Licensed2Knit

Archive for the 'Field Trips' Category

At the End of the Rainbow…

Rainbows End at Knitting Camp!

I followed this rainbow all the way to Meg Swansen’s Knitting Workshop in Marshfield, WI.     I had the most wonderful weekend with gal pal Jodee and new friend Laura.  I also got to meet up with many other knitter pals made from previous years at Meg’s camp…like Desiree, Amy, Mindy, Emily, & Lindsey.   So much fun was had!   This year’s workshop was all about cables and twisted stitches.   Here’s a picture of my hat in progress…BTW unlike a couple previous camp projects…I am totally finishing this one.

From the Schoolhouse Press Pattern leaflet #11

It took me a day and night to wrap my head around the way to work the charts but in a moment of clarity…spawned by an alcoholic beverage (my first in like two decades)…I got it and I am loving the construction of this hat so much.  It’s all about reading the charts.  I plan to make wristers to match with the second skein of yarn I have.  I also bought some of the Guernsey in blue to make another hat.  The Québécoise yarn I am using is sort of splitty and has some halo so I just want to make a crisper looking hat next time.

Jodee was an excellent navigator and directed us to two yarn pit stops along the route on the way up.  We visited Lakeside Fibers and Stitcher’s Crossing…both in Madison.  I only enhanced a little bit….We stopped at the Sow’s Ear in Verona on the way home and I enhanced a bit there too….and a touch at Schoolhouse Press.  Well look…here is a bit of what followed me home.  I grabbed two sets of 9″ HiYa HiYa needles in US 1 and US 1 1/2 to see if I like knitting socks with them.  I am considering this because I like to tote my projects everywhere with me and I have always been concerned about breaking my Brittany DPN while in transit.  I grabbed two skeins of Manos Silk Blend, only because I found it and rescued it from the clearance basket.  I also snagged a skein of Dream in Colors Club yarn for Sept 2011 that I will use to make fingerless mitts.

Just a few things...and only a touch of fiber.

 

You can see a pictorial of my weekend right here.  So much fun!!!!   I really want to go back to Southern WI and explore the yarn shoppertunities a bit more especially The Sow’s Ear.  I want to eat lunch there too.  Any takers?

In other news I have a FO that is earmarked as a Christmas gift…if I can hold on to it long enough.  Sometimes I get so excited about my knitted gifts that I release them early.  I am sure the recipient will not mind this of course!   I love love love Cat Bordhi’s magical cast on for knitting mobius scarves and such.  I really should buy a copy of the book to keep for myself instead of checking it out each time I need it.  The library is now down to only one copy of her book!  Not good!

Missoni Style Mobius using Cat Bordhi's CO

 

And speaking of Missoni…the Marshfield Target came through for me with the elbow length knitted gloves in exactly the color I wanted!  And today the Bolingbrook Target had the square silk scarf!!!!   You see, the gluttonous behavior of some ruined the shopping experience for the rest of us and now they are choking on it and returning the unsold Ebay items to the stores.   You simply need to be in the right place at the right time now…it’s a bit like winning the lottery.

So my Christmas knitting has now begun in earnest.  Next up a pair of socks, two pair fingerless mitts, two cowls, a scarf, and a hat.   I had better get cracking!  See you.

Blessings to all!

Share/Save/Bookmark

4 comments

Yarn Shop Closing

Dear Local Ladies,

Perfect Touch Yarns in Joliet is going out of business.  The lovely owner, Marianne Gardner, has recently passed away and her son is trying to sell off all the stock as well as the home.  I was out there this morning and there are many lovely items left.  Needles, magazines, patterns, books, yarn, needlepoint supplies, and much more.  I restrained myself to some Regia sock yarns, a few luxury yarns like Plymouth Alpaca Boucle, Ella Rae Bamboo Silk, Lacey Lamb and enough Tahki Chelsea Silk for two cardigans.  Yes, I over bought on the yummy tweedy wool silk blend but I couldn’t buy two hand knit sweaters for the price.   Marianne bought both basic and luxury yarns.  You’ll find Judy & Co.,  Heirloom Breeze, Plymouth Encore (dk too), tons of Fantasy Naturale (I was totally tempted),  Elsebeth Lavold, Berroco, Christmas stocking kits, felted bag kits, and more than I can actually remember.  Here are the details.

