Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I don't know everything....


So I found out recently that I don't know everything; of course this is really disturbing and I had to call on my knitting pal, Sandy to help me out!

I have mentioned before that I am working up the Flower Child, by Norah Gaughan, Vol. 4 and am using the Classic Elite, Soft Linen yarn and I may have even mentioned that there was some sewing involved. Weellllll, there is and this doesn't scare me off, because I know everything (?) NOT!! I did my version of the mattress stitch to sew up the sections for the front and the back; boy was I proud, but wait, I brought it in to show Sandy and she gently informed me that I needed to look up seaming. Hmmm, out comes my Vogue Knitting, The Ultimate Knitting Book and with a little coaching from Sandy I am now on the right track. Boy I tell all of you that a good reference book is essential and I need to take my own advice and remember to open my book once and a while! Imagaine what I might learn :)

Phew, that was a close call! Then I remembered that Laura had done a fantastic video on Sewing Together Two Stockinette Seams.

Wow, what a fantastic resource I have at my disposal! I just wanted to share this with you because I believe in always being humble about my abilities, so I will be open to improving them.

Thanks Sandy, Vogue Knitting and Laura for your great instructions. Learn something new today and you will know it forever!

Happy Knitting! Jeanne

PS The sweater is almost sewn together and I will have it up for your all to see soon!










Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Inspiration??



Well, I have been bouncing around with my knitting and the worst part of it has been too many ideas and no time to implement them. I am working on a Baby Zander project, which is almost done and I should be able to reveal it to you in the middle of April (haha Laura you have to wait :) I of course am almost finished with my Flower Child by Norah Gaughan in Classic Elites Soft Linen Yarn. I have truly enjoyed this project and can't wait to wear it!

I am clearly a process knitter and am having a real let down now that I am almost finished with these projects; you know just kinda blah! Of course I do have plenty of other things on the needles to get back to, but that's no fun! So I ran up stairs last night and using Alterknits for inspiration, cut up some felted sweaters I have been collecting from the thrift store and am playing with weaving.

So stay tuned on this one and just doing something new has really helped get the cobwebs out! Maybe some finger painting would be fun too! Ok, ok calm down Jeanne, knitting for sure!

Happy Knitting!








Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stashing Behavior...

So we're moving. Even better--to our own house this time. No more renting! Hooray!

In packing the 23 years of 'stuff' we've both been toting around, about 15 months of 'stuff' we've acquired since we moved here (ahem...and removing about 12 months worth of dust) I've come to accept that my stashing behavior doesn't extend only to yarn.

For me, there is one item that is worse to receive than the dreaded re-gifted fruitcake: seasonally scented body lotion. Puh-lease. Who really uses three bottles of fig-scented lotion in one year?? Well...I certainly don't, but I always feel guilty getting rid of it right away. In fact, when I receive it and give it a sniff I think 'oooh this smells nice! Surely I'll use it...' and into the bathroom cabinet it goes. Alternative stash number one: 7 unopened bottles of scented lotion.

Worse...it extends to perishable items. My worst stashed item is...sigh...holiday candy. In cleaning out the pantry just now I discovered (eek) Easter candy from last year, untouched, in fact still in the basket it was given to me in. Needless to say it was canned (hey, candy lasts a loooong time but really now). For someone with a serious Peep addiction, the fact that any holiday candy survives is amazing. Alternative stash number two: a full shoebox of holiday candy.

I'm no pack-rat, I'm actually really good about cleaning out the closets and cabinets every time the little donation cards come out in the mail, so how these items are (unfortunately) spared each go-round confounds me. I have to wonder which came first: the yarn stashing or the 'alternative' stashing?

*Ashley*












Thursday, March 19, 2009

Stop me before I knit again!!!

