Sunday, July 31, 2005


Back to a real life...

Now that the Lambtown festival is over (I can't even post about it yet without swearing- the experience was so miserable), I'll be able to get back to a normal life again. I'm even cooking dinner for the first time in weeks - got spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. Getting ready for a craft fair is just way too much work on top of a regular 40+ hour a week job. There just isn't time to relax, refresh, and knit what I want to knit. Well, lesson learned.

My "partner-in-knitting-adventures", Kaedean, and I had a great chat this morning out on my patio about where we want to go with our knitting businesses. It's so nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of. We are both at such different times in our lives - she's blasting off to knitting fame & fortune, and I'm retiring to a sailboat to lose myself. But, she'll be visiting me on the boat!!!!

I've been chugging fluids all day trying to recover from dehydration and heat exhaustion I got yesterday at the Lamtown festival (I know, I said I wouldn't mention it yet). Anyway, I feel so much better now - at 7pm the next day! I slept in - and took a 3-hour nap this afternoon. I even peed this afternoon! Yippee! If I have enough fluids to pee, then I must be getting better.

Other news: the cat is still alive. Every morning we verify that he is alive, and when we get home, we hesitantly check out his sleeping places to make sure he's breathing. He's now living his 19th year of life. One of these days we're going to lose him. He's still healthy and happy, so we spoil the living daylights out of him (fresh broiled chicken, handfed, brushings, etc.) and enjoy him.

Yep, that's a picture of me - sweating it out at Lambtown in the 110 degreee INSIDE the buiding heat because the idiots had the heat on instead of the coolers. Yipes, talking about it again. OK, got to go stir the sauce and get the noodles going. Keep on knitting....

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Secret Pal Strikes!

Wow! check out the goodies from my secret pal! The sock yarn is so beautiful -ocean blues- just my colors and the stitch markers are beautiful. I can't wait to casually knit in front of my buddies and let them catch a glimpse of these markers. My secret pal made them herself! So talented.
The pile of candy wrappers is all that is left of the delicious soft chews that she sent me...what? you thought I should take a picture before devouring them? Not - takes too much self-control. The package came a couple of days ago and I stuffed the bag of candy into my briefcase and they went off to work with me. They were from a local (to my secret pal) place named "Dewar's" in Bakersfield, CA and the candy was outstanding!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH Pal!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Okay - here's the size & type of sailboat...

This is an example of the size & type of sailboat that we are looking at for our upcoming adventures. We would like to get a used boat with as much of the new-fangled gadgets as possible (given our limited funds!).

Sailing & knitting - what more could a gal want?

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Dale Baby Sweater In-progress

Here's the little baby sweater I started at camp last weekend. I had fallen in love with the colors and just had to make it.


Where to get suede handles for tote bags...

Several folks have asked me where I got the suede handles for the knitted tote bag I made... I've added the link to the website for Somerset Designs onto my sidebar. She also makes suede bottoms and slipper soles, and there is a wide choice of colors.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Knitting Camp

Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp 1 - July 2005

So here we are...Happy Campers out on the grassy knoll, putting down our needles for just long enough to take a group photo. So, many folks have asked me what camp is all about (knitting friends, non-knitting friends just look at me with that deer-in-the-headlights look when I tell them that I go to knitting camp). What did I learn? What was the camp experience? What was the staff like? I'll try to summarize...

The total camp experience was calm, yet energized. Nothing was rushed, and the room was filled with 60+ brains all focused on the magical outcome of twisted loops of fiber. Meg and her staff are so experienced with running these camp sessions that it appeared effortless, but anyone who has set up a group meeting knows how much work it takes. There was a video camera on the front table were Meg demonstrates, and 4 large TVs in the room, so that everyone could see, up close, the technique that was being shown.

All campers attended the same session. We sat in the same seats each day which enabled us to develop friendships with the other campers in our area. The contents of the Schoolhouse Press store were displayed on tables in the rear of the large banquet room so we could shop at will. Of course, I bought a few books that I never realized I wanted before camp; A Gathering of Lace, and two lace treasuries. Oh, and yarn, then more yarn as the days progressed and I was inspired to create my own fair isle colorwork.

