Hockey and Knitting

I may be a nerd, but absolutely love ice hockey.  My favorite team is the Philadelphia Flyers, and I watch whatever game they are playing in that I can on TV.  Hockey is the only sport that I will pay money to go see, too. 
I also love to knit while I watch hockey.  In fact, I get a ton of knitting done while I’m watching it.  Last night during the pre-season game versus the NJ Devils, I put a lot of length on that sweater.  That’s about two and half hours worth of knitting time that I reserve.  It’s my favorite cold weather past time….knitting while watching the Flyers. 
I’ve only knit one Flyers-related item, and that this flat hat that I’m sporting here with a cheesy grin.  I made this during the playoffs last year. 
Here’s to the regular NHL season starting next week, and here’s to plenty of knitting.  I can’t wait!

Beading Night 4

Beading Night was a minor disaster this week.  I was going to attach my clasp and basically the entire necklace fell apart.  I pretty much just cleaned up the mess and will try again later, maybe. 
This whole thing sort of followed a pattern my entire day, too.  Perhaps I was just too tired.  Frustrated.  Depressed.  Who knows.  
In the meantime, enjoy the pretty picture.  I’m not going to feature my regular photography much here, but I figured it would lift my spirits a little bit.

KareDan Farming Intitiative

One thing I love about the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is all the beautiful artisan products.  Jewelry, glass, blacksmithing, woodwork, they are all at the Ren Faire, but I discovered one place that made me excited.
My friend Joan and I had been at the Faire no less than ten minutes when I saw it:  a line of hanks of yarn drying on a line.  Being that I’m a yarn addict and am attracted to bright colors, I had to go take a closer look. 
What I discovered was KareDan Farming Initiative, a farm where Renaissance farming techniques are practiced.  They are located in Baltimore, MD, and have a stand at the PA Ren Faire.  They have everything from their own honey from their own apiary to soap from the milk of their goats.  Still, my main focus was the yarn. 
Their yarn is beautiful.  It is handspun and hand painted, and was sheared from their own animals. There are blends ranging from alpaca to wool.  The hank that my hand went for was a bright blue and orange one of superwash wool sock yarn.  (I know, more sock yarn!)  It came home with me. 
Oh, spinners, they sell roving from their animals, too.
Danielle of KareDan gave a quick demonstration of how to shear a sheep using her Shetland sheep, Badger.  Now, Badger’s fleece was too short to be shorn, but she put him through the motions. 
I also spent time skirting the fleece previously shorn from Badger, and spent time speaking with Karen of KareDan about their farm and crafting.  I also learned what lanolin is and that is why sheep shearers have soft hands.  I also loved seeing part of the process that shows me how yarn is made.
If you are going to the PA Renaissance Faire, please visit their stand.  Other demonstrations are given by Karen and Danielle, too.  There is a lovely herb garden in the back and they have a petting zoo. 
I plan on going back towards the end of the season sporting a pair of socks knit from that hank.  In the meantime, I encourage you to take a look at their web site, Facebook, and Etsy site.  These two women are using their animals to the fullest and are preserving Renaissance farming heritage.  I highly recommend checking them out.

Long Lean Sweater: Week Three

I think I might be suffering from a tad case of sweater burn out.  I’ve finished the right side panel and am now working on the back.  More stitches means more time.  My teacher Gail did warn us of this, though.  Still, I’m chugging away.  Perseverance!
I did take a little time out this past weekend to knit a small birthday gift, so that put me back a little further, but only by a day, really.  I want to have all the pieces knit by October 15, the next class.   I think I can do it.  I also didn’t get as much done as I like as life has been pretty busy lately and looks like the trend is going to continue onto this week, as well.
Anyway, here’s what I have done of the back thus far.  You can really see the striping of the Noro here.  I like it!
Previous Progress

Customer Service Rave: Jimmy Beans Wool

I am impressed with the service at Jimmy Beans Wool online store.  More specifically, I’m impressed with their customer service.  Last week I placed an order for some hard-to-find needles.  No problem.
Not long after I placed my order, I got a personal e-mail from one of their employees saying that one of the items I ordered was on backorder and that they wanted to know what I wanted to do.  I sort of forgot about this until Sunday evening, when I e-mailed them back and told them to ship what they were able to.  Less than five minutes later, I got another personal e-mail back saying it would ship that night.   I know it was on a Sunday, but I assume it was taken to the shipping point at that time.
All I can say is that I am happy with this company.  I received the first part of my order yesterday, and the receipt was clearly outlined with what they still needed to ship me.  And there was a handwritten smiley face on the receipt. 
Thank you, Jimmy Beans Wool.  I will buy from you again.

Beading Night 3

I took a little time out from knitting my sweater and beaded for a little bit, as I have been doing on Wednesday nights.  I continued work on the Pure Innocence set, completing the bracelet and the two pairs of earrings.  I’m getting better with my loops, though they still look sort of bad.  I will reiterate again that the designs included in this kit are good, solid designs that I will reuse.  This kit has been a good reintroduction into beading.  Next week, I will work on the second and last piece, another necklace.  After that, it’s a pair of earrings that I have owed someone for a looong time.