haha, ever feel like getting back to your desk is the most you’ve stayed still since, well . . . last week?
i’m telling you, it felt good to get up this morning knowing that i didn’t have an agenda item to attend to right off the bat, other that the usual loosely outlined tasks of “blogging”, “write pattern for X”, or “chapter draft”.
so, here i am.
i’ve knit my couple of morning coffee repeats on my snow tire fundraiser scarf, which i’m making up in our ghillie sport/DK this go-round. i’m nearly to the end of my first skein and have completed 23 repeats of the pattern; it’s about 36 inches long, maybe? if i joined it into a cowl now, it would be a nice length to hang down simply or secure with a pretty pin, but probably too short to wind around, unless it was for a child.
yes, it’s that time of year when we devote sales receipts from a special scarf pattern to raise money for our knitspot scholarship, which goes to one student who participates in foster care 2 success programs. the entire sale price of each snow tire scarf pattern sold during the remainder of november and all of december is added the knitspot scholarship pot.
you can participate in several ways:
- purchase a pattern—the entire $7 retail price will go into the pot.
- purchase a nifty scarf kit which includes the pattern PLUS enough yardage of stone soup DK, ghillie sport/DK, or confection sport (we are happy to substitute kent DK or cooper sport as well; just email david for information). if you go for that, we’ll put $10-$15 in the pot (that’s the entire pattern price plus approximately 10% of the yarn price).
- please, please, PLEASE tell everyone you know about the fundraiser—they don’t need to be a knitter to throw $7 at this wonderful cause. some ways you can help: put it on your Facebook page (and link it), tweet it (with a link!), pin it (yes, with link) and finally just drag your friends over to look at the blog, haha. we’ll even give them a “knitter for a day badge” if they help out.
- join us for a fun red scarf KAL in our ravelry mothership—we promise a rollicking good time, plenty of support, and of course, neat-o prizes.
many of you are aware of the red scarf drive, for which knitters put together care packages that are distributed to students on valentine’s day (the 2014 drive closed on december 15, but there is still time to help out with gift cards and postage).
foster care 2 success, the sponsorship organization, assists students who are aging out of the foster care system to navigate a continuing education and advancement into independent, productive adulthood. they provide guidance and counseling, classes in life skills, scholarships, and other types of support that a family would normally provide. and to set your mind at ease, FC2S has received the highest possible scores from charity navigator, by ensuring that over 91 cents from every dollar goes into program funding (annual report available here).
our december drive began as a way to raise a little money to pump up the postage fund, but it grew each year and eventually i realized we had enough to establish a FC2S scholarship. so far, we have exceeded each previous year’s amount by quite a lot; last year the scholarship grew to $4000; i’m excited to see how we’ll top that this year—as i know we will.
the delicious cable detail in this year’s scarf is just part of the overall appeal of the fabric and has already inspired a couple of spinoff items. my friend cherie had the same idea i did and almost at the same time—that it would be so easy to substitute this cable and fabric into my polartorte hat design. and she’s so fast—she went ahead and tried it over the weekend and it worked a treat.
we love it! if you feel competent to make the substitutions yourself, go for it. but in case you don’t want to, we’ll write it up and make it available as soon as possible. and since it’s really a joint effort, i’d be happy to include the sales for this pattern in the donations to the scholarship fund—if cherie says it’s ok that is . . . hehe, i’m pretty sure she’s agree.
and then there are the matching mittens, which are coming along quite nicely as well; i’m in the homestretch now. if only i’d been able to stay up another hour or two
last night this morning, they’d be done. but then i probably would have overslept . . .
anyway, i had put these aside for a day or so while i thought about how to finish off the top and in the end, i just stuck with the established pattern and did a “sock toe” sort of finish. i like it.
as soon as i get my december chapter layout wrapped up (just waiting on photos now), i’ll get to work on these two patterns.
oh, but i’m making it sound as if my weekend was completely taken up with knitting mittens, when in fact, that was hardly so—we had a special weekend around here with very special guests who came from near and far to celebrate our holiday open house and yarn tasting.