CASH and CHECKS ONLY – NO CREDIT or DEBIT CARDS

Final Sale dates May 9th – 13th 2011

Open Monday thru Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

1059 Taylor Street., Joliet, IL 60435 (815) 727-2744

Currently all yarns are 50% off and books/patterns are 80% off.  ( I found old issues of IK there that I was missing)  I overheard a conversation that prices will be reduced further on Friday but please do not quote me on that.

 

 

Share/Save/Bookmark

No comments

Sunday Fun-day

I began my morning with a cooking class at Williams Sonoma called Steak House Beginnings.  I saw demonstrations, tasted samples and received recipes for stuffed mushroom caps, onion rings, French Onion Soup and blue cheese dressing for iceberg lettuce wedges.   Apparently I was amongst some Sunday morning class regulars because everyone appeared to know one another including the instructor Cindy.  Recipe swapping ensued as well as continued discussions of previous class recipes.  The crowd was mostly comprised of married couples.  Average age?…well let’s just say they made me look young, that is, of course, except for that newlywed couple.  I needed my better half with me too because I am not a stuffed mushroom cap kind of woman, especially not  this early in the day and I got suspicious looks from the other tasters when I “saved” my portion for someone at home.  Really though 10 AM is too early for this type of fare, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.

As I watched the demo I noticed that plenty of things went wrong, the electric counter top magnetic burner never did work.  The first 3 batches of onion rings came out in clumps and stuck to the fry cage.  The mandoline was not shown in a very good light and they really are such handy devices to have around the kitchen too.  Lastly, the volunteer newbie with the kitchen torch scorched the croutons for the soup while trying to melt the cheese.  One crowd critic in the back let it be known that he was displeased with the quality samples he tasted and his wife gave him such a piercing “I’m going to kill you later” stare that the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I actually shivered on his behalf.

Truth be told,  I love Williams Sonoma, I shop there frequently but I too was disappointed this morning.    Maybe I just have been cooking for so long that it takes something more to really wow or surprise me.  Cindy claimed that the soup was as easy as it gets but there is an easier and pretty darn tasty alternate to the French onion soup – Trader Joe’s sells a delicious frozen one that is much easier, place in your own oven proof bowl and bake… yep.. much easier and tastes better IMHO.  Onion rings?  I would never make them in a million years because I will never own a deep fryer.  I can’t get past the saving/wasting of  the oil. I never even bothered to taste one. Mushroom cap?  My hubby liked it so maybe that was worth the visit.  The dressing…well…I know I make it better because I have an excellent recipe and I use Maytag cheese.  Still it was lovely to get out this morning and make a change to my regular routine.

Will I attending another one?  Yes, you bet I will but I might be a bit more selective in the subject matter… but hey, it was free and you can’t beat free!

I’ll leave you with a picture of a rather forlorn looking Biggs.

Share/Save/Bookmark

2 comments

Public Service Announcement

Ladies I just had to share some excellent news that I heard today….I am happy to announce that there is a new yarn shop in town.

Woven Heart Fibers at 232 S. Washington St., Naperville.  Owners are Tara McClintic and Terry Luthman.

The store features yarn, fibers, buttons, knit sticks, needles, ribbons and finished one-of-a kind pieces that the McClintic  has personally created. She has been knitting for more than 10 years and creates scarves, wraps, shawls, texting gloves, hats and other custom designs.

“We decided to open a Yarn Shop in Naperville because there is nothing within the Naperville area to meet that need,” said Luthman, who runs the operational side of the business.  I say ALLELUIA!!!!!!!!

