Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mama & Me - A Trip to Jimmy Beans

She Knits in Pearls - Jimmy Beans
As you may remember, I recently took a trip to Nevada to visit my Mom.  One of the wonderful outings we went on was a trip to Jimmy Beans Wool.  I had been there once before and was beyond excited to go again.  This place is a holy grail for knitters and crocheters and anyone else who has a love obsession with yarn.  If you've ever shopped their website, you know this isn't your average local yarn store.  Which may be why I had thought they were a chain.  I had envisioned that they had stores scattered around America and some huge warehouse out there that stocks them all.  Wow, was I wrong.

Jimmy Beans Wool is an on-line yarn company with only one store.  This store, but it's more than just the store front.  When you enter the store, you can look around and see and touch a lot of their yarns, but that is the tip of the iceberg.  What you don't see, is the amazing warehouse THAT IS IN THE BACK!!  They have a wonderful team of people to help you find exactly what you are looking for that might not be on the shelves out front.  With hand held tablets, they can look up on their website for any yarn and go to the back to get it.  And guess what, they let me go into the back to see for myself.
Look at the shipment they had just received.  Oh my goodness, that's a lot of yarn!  Behind me here, are the rows and rows of delicious yarn.
She Knits in Pearls - Jimmy Beans Wool
Can I just have one of everything please?  I was really looking for yarn for a sweater that my mom and I are both going to knit.  So the sales woman showed me to the area with all the pima cotton and I just had to decide what color I wanted.  Although I would have loved to take this whole bin home with me, I chose the light sea foam yarn I'm holding in the second picture.  On top of the sweater yarn, I decided to get 1 skein of something else.  Yes, just one.  Damn, I hate living on a budget.  How could I choose just one?  I had to find that one that sang to me, and I did. 
I found this lovely single ply, merino/silk blend.  The color way is called "Relish Tray" and reminders me of the serving trays my Grandma had in her house when I was a little girl.  I'm usually not drawn to yarns with variegated colors that are too busy but this one seems to take me back in time.  It just had to come home with me and  I'll be sharing it's finished garment in an upcoming post.
With school back in session, my times is now consumed with classes and homework (and the occasional panic attack) but I'm still managing to get in a bit of knitting time.  I even discovered that one of my teachers doesn't mind if I knit in class.  As long as I'm still actively participation in conversations.  I think this means that I will have to cast on another project as just for school.  Oh, now to go find a pattern.........

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Socks for Dad

Well, hello there.  It's been a while.  It's been almost 2 weeks since my last post, but I have a good excuse, I promise.  Between a two week vacation, visiting my Mom and getting ready for going back to school, I've been busy, preoccupied and distracted.  But I'm back now, so on with the show. 

Over the holidays, I had a bit of difficulty not being able to blog about the projects I was working on as they were all presents for people who (hopefully) read what I'm up to on here.  Now that the holidays are over and most all of the gifts have been received, I can finally share them with you.  Today I'd like to share the socks that I made for my dad.

2 at a time socks She Knits in Pearls

I decided to do my favorite "formula" for toe up socks.  It's Fleegles toe up, no flap, no hassle sock.  Once I found this formula for sock making, my entire knitting world changed.  Once you get the idea down, you can customize your socks endlessly.  You can make any size and plug just about any stitch pattern into the equation.  And don't let the term equation scare you, there is very little math involved.

Cupcake on She Knits in Pearls

I don't remember what exact yarn I used but it was one of the relatively inexpensive ones found at Jo-ann's.  Cupcake sure loved snuggling with it though, so you know it's a good one.  In order to get these done quickly I ended up taking them every where I went.

They came out to brunch with me, where I had multiple people ask me what the hell I was doing.  Then ask me if I could make them a pair.  Honestly, there is only a very small handful of people that I love enough to make socks for.  Unless you were directly involved in my conception and raising, you can pretty much guarantee that I will not make you socks.  A hat or a scarf maybe, but not socks.

They came with me to my knitting group where we discussed the merits of knitting socks one-at-a-time versus two-at-a-time.  I prefer to do both at once, it takes longer to see your progress, but when you are done, your done with both.  That second sock is never as fun or as fast as the first one.

They were along for the long car ride out to my friends house for thanksgiving dinner.  I didn't get to work on them while we were there, but that's ok as I was busy enjoying good food with great friends.

Once I got past the heel, I had to find an appropriate foot to try them on.  Thankfully, I don't have big man feet AND my boyfriend is a good sport.  He did take this as an opportunity to remind me that I haven't made him a pair of socks in 2 years.  He shut right up when I asked him where the last pair I made him was.  Um.......... Yeah, that's why the pool of people I make socks for is a small one.

He's a good guy though, even after I shut him down, he still takes pictures of me for my blog.  You may remember this one from my Vintage Pajama Party. 

Here they are, almost done and I'm sad to say this is the final picture.  I must have been so excited they were done or in such a hurry to get them in the mail that I completely forgot to take a finished picture.  I promise, dear readers, that they are done and my Dad loves them.  To make them more comfortable for my dad (who regularly retains fluid in his calves), I went from size 1 needles up to size 4's for the top ribbing.  Not only did this make them SUPER stretchy, but it also means that they knit up a bit faster.  Woo Hoo for faster knitting.

So there is one of my holiday knits.  I'll be sharing the project I did for my mother here soon as well.  Like I mentioned earlier, I am starting school later this week.  I have no idea what this means yet for my blog.  I think the days of 2 blogs each week may be gone.  I'm hoping to settle on 1 a week for a while and will have to see how the new schedule goes before deciding on what day to post them. 

Did you make any gifts this year, or go on a holiday trip?  Do you, like me, feel a bit sad and drained after a trip?  I'm working to get my mojo back though and look forward to the changes coming.

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