I Won!

It was my lucky day Thursday! I won a free skein of yarn and a pattern, a really beautiful pattern, from Never Not Knitting! Check out the pattern on the Never Not Knitting blog. It’s the Cedar Leaf Shawlette. Thank you very, very much, Alana.

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A Birthday Weekend Away

Jeff and I got to go away for my birthday last week. We attended the annual Indiana State Farm Bureau Convention in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Fort Wayne is quite a nice city. I was impressed. The best thing about Fort Wayne was that the LYS (local yarn shop) was within walking distance of the convention center and attached hotel where we were staying. (And a Starbucks was in between the two locations.) It was as if I had died and gone to heaven. Yarn, coffee, hotel, catered dinner, and a concert with the symphony.

A policeman stopped traffic so that I could cross the street for the concert! Well, actually it was that hundreds of people were trying to cross the street to attend the concert too. It wasn’t just for me, but I do like to pretend.

I would recommend the Fort Wayne PhilHarmonic Orchestra. But then I’m listening to YoYo Ma while writing this blog. The cello must be the most beautiful instrument created. And who isn’t amazed by twelve violin’s bow strokes all in a perfect unison?

I would also suggest you visit the Knitting Off Broadway Yarn Shop if you are ever in Fort Wayne. It recently moved to a new location in a beautiful old home. Honesly, the woodwork floors are really the only thing that caught my eye because I was too busy smelling wool. I bought my birthday and Christmas gift while there. They have Spud and Chloe yarn! I couldn’t resist. I now have the pattern and required yarn for making the Trifecta Scarf. Yeah!

All in all, it was a superb birthday. I couldn’t have asked for anything more!

To Write or To Knit, That is the Question!

So I just got home from the writer’s group I belong to here in town. And honestly, I haven’t written since a couple days after our last meeting. Why go then? For one, it spurs me on to write – even if it is for just a few days after the meeting. At least there is some writing that happens! Second, I love talking with other writer’s about writing. It’s so much fun! Why it’s more fun than actually writing!  It’s one of my favorite topics, besides what knitting I’m doing, of course.

Speaking of knitting, that’s why I’m not writing. I spend too much computer time on Ravelry or knitting blogs. That’s not to mention the hours of knitting I rack up each week. I finished making the Daybreak Shawl designed by Stephen West last week. It turned out beautiful, but is a little scratchy. I think it just needs washed. It’s sock yarn. That can’t be scratchy, right? Who would be willing to wear scratchy socks? I already blocked it and I’m not looking forward to washing and blocking it again. Blocking is an ordeal here because of one wool-crazy cat named Polly. I have to lock her out of whatever room the wet wool is drying in or she’ll try to eat it, which would not be a good idea with all the straight pins stuck in every inch of the shawl! So for now my shawl is hanging as a beautiful decoration out of reach of little paws. Maybe someday I’ll wear it.

I was asked by a friend to knit some Christmas decorations. Can’t say who or what because I’m sure theyre Christmas gifts. I’ve been working on them religiously. I want to have them done soon since she actually paid me to knit them. Does that make me a professional knitter?! Wow!

I also joined the LYS’s (local yarn shop) knitalong. We’re knitting together two hours a week. The project is a beautiful wrap out of the latest Interweave Knits magazine called the Everyday Wrap. It is full of cables and is knitting up beautifully. I can’t wait to wrap it around my shoulders!

One top of all that, Kelsey wants a pair of socks and leg warmers. Jessica wants a sweater for her doll. And I want to knit EVERYTHING in the Itty Bitty Toys book by Susan B. Anderson.

When to write?! I should have joined the NaNoWriMo. Like I have time for that kind of writing! Maybe next year I’ll set November aside as the month of finally writing that novel I’ve dreamed of writing for all these many years and take the NaNoWriMo challenge.

Two Hats

So you now know I love to knit. Most of my knitting either goes away as a gift or away as “what in the world was that disaster!”

Let me tell you the story of two hats….

I had this overwhelming desire to make two hats, two very different hats for two very different women, both suffering from the same illness, brain cancer.

