Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I've Moved!

This Blog has a new home. Please bookmark it and check back with me soon!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wrapping Alison in Comfort - Blanket Project

Hi Friends,

I'm writing this post to ask for your help. A very dear, sweet knitterly friend is very ill and in need of some comfort. Her name is Alison Hyde, she is the author of the wonderfully beautiful & inspirational book "Wrapped in Comfort". She is one of the most selfless knitters I've met, it seems she is always knitting a gorgeous shawl for someone else. If you know her, you know what a sweet, loving person she truly is.

Of course Alison herself best sums up the powers of a selfless gift, this excerpt is taken from her blog, posted on Dec. 7th, 2008:

"After all, just think of someone who went out of their way to do something uncommonly nice for you, and doesn’t it lift your spirits years and years after the fact? That teacher who believed in you. The friend who gave up her time to listen when you needed it. The stranger who smiled hi in passing on the day you most needed it. That provides motivation, years after the fact, to go and do the same for someone else.

We knitters have an edge in all that. What we make and give is a tangible reminder of how we feel about someone, a way to bless them over and over and over, bringing a smile to their face as they put the shawl to their back or socks to their feet, feeling warmed and thought about.

That’s powerful."

What I'd like to do is to wrap her in comfort by sending her a blanket created with loving stitches made by some of the many people/friends whose lives she has touched in some way. If you would like to participate, please do the following:

1) Drop me an e-mail to either countingsheep@bellsouth.net or elizabeth@countingsheepstudio.com and let me know you will send a square.
2) Knit OR crochet a square. The only requirements are to use something washable and to make it a finished size of 5". Please use whatever color/pattern you like & think Alison will enjoy, however, please do not use very bright colors. You can use a fingering weight yarn doubled, a dk or worsted weight, as long as you make it to size.
3) Deadline: Please send me your completed square by January 31st (or let me know it's on the way!), as I'd like to get this to her as soon as possible.
3) Mail your square to my LYS (where I am employed):
Purl's Yarn Emporium
Attn: Elizabeth
10 Wall St.
Asheville, NC 28801

After I receive your e-mail of interest, I will respond back to let you know you will be included in the blanket. Thanks for listening, please also send prayers and good healing thoughts to Alison & her family.

You can read updates about what is happening at
Spin Dye Knit, Alison's blog.

'Kathy's Shawl' from Wrapped in Comfort

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Knit Goes On....

And on. Well, we’re back from our vacation to Philadelphia. It was David’s first time back since we moved down the NC nearly 3 ½ years ago. I was joking with him on the turnpike, “it’s your LAST CHANCE to turn back honey!” and things like that. He survived just fine and even had 2 nights of wonderful hoagies, which they just don’t have here in Asheville.

I’m finding I like the city better as a tourist, and I played the part, taking pics just about everywhere we went. We spent a day downtown and I really enjoyed it! I love the old architecture and the interesting play of old with new. The Art Museum was amazing as always, I only wish we had had more time to spend there. I did visit one yarn store in downtown Philly, called Rosie’s Yarn Cellar, and the name is serious, it is in an old cellar. It was a good thing I had the address or we never would have seen the sign. It was a nice shop, a good selection of higher quality yarns, nice displays. I purchased some Koigu for the Lotus Leaf Mittens, and then sadly left since I was with 3 non-knitters. I recommend it if you visit Philly, there are 2 others in the downtown area I have yet to see. Maybe next time.

Our visits North are always like Disneyland for Sydney, and of course this was no exception. She had a blast and was pretty sad on the long ride home. As was I, but it is what it is. I’m still hoping for those teleporters like the ones they had in Star Trek, since it seems most things from those shows comes true at some point. (Remember the gigantic cell phones they had??)

Of course there wasn’t much knitting that got done on the trip. The main thing I worked on was the Morgan cap for my brother. I was planning on knitting Mars for him, but he specifically requested a ‘Jeff’ cap. This is an incredibly clever pattern, it really keeps you on your toes and there’s no ‘mindless’ areas, as far as I’m concerned. The construction is just brilliant! I just need to get a plastic thingy to fit into the peak, then to wash and block. I just hope it fits!!

I was working on Sylvi on the car ride home, just cruising along with the seed stitch front. I got a little too smug, thinking, ‘wow, I’m almost done this front already!’, then realized the next day that I had forgotten to slip the first stitch on the right side. Then I thought, well I can just seam it up and no one will know. Looked at the pattern. Yes, there is a reason for the slip stitch, of course. Mari Muinonen (the designer) actually has the seam showing on the outside. Oh, drat. Then I think about it some more and I’m hoping I can just drop the stitch and carry it back up the right way. The only confusion is how I get it to ‘skip’ a row. Hmmm….any thoughts? This may be on its’ way to the frog pond.

I’m back at designing a new sweater, and just decided to dive in headfirst yesterday. I think I like the way all the different elements are coming together now, after all my swatching insanity (see pics). I’m just about to the point where I can do the actual knitting, and I’m getting excited! She’s going to be a beauty!

Let 2009 be the year you find your true Self, and live up to your own standards.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season. We're away in Philadelphia right now, be back soon with more projects to share with you! Since I think it's worth a repeat and because I'm away, here's Sydney's Santa photo from last year.



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

5 Minutes of Fame....

My Green Man Beret got a mention on Lime & Violet's blog!! Squee!! If you don't know Lime & Violet, they are a hilarious podcasting duo, (often joined by friend Karin), that talk about knitting, yarn, life and just anything that happens to them. Be warned, listening to them is addictive! You can download their podcast here.

Thanks, ladies!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Green Man Beret

At long last, I present you with the Green Man Beret! This one was a while in its' creation, but it was a very enjoyable process. As I've mentioned, he seems to be all over here in Asheville, in many incarnations. I'm sure most designers are inspired by nature, it's rather hard to not be here in the gorgeous Blue