Meg is an outstanding instructor. She demonstrates with total confidence, good humor, and an open mind to hear & learn techniques from the campers. I felt like we were all in her livingroom chatting and knitting. Amy and Joyce provided us all with instant problem solving and answered our individual questions with respect creating the perfect environment for learning and growing.

So what did I learn? Well, I already have worked with color knitting, shaping garments, etc. for many years. What I was searching for was technical tidbits and to gain insights into the inner circle of America's most accomplished traditional knitters. I didn't even have to sneak in the back door - they (Meg & staff) threw open the front door and invited us all in to this magic place.

I was able to touch, examine, and try on some of Elizabeth Zimmermann's & Meg's original knitted garments!!! Think about all the pictures of garments in the many books, then imagine seeing them stacked up on tables in front of you for you to play with for days!!! Pure heaven!!!

We steeked, we hemmed, we used I-cord in every way possible ("I-cord is the duct tape of knitters"), we experimented with different methods of casting on, we knit with 2 colors using both hands, or one hand with both yarns, and so much more.

In the evenings, many campers sat outside on the patio nibbling fruit and cheese and nursing glasses of wine. Staffers Amy and Joyce were available for knitting help until deep into the evening. The hotel (Holiday Inn Marshfield) was excellent - new, clean, and their staff was so attentive and friendly.

For camper Kim's narrative about camp and MORE PICTURES - click on the "Sanity Knits Blog" link to the left! Hi Kim!

Time to get back to work here...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Back from camp - back to work :(

I flew home last night from camp and returned to work this morning. How can I even think about building light rail trains when my brain is full of fair isle techniques and sweater shaping???? I will forever be thankful that I had the opportunity to attend Meg Swansen's knitting camp as it is such a unique experience. The staff and other campers all share a passion for traditional fibers and design, plus the good humor is so refreshing. A real Zen experience.

My room-mate, Roberta is a truely gifted knitter. She has only been knitting for 2 1/2 years, yet has accomplished so much! I've met 2 knitters in my life that have that inner spark for knitting and whom I feel are exceptionally gifted - and she is one of them. She just "gets it".

My plans are to return next year to Camp 2 - gotta start saving my pennies now.

Started working an a sweet little Dale of Norway baby sweater (1022 Geilo) and am 1/2 way up the body - with steeks (!) to follow. I'll get pictures of the progress... gotta go back to train cost statistics now...

Saturday, July 09, 2005



Well here I am at Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp in Wisconsin and I'm having a BLAST! My brain is so full right now and it's not even half way through the program.

I feel like I'm in a sacred place - with all of Meg and Elizabeth Zimmerman's original handknit garments that I've admired from pictures for years. I can touch, examine, and wear the beautiful sweaters! Meg and her team are all such great folks! Today, we talked about 2-color knitting and the different ways to steek, carry wool, design sleeves, and much more. I learned how to knit backwards so I don't have to do so much turning when I make bobbles or entrelac! So way cool.

Well, time to return to the to follow when I get home...

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Felted Purse #2 - This was a gift for my husband's neice for high school graduation. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 01, 2005


Folsom KNITTING Get Together Saturday July 2nd!

Okay everyone - tomorrow is the first Saturday of July so we will all get together at the Coffee Republic at 6610 Folson-Auburn Rd and knit out on the patio. Yoohoo! I've heard from several folks who plan to be there so get your sticks and string out and join us.

I've got to work on my name badge for Meg Swansen's Camp next week ! I've designed it already (like real hard...graphed my name out) but I want to add a lace border at the bottom. Just been working on felted purses lately. Totally frogged my husband's sock - it was 1/2" too short in the foot and was too snug in the ankle. I don't know...maybe his foot was all swelled up from the heat. Nah - I goofed up - should have cast on 72 stitches - not the 66. Crud, I knew it was something divisible by 6 for the 4x2 rib.

Have got a "Knitter's Tan"!!!! What's that? you ask? Well, if you are like me and you knit while you walk outside for exercise then you will have glaring white skin on the inside of your elbows. That's because I hold my knitting up a little above waist level - with my arms bent - and the inside of my arms never see the sun. Kinda looks like the opposite of when I was a kid and that part of my arm was always dirty!!!

See you tomorrow!!!!

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