So I have a problem and it's a really BIG problem! I am addicted to knitting, yarn, fiber, patterns, and well, did I mention knitting?? Now I have mentioned before how grateful I am to have my job and I am, BUT I think Laura likes to torture me by ordering some of the most amazing yarns to touch. I know she isn't ordering this stuff for all of you out there, it truly is aimed right at me!! Darn it, Laura, you are so mean :) my house is overflowing with beautiful yarns and my family is going to have to go sleep with the dogs soon to make room for my stash. Of course the option of putting my stash in bins and out of the way is not a viable one, so I am sorry but guys (Geoff & Chris) you may have to learn to sleep with the dogs.

I just added the Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock in color 04 Taos to my stash and saw it peeking out of the cube that is it's new home this morning, ahhhh, insert HUGE grin here! Just knowing it is there is comforting. What's up with that? I think there must be something in the yarn fumes that keeps my buying this 'knitter's crack'!!

I am also, super crazed that we have Noro in the shop again and we also just got the Noro Vol. 25 in, with some amazing patterns! I want to knit the cover tank and I think it would work up great in Noro Kureyon maybe color 188, or 207?? naturually I can't decide.

I also want to knit up the sexy little over the knee socks for my daughter in Noro Silk Garden Sock. I have already had the pleasure of working with Silk Garden Sock when I knit my Brickwork Scarf. Yummy!!

So if anyone has suggestions for helping me with my addiction I am all ears, but until then, I must buy yarn!!

Happy Knitting and stashing! Jeanne :]








Friday, March 13, 2009

Jammin'?

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble....to aleviate some of the stress of planning our wedding and buying our first home all in the next six months, Cory and I have taken to some, er, different hobbies. Including canning. Yep, like the fruit preserves that stocked my great grandma's kitchen in Montana. And I have to say, there's nothing like homemade strawberry preserves (and nothing like knowing what EXACTLY went into the food you're eating).

It all started with a gift certificate given to us by a family friend--the tricky part about receiving a gift to a bookstore for you and your fiance is finding something you both want to read. After perusing the home improvement shelves for about an hour, we found a book called Storey's Basic Country Skills. This book has everything we could possibly want to know about...well, everything we didn't know we wanted to know. Home improvement, gardening, livestock (somehow I don't think our new HOA will approve), and of course...canning. Of course it helps that we're both pretty handy and like to cook, so this manual has provided quite a bit of entertainment. Here it is in all of its delicious glory:


We've also tried spaghetti sauce and grape jelly, one batch of which was more like grape syrup...but who ever said cooking wasn't a learning experience?!?


OK, OK, enough about my adventures in the kitchen. What have I been knitting lately? Honestly, not much. Between filling out forms for the bank, meeting with this person and that person, etc. about all I've had time to work on is my NCAA Team beanie and scarf (in the colors of my alma mater, UNR, of course!).


And of course I've been working on something top-secret for the Littlest Bean...but that'll have to be revealed later ;-)




*Ashley*













Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Babies and all things fresh



Well it looks we are having a little bean soon and that just makes me think of all things new, clean and fresh; like spring! I wanted to share pictures of a bouquet of Daffodils that we enjoyed around the house for the last week. I also, have my indoor lettuce started and that should be ready to make a salad in the next week.

We eat tons of salad all year long, but when the lettuce is home grown you just can't go wrong. It also gets my knitting juices flowing, or needles clicking; whichever you prefer :)



I am currently knitting Norah Gaughan's Flower Child from her series and this one is from the latest one, Vol. 4. It is the cover project and I just fell in love when I saw it! I am substituting Soft Linen by Classic Elite yarns and I can't wait to wear it! You can see I chose the Inca Gold color 2250 (which I had originally chosen to knit a different sweater, imagine :) so I thought you might want to see my handy work. I am going to modify it a bit and make the sleeves a little longer (I hope, keep your needles crossed for me) and I just can't say how fun this pattern has been to knit. Even the sewing together of the pieces has been a blast. I just can't stop!

To the left is the back all sewn together and to the right are the front pieces sewn together and I have the other neck band side done too! Wahoo! One more piece to go, then my sleeves and it will be ready to wear! I have learned a lot about the beauty of knitting/purling into the back of a yarn over and I can't wait to knit Happiness from the book!