the yarn tastings were aMAZing—each group was different and incredibly interesting. we talked all about the yarns and how they are made, then sampled each one in patterns chosen to show off their best traits. i had never run a yarn tasting before so it was a fascinating and inspiring experience for me.
one thing that came out over and over is the desire to know more—overwhelmingly, participants said they would come back and/or even create their own learning experience at our shop in the future. and since it’s our place to do what we like, we encourage it—we are happy to put together a saturday class or a while weekend for a small group. we have a comfortable, well lit classroom area and space for up to eight people (maybe even ten). something to think about . . .
and the shop was full all day long, too, which was so much fun because most days it is a lot quieter (and yet, that atmosphere is so nice too, for browsing deeply into the pattern books or taking as much time as one likes over yarn choices). honestly, we welcome you any time to come visit us!
you would think that after two days of open house we’d give ourselves some rest but i unwittingly signed up for a local race that evening and so as soon as we cleaned up after saturday’s tasting sessions, i had to duck over the to the house and get changed (good thing i live close, huh?).
beckie, her daughter jasmine, and i all signed up to run the frosty frolic to raise money for hammer and nails, a local resource for aid in reclaiming city homes.
well,it was an absolute mob scene—i don’t know who does their promotion, but wow, they are good! there were so many people that it kind of fell into a chaotic mess actually, not even starting on time.
while we waited on line as the start time came and went, i even began panicking a little about being trampled by large elves or tripping over a dog in the dark (that last one was actually quite valid). but once we finally got going, it was fine—more than fine, it was a nice evening and venue to run, through the light displays in our local park at mckinley monument.
and i ran one of my best races of the year—5k in just about 25 minutes even (the finish line actually fell down just after i crossed, so i’m not sure of the seconds, haha). i’m positive you or someone you know can beat that time easy, but for me that’s super duper, forgive my bragging.
warm as it was for december (in the mid-30s), by the time i got home i was chilled from standing around sweaty at the finish line. i sank into a steaming hot bath while david heated the macaroni and cheese i’d remembered to take out of the freezer that afternoon (my post-race favorite!).
after dinner i put the finishing touches on my chapter text and then retreated to my knitting chair, where i chatted with my mom and finished up the lining on david’s boilermaker hat. i had just enough cashmere left in the ball to line this brim—i mean exactly enough; i had maybe an eight-inch tail left at the the end. who’s a good planner??
i did a “quilting” row about halfway up to tack the lining to the shell, as described in my cashmere lining tutorial (read through that post for instructions and answers to many questions you might have).
when my lining was the right length, i knit it together with the shell in one row (also described in the tutorial). then i changed to larger needles to knit the top part of the hat, with i want to be a much softer, drapier fabric.
i ended up going with the pumice shade. it’s possible i should have chosen granite, but i just can’t tell yet. it could be like paint on a wall, you know? perfect in the two-foot sample swatch that you slap on, but then WAY overwhelming when you get it on the whole wall. i decided i should go with the shade i like best next to david’s skin.
today we have several activities taking place in different arts of the house, while i’ve been holed up here in my study, working on the blog and my chapter. elsewhere in a long awaited and much anticipated effort, our friend bil is making sense our of our art collection, deciding where the various paintings, drawings, and objects should go, and hanging it.
because these days i am an absolute puddle of indecision about these things, having no continuous amount of time to think it out, this task has been put off and put off for ages. but we have wonderful artwork that would bring our home to life and i have missed viewing it every day as i am used to.
it’s a shame to let the many, many pieces acquired over years of friendships with artists—and quite a bit of my own work as well (i haven’t painted since we moved to ohio, but i hope that’s not over for me forever)—lie in piles against the walls or sit into closets where we can’t see them.
finally bil took charge and is patiently arranging and hanging everything. he knows us really well and has seen several different of our homes, so between that and his own great taste, i trust him completely. just seeing the art in these photos against the beautiful new plaster and wood floors makes me feel how warmly it will enrich our home—what a christmas gift this will be!
ok, now, it’s actually a very warm day for december—in the 50s!— so i want to get outside before it’s time to teach my class. i think today is a biking day . . .