The store is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Can I get a WOOT WOOT?  I haven’t been there because I just found out about it this morning at 9 AM and because of the great storm that is blowing through the area but I am thinking that I am going to take some comp time for lunch on Thursday and go there to investigate…I’ll report back.

Share/Save/Bookmark

No comments

The Weaving Experiment

So I’ve been wondering about weaving for a very long time but have never even gotten close to trying it.  When Stitches Midwest would roll into town I’d often consider picking up a small lap loom (aka Knitters Loom) as my special purchase.  I’d usually end up just glancing at the looms and heading for an armload of yarns instead.  A few weeks ago the planets were in perfect alignment and I had some time off and I noticed that a class was just starting.  I’d always loved the look of woven scarves and it’s a fabric that just cannot be created by knitting.

So I signed up for a class at TLD Design Center in Westmont.  The first night of class I was Tammy’s only student and I accomplished a lot!  I nearly had the warp completely done before class was over.  Night two I picked out the weft yarn and was shown how to deal with the one skinny cotton strand that broke very early on in the warping process and how to pick out a yarn that would make my scarf drape nicely.

This weekend I will be weaving like a mad woman to finish up enough of the scarf so that I can complete it and remove it from the loom at the last class.  I’m considering purchasing the loom I’m using or maybe I’ll just ask for one for Christmas.  I’m not sure, I can’t quite make up my mind I’m sitting on the fence.  Anyone in the peanut gallery care to share your thoughts on this?    Maybe some pictures will help you decide.

Warp yarns

Warp yarns

Weaving in progress

Weaving in progress

Fabric Close-up aka The Money Shot

Fabric Close-up aka The Money Shot

Share/Save/Bookmark

1 comment

Great Big Balls Of Butter!

Huge scoops of Wisconsin butter!

Huge scoops of Wisconsin butter!

I had the best weekend at Meg Swansen’s Knitting camp!   I spent the last 4 days in northern Wisconsin where the butter is served up like scoops of ice cream and served in bowls at meal time.   I would expect no less in the Dairy State :)   We had milk at every meal and the cheese….oh my the CHEESE.  My first stop, even prior to checking in the hotel was to the drive up dairy…but that’s another posting entirely…where I snagged a grocery bag full of delicious Wisconsin cheese.

The knitting was lovely, the weather was great, the company was outstanding, and I feel so happy and relaxed.  I can’t wait to sign up for next fall’s retreat!

Share/Save/Bookmark

2 comments

Heavy On The Photos

I got a new camera, another Kodak Easy Share because they are so easy to use and the resolution is marvelous.  I mean just look at all the pixel goodness of Mr Biggs!

I love you Biggie!

I love you Biggie!

So it’s been a while since I’ve been a regular blogger, let’s hope this catches me up a bit.  I have a few FO’s to share.  The scarf is for no one in particular, the yarn is soft and synthetic and yes…hairy.  You know some people still like hairy scarves…I may not be one of them but I’ll happily knit them for those that still do.

This next one is crocheted!  I am capable to hooking when provoked and the pattern and yarn did just that…it’s actually all Lesley’s fault, she came up with this bit of brilliance.  Mine is made with Noro’s Kureyon Sock yarn.

Pretty and yet so simple crocheted shawl

Pretty and yet so simple crocheted shawl

I can’t remember if I posted these tube socks already…they are pretty enough for a second glance at any rate.  I made them for my hubby.

Skacel Trekking XXL Tube Socks

Skacel Trekking XXL Tube Socks

Now we are on to fun stash acquisitions.  I drove out to Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg last Friday and had a bit of fiber fun check out all the goodies I brought back with me. I kind of laughed buying machine knit socks, my first thought was to pass them off as hand knit to unsuspecting non-knitters but I was so pleased that they fit my large feet that I’ve decided to keep them.