As always I wish you all happy knitting! Jeanne

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Can't Hide it Anymore... (with a stomach like this)

Well, the rumors are flying and my stomach is growing, so i figured it was time to face the music and finally admit that i'm "expecting" a kid in a few months. 87 days, to be exact!

If you've known me for very long - or even just stoppped by the shop during one of my "noisy kid" rants - you know that i've never really thought of myself as the type to have children. Doug and I have really enjoyed our [quiet] lives together for the past 11 years... but, sometimes fate just takes over! That said, we are just 12 weeks away from becoming parents - and are both terrified and ... well, terrified. Haha.



All jokes and dry humor aside, we are getting more excited each day, thanks in large part to the support from the girls at the store - and all of the other women that pass through the physical and figurative JBW doors. Heck, it's hard for us to NOT be excited when we open a package and pull out a teensy weensy sweater (like the one above knit by Beth at Lorna's Laces) or a pair of handknit socks... (like the ones to the left- knit by Jeanne in shepherd sport/chocolate - she's promised me that she'll write the pattern so that i can also knit a pair for the kid).


And yes, even I have started to knit stuff for the little bugger. I have to say - knitting stuff for a little kid is pretty amazing... it doesn't take very long or very much yarn... and I can be sure that he will wear it!!

What have i made so far? Well... there's the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran intarsia blanket (pictured), the Artyarns Supermerino baby socks, the Mission Falls 1824 Cotton Bob Blanket, and the Manos cardigan (in which i'm going to sew a zipper... and rip out the buttons). Wow - when i type it all out, it looks like i've sure gotten a lot of knitting done!



Even Buddy and Wiley have gotten into the spirit, making sure that everything we receive/buy meets with their approval. In this photo, I think Buddy is jockeying for rights to wear Beth's sweater, once the kid grows out of it!! I have to say - working in a yarn store while pregnant (and dying to knit) has been a bit of a struggle... especially since we just received all of those great new Noro and Debbie Bliss yarns. Since I've chosen blues and browns (cause i LOVE brown) as our "colors", it's been killing me to walk into the shop and sift through all of the gorgeous shades of blue and brown ... i want to knit them all!! Life is rough, eh?

So, that's my news. And the news of the shop, i guess :) If, for some reason, you'd like to see pics of the kid so far (and of how we've progressed), I've set up a basic blog at http://babyzander.blogspot.com/. And I figured i'd go ahead and answer some frequently asked questions, just in case you were wondering... :)

  1. Is it a boy or girl? It's a BOY!
  2. Where are you going to deliver? Truckee only has 1 hospital, so i guess i'll be delivering there!
  3. Are you going to have an epidural? I have no idea! I've never done this before, so am not sure what it's going to be like... i guess i'll just have to decide on labor day :)
  4. Are you going to nurse? I'm planning on it.
  5. Can I touch your stomach when I come into the shop next time? Only if you don't mind if I touch yours - haha!
  6. How do you feel? I feel great so far - all things considered, of course. I did have slight morning sickness for the first 5 months, but that is mostly gone (tho i do get car sick now - and never used to). I'm still able to exercise every day, so i think that has helped me feel better than i might otherwise.
  7. Have you picked out a name yet? Yes! Doug and I both picked out the same name (independently and at different times) a few months ago. We'll announce his name at birth. For now, the girls at the store call him "The Rock" - and we've given him a temporary middle name of "Rambo."
  8. How have Buddy and Wiley reacted to the news? Buddy is oblivious but Wiley has started to sit a bit closer to me at night... we're not sure, but it seems like he's starting to get a bit more protective of me. It's pretty sweet... and I certainly can't complain about him resting his head on my lap some evenings :)

So that's it! Wish me luck these next few months... and if you notice that i suddenly disappear from the blog or the shop, you'll know why. :)