Thank goodness I have enough of a filter to prevent this sort of craziness from leaching out audibly. Less-crazy-like, I went hog-wild over the Star Wars Lego stuff and may or may not have spent a ridic amount on plastic crap of this variety. Also, Harry Potter Lego stuff! It's a very happy place.
Notice Hagrid, 3rd from the right on the bottom row. He is big.

And of course, no trip would be complete without the yarn shopping! I went to Depth of Field:
depth-of-field

I got a shawl pin, my first shawl pin ever. It's made of rosewood, and looks like a bird.
shawlpin


While I try to get "local" yarn wherever I go, apparently this store didn't have any local or local-ish yarn at all! And then we saw a certain type of winged insect that all knitters fear with the biggest fear; it was a baby one, nestled in a skein of yarn, and we got the hell of out of there asap. I did get a skein of navy blue acrylic yarn, because I ran out of this variegated yarn in the middle of knitting a baby sweater.
blue-babysweater1

I put the yarn in the freezer for a couple of days, just in case. 

Oh, by we, I mean myself and Kala, of Vegancraftastic! I have her awesome stitch markers still, and took them to show her. Kala and her husband Shane took me to dinner at Pizza Luce, which was really yummy. They are super sweet and awesome, and they are both vegan to boot! I accidentally forgot to ask for the vegan cheese on my pizza and still feel bad that they couldn't eat it! :( Here's the pic of us by Shane, from Kala's post:

The other highlight of Minneapolis was getting these cucumberry drinks. Cucumbers are my favorite food; I could not resist.


Back home, my garden plot is finally producing some edibles! All of the spinach and arugula (rocket!) went to seed in the super-hot weather, but the root veg are doing quite nicely.
turnip-carrot

This turnip randomly ended up in the carrot area, and it is HUGE! It sits next to the cutest baby carrots ever. I cannot bear to eat any of them.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Karyotype

And the winner is...



Cindy!

The contest was to guess how many ends there were to weave in, per glove, of this pair, without going over. Basically a wooley Price is Right. I counted up the ends by putting them in a big pile as I wove in the ends, sorted them by size, and paired them up. This is, really for reals, how the human karyotype was described--someone took a picture of chromosomes during a very brief phase of mitosis, developed the picture (this was decades before digital), cut out each one with scissors, and lined them up in pairs by size. Crafty skills come in handy all the time.


Anyway, the answer is 7 columns x 5 rows x 2 per pair = 70.

(Shame on anyone who guessed less than 50, as though I'd complain about weaving in a hundred ends. (I totally would have).)

Oh, and Lorraine, you were the closest, but you were just over, with 73!

So, the prize goes to Cindy, also of St Louis, and I swear there were no shenanigans involved to save on shipping!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Giveaway

The weaving-in of ends takes a lot longer than the actual knitting! One Ivy League Reunion hobo glove is finished (woohoo), and I thought we could have some fun with the other.

Take a close look. I carried yarns (ie didn't cut them) if they reappeared within 4 rows. Comment with your best guess as to the number of ends per glove, including the cast-on/off ends. Whoever is closest, without going over, will win a gently-used (and unmarked) copy of Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter


The only project I knit from this was a Harry Potter (actually, Ron) sweater for my niece, but there are many other patterns which will be an absolute blast to knit for the upcoming final movie premiere!

ps: if you are not logged into google/blogger, please put your ravelry name or email in the text box, because your email doesn't come through to me

pss: entries will close in one week,  on Thurs June 16th, at 21:00 central time (US).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cambridge/Boston Part 2

After the Cambridge portion of the yarn crawl, we continued down the Red Line across the river to the Boston side, to Windsor Button.
windsorbutton1


It is next to this wig shop. I don't know why, it's just funny.
wigworld


Windsor Buttons, unsurprisingly, had a lot (a lot!) of buttohs for sale! Here's looking one way
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and then looking the other way. Hole mole.
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But that's just one side of the store! The rest of the cavernous store is filled with yarn,
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notions, and everything else you might ever need for any of the needle arts.
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I finally found a matching dark orange separating zipper for my still-unassembled apres-surf hoodie. Sadly, it was easier to go all the way to Boston and get this zipper while I was there, than driving 30 miles in to the St Louis burbs just for the off-chance that the one store with separating colorful zippers had the right color.
zippers-ribbons

Also, I got some grosgrain ribbons and vintage buttons (the tan buttons and blue ribbon are from gather here, actually, but I just took all the pictures together). How cute are the little anchors on the dark brown buttohs?
buttons

More yarn and samples!
windsorbutton6

Eventually I chose this pretty quasi-local skein from Shalimar Yarns, a handpainted sockweight yarn in the colorway "Black Truffle." The ballband and website don't have any info about where they are located, but the Windsor ladies said the outfit is in Maryland. (The phone number on the website is, indeed, in Maryland.)
shalimar

After ginorm yarn crawl, we were pretty pooped, so we plopped on the only chairs in the sad little first-year dorm room where we were assigned, and knitted a while.
ivyleague-mitts4


It's a real knit-along! The Ivy League Reunion mitts are pretty far along now. Here they are after the flight home.
ivyleague-mitts3
 
I'm absolutely dreading weaving in all of those loose ends!