Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mmmmmmmm...... Good

Coming up this Thursday is our first Yarn Tasting. We have a nice little party planned, and we're both so excited! This is an Event. We've chosen 8 yarns to taste--and everyone who attends gets a sample.

I have never attended an actual wine tasting on account of how I do not like the taste of wine, but Kim has explained to me that this will be similar to a wine tasting. She says that at a wine tasting, you get a little sample and then want more; on a yarn level, this makes a lot of sense to me. We'll no doubt be telling you to sniff each yarn to see if it has a sheepy bouquet.

We have a lot of good things planned: We'll have not only a discount for that night on the yarns we taste, but of course we'll also have snacks and door prizes. Kim keeps coming up with dramatic, fun ways of showing off the yarns. She is worried that I will be boring and only tell you, "This is yarn. You can knit it. Or crochet it." This low-level of drama from me is indeed a very real danger.

But Dearest Kimmie: For you, I will try my best to be dramatic! I promise!

We both spent today making a lot of cute little mini-skeins. Kim has been spending the past few days writing up wonderful descriptions of the yarn. Today, I threw that off a bit with my last-minute shuffles of exactly which yarns we're going to taste.

By now you might be wondering what my role is in this whole thing other than winding mini-skeins. It's my job to explain what we can make out of all the yarns. I'm in the middle of researching that. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

Above is your preview. We got it yesterday. I'm madly playing with it to see what I can tell you about it. Hint: This picture is an extreme close up.

We have just a few opening left for this event, so if you're interested, give us a call ASAP!

Yarn Tasting: Thursday, September 25, 6-9 p.m.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

That Time of the Year

It is that time of the year for me. The same thing happens every year.

Every fall, I have a list of new projects that I'm excited to start. In fact, I have that list right now.

But I also have a lot of old projects dragging along, because I always start with a long, long list every fall, start them all, and then don't have time to finish them all over the winter. I start to get mad at them. And then I work like a dog to finish them. That is what "Labor Day" is all about.

For the past few weeks, I have been working like a dog on finishing up projects. I am thrilled to report a few that are out of my hair. Let's start with the quilts.

First, is my brother Alex's quilt. It is my feeling that when a wall-hanging is actually hanging in a house, it is super-ultra done:

(Didn't I tell you he likes fancy stuff?) I had been too lazy to put a quilt hanger on the back, but he didn't know it was supposed to have one, and he figured out on his own how to hang it. Thanks, Bro. You saved yourself another 6-10 months of your quilt not being done.

How do I know this? Because I just finished my other brother's quilt.

Below is my brother Todd's quilt. He lives in Colorado. He likes earthy stuff. I had given his wife and him the quilt top for Christmas 2007. Deb quilted it in January. I finally finished hand-sewing the binding last week:

Should I mail it, or at this point, give it to them for Christmas 2008?

I know it looks innocent enough, but below is the most nagging UFO I've had a while:

It was the Block of the Month that Deb Kerr and I designed in 2006, which we called Starry Night. Back in 2006, Deb had finished hers, so I was able to show her finished one to the block-of-the-month groups. Mine, with deadline-motivation thus gone, languished. Until this week.

I got tired of looking at it on my piles (or maybe I wanted my head clear for the 2009 Block of the Month that I'm in the middle of designing). Whatever the reason, I finally sewed on the borders, which was all that was left. DONE. Now it's Deb's turn to quilt it.

It's all yours, Deb!

Next, I pieced a tree skirt for a class I'm teaching in October. I'm well pleased with it:

It still needs to be quilted, but since it's a new project, I am not feeling the pressure yet. Having it pieced kind of feels like it's done, at least for the moment.

On to knitting. Knitting is a bit less instant-gratification. It seems as if you sit your butt down to quilt, then the quilt gets done (unless you're a hand-quilter--and then my sympathies are with you). But knitting--when you're "almost done," you still have hours or even days of work left. I have a few projects that are "almost done." But I do have one that is actually done.

Remember that Back-to-School vest from Fitted Knits that I was making? Here it is:

And as a glorious bonus, I don't actually have to go back to school. Ha!

In case you are interested in knitting it, I ended up modifying the shoulders to make them way more narrow. (I didn't really take good notes. I used my eye to judge them, and then, when they were still too wide, I steeked them into the shape I wanted.) And I had to cast off the armholes and neckline several times before they looked right. That's life in knitting. I'm thrilled with it, and am thinking about putting a few more vests on my to-list for fall.

Because when you finish one project, you can start two more.