Opal Machine Knit Socks

Opal Machine Knit Socks

Yummy!

Yummy!

The MadelineTosh Pashima yarn is so yummy that it begs to be up around my neck.

YAK!   Nuf said.

YAK! Nuf said.

The Yak will also be neck bound as it came with a nifty freebie pattern from WEBS.

Glisten Yarn Kit

Glisten Yarn Kit

The picture of the Glisten yarn even with the new camera does not do the yarn justice.  Somehow I just did not capture the sparkle.

Some patterns for the future

Some patterns for the future

LadyBug Slippers!

LadyBug Slippers!

These slippers are meant to be a holiday gift.  Too cute huh?!

I love this vest!

I love this vest!

I had my eye on the vest with the booklet first came out and snagged the pattern at Wool & Company last month.  I was really planning to use yarn that I already own but….the Berroco Blackstone Tweed Chunky got me.  It’s such a pretty gray and I will love wearing it.  So there you have it I’ve made stuff, went places, have a cute pup and bought new yarn…life is good!

Share/Save/Bookmark

1 comment

Picking Up Breadcrumbs

If I don’t begin posting with a bit more regularity all my breadcrumbs of where I have been will have been scooped up by the birds.  So what have I been doing….well….I finished my Zsa Zsa Socks and I love them.  I am fairly certain that if I would have had the handy jewel affixing tool earlier in my life then pretty much everything I own would have been bedazzled in one way or another!

I fixed the toes to make them match, then carefully added the Swarovski crystals.

Zsa Zsa Socks

Zsa Zsa Socks

One of the reasons I knit these socks up now is that I was heading off to the Schoolhouse Press Knitting Camp in Marshfield, WI and needed something lovely for show and tell.  You know, I always loved show and tell as a child in school.  IMHO there is not enough show and tell going on…we need to do this on a daily basis…it’s really fun and sharing is a great way to learn and bond.  My co-workers are great about this…otherwise, I would have never found out about those amazing Chocolate Croissants from Trader Joe’s.

Marshfield was great, I love Wisconsin, I actually really love the Midwest.  Other than my “val-speak”  and western attitude I think most people would assume I am from here.  I remember once in college, a professor was surprised to hear I was a native, he totally thought I was a corn-fed farm girl from Iowa.  But I am pretty much sure I’ve never stepped a foot onto Iowa soil….there’s no Mall of America there LOL. but I do love corn so he gets partial credit.

On my first morning in Marshfield I ate at Meg’s sister’s restaurant, The Kitchen Table, and sat with lovely locals and did the show and tell thing, that I love and they told me about Door County cherries and the Marshfield Public Library…which I did visit and chatted it up with the Children’s librarian.

Marshfield Public Library

Marshfield Public Library... duh...the sign says that.

Camp was fantastic, I loved it.  It was my second time there and I was truly happy I made the trip again.  Meg and Amy are lovely and this picture I took of them really shows how they feel about one another and knitting and camp and having fun.  They are so much fun to hang with.

Meg Swansen and Amy Detjien

Meg Swansen and Amy Detjien

Sometimes when you go to camp you are treated to things that you cannot share…I would love to share a cute little slipper that Meg is knitting up following directions her mom had written but I can’t.  You’ll love it when she is ready to share it with you all…it’s very pixie like.  After a visit to the Schoolhouse Press warehouse for fun and shopping, Jodee and new friend Desiree humored my cheese quest and accompanied me to the local dairy.  Okay, back up to the Iowa farm girl thing a bit. ..dairy’s smell when you get out of your car…they smell like cow pies… but if you can hold your nose long enough to make it inside the shop then you can be treated to really fresh Wisconsin cheese!  They were out of cheese curds so I am still a newb on that…add it to the list of my still must tries… but they did have amazing Buffalo Wing cheese.  Seriously, this cheese is the stuff cheesiers dream about.  I’ll be ordering some cheese packages for Christmas gifts because I really must spread my cheese love to my family.