The first hat was for my friend, Rachel. She is in the very last stage of life. Her hat is pink with breast cancer ribbons all around it. Rachel is a beautiful woman of 36. She made such a huge impact in my life. I’ve known her for seven or so years. Cancer has been a part of her life that entire time. Rachel has the most devious laugh, eyes that sparkle with mischievousness and a deeper trust in God than I will probably ever know. She’s a girly, girl who loves all the pink. She was very involved in the local breast cancer walk, in fact they retired her bib last Saturday. No one in Vigo County will ever wear her number. Rachel has perfect, red hair. I envy her hair. She picked it out herself and it tells you exactly who she is on the inside, fire and guts. Rachel’s always been a fighter, but this fight has gotten the best of her.

The other hat is made out of a Lorna’s Lace yarn in brown, orange, yellow and red. It’s for Lynette, my sister-in-law’s sister. I’ve known Lynette since I was a little girl. She just found out she has brain cancer and is fighting it with every ounce of her strength. Go Lynette! She took radiation yesterday and is on a trip today. Lynette is an outdoors woman. She does landscaping for a living. At the end of the day if you look at her hands you will see wrinkles filled with dirt, stained from pulling weeds and you’ll notice sweat dripping running down her forehead.

I love them both. So…

A pretty pink cotton hat for Rachel. A rugged fall wool hat for Lynette.

Bagknits

My name’s Beth, and I’m a knit-aholic. My daughter, lovely daughter, tells everyone she meets that I knit 24/7. That’s impossible because I’m typing right now and I do have to eat and sleep some. But she is pretty close to correct. Every free moment is spent knitting, listening to knitting podcasts, checking out knitting websites and blogs, etc. Unfortunately, I make no money with my knitting obsession and do spend a enormous amount of cash on it.

Bagknits is my Ravelry name. Ravelry is a social network for knitters, crocheters, and spinners (those are not bicyclists). Yes there is one out there just for us who love the feel of yarn.

I keep begging my husband for a sheep, goat or bunny. We live on a farm after all. But he won’t give in – too many years of feeding hogs when it’s either 10 degrees or 95 degrees. (It’s either one or the other where we live. 70 degrees doesn’t seem to exist.) I tried the “you won’t have to mow the grass” excuse. He just responded, “I don’t. I pay someone to do it.” I’d appreciate any ideas on how to change his mind.

So back to knitting. I’ve linked  in my blogroll to my favorite podcasters blog. Check her out if you love knitting. You’ll fall in love with her silly theme song. The line in the song about knitting at stoplights is me. I’ve actually done that. The honking tells you the light is green.

I’ve knitted hats, mittens, felted bags, scarves, dishclothes, and so much more. Right now I am working on my first apparel piece. It’s the tank top from Erika Knight’s book, “Classic Knits,” done in a 100% wool, super bulky weight blue yarn from Burly Spun. I like the title tank top better than vest, don’t you? The back is done. I’ve just started the front. My only fear is that it may be short. I’m long-waisted. I’m refusing to let that fear take residence.

I’m also working on a Loop Shawl design by Leah Bear from the book Sensual Knits. I’m using a 100% Baby Alpaca from Knit Picks. When I visited my brother in Alaska this summer, I found out he is allergic to alpaca. I’m hoping I’m not either, but my eyes do water some when I work on it. It’s psychological, right?

I just finished some pink socks with the breast cancer logo cabled into them for my local yarn shop, “River Wools”. They gave me the yarn and pattern. I knit the socks and gave them back. I think the socks will be sold at the local Race for the Cure and the money donated to breast cancer. They were the biggest socks you’ve every seen. I made them off the largest size. (I didn’t want to waste their yarn!) I think I’m going to have to secretly pay a friend money to buy them because I’m not sure there are feet that big. Oops!

I also just made baby hats and mitts for my two cousins who are having babies in October.  I used Dream in Color yarn for both. I’m in love with the cream with bits of pink and brown in it’s colorway. It’s called Petal Shower, I think.

So once again. I’m Beth and I’m a knit-aholic. I can’t stop knittng and I don’t want to either. Don’t send an intervention my way. I’ve got needles and I’m not afraid to use them.