Nasonville Dairy

Nasonville Dairy

Lastly, I must share a bit of my yesterday’s fun.  It’s my weekend to work and the Teen Librarian had a program for girls in the afternoon that included food fun and Bollywood activities like mehndi aka henna tattoos.  Take a look at the lovely hand decor that I will be sporting as long as the henna lasts.  It’s really hard to photograph your right hand when you are seriously right handed and you can’t hold, focus and press the shutter with your inadequate south paw, but you get the picture.

Mendhi Tattoo

Mehndi Tattoo

So as you can read I have picked up the breadcrumbs and left you with a fairly nice post of where I have been and what I am doing.  Peace out!

Share/Save/Bookmark

1 comment

Midwest Stitches 2009!

I happily spent half of my day off at Midwest Stitches.  My first stop was WEBS where I got myself some buffalo…

Buffalo Gold - Ill probably knit the wristers.

Buffalo Gold - I'll probably knit the mitts.

Next I nabbed me some of the endangered Sheep Shop in four colors, some Malabrigo Sock yarn in Lettuce and some German sock yarn in a luscious green…which seems to be my color of the moment…go figure?!   The Sheep Shop is a DK weight silk/merino blend that will be used for holiday gift knitting.  The Malabrigo sock yarn is just for me…as is the gorgeous green German sock yarn.

Yummy stuff from WEBS

Yummy stuff from WEBS

Next up is a little lost stitch tool that I just had to try out after I saw them getting nabbed up by one group of knitters.

I hope this will be great for dropped stitches.

I hope this will be great for dropped stitches.

I snagged some 1/2 and 1/2 yarn and a fingerless mitt pattern just because I needed to have a dairy yarn fiber experience.

This is butter soft...LOL no pun intended.

This is butter soft...LOL no pun intended.

I loved the idea of an Emergency yarn kit being stashed in the truck so I got that and some yarn to finish the toes of my Zsa Zsa socks.  The tiny skein and soap were freebie treats.

This pattern was a freebie from Malabrigo.

Such cute sheep puppets!

Such cute sheep puppets!

Lastly a very expensive neckwear kit that will be perfect for my MIL for Christmas…she’ll totally love this easy peasy scarf-ette and I will love the quick execution…the pattern promises three hours from start to finish.  Usually I’d never go in for something like this as it’s just tooo easy to figure out on your own but I bit the line and bought it… hook line and sinker.

Id hate to tell you what I paid for this kit...its also too embarrassing to admit.

I'd hate to tell you what I paid for this kit...it's also too embarrassing to admit.

Well that was my lovely morning and afternoon…I arrived at 10AM and left just before 2PM so I covered alot of ground in a very small space of time but every minute was lovely…fiberlicious!

Share/Save/Bookmark

1 comment

Dreamy Stash Enhancements

Neither rain, nor driving rain, kept a number of us from our Dream In Color special private sale this morning.   A big THANK YOU and shout out to Veronica and Nancy for allowing us the pleasure of shopping your warehouse.

Greeting us as we walked in was some very gorgeous Starry seconds.  I snagged three navy skeins for a shawl.

Inside was some first rate Classy, Smooshy, Groovy and Baby.   Nancy treated us to an excellent price on the first rate Baby so I grabbed 2 skeins of Happy Forest.

If there was such a thing as a “Yarn Country Map”  and I believe there should be… I think that I’d find Happy Forest somewhere nearby to Happy Valley, a Lorna’s Laces colorway, either way both colorways make me smile.

I know I didn’t need any more yarn so let’s just keep this between us…no need to mention it to the family :)   But I got all of this yummy fiber for a lovely savings and I didn’t go overboard…I only spent $34.00 which is pretty decent on my fiber scale.

Thank you once again to the DIC ladies and to all who attended and made this such a lovely Saturday morning.

Share/Save/Bookmark

3 comments

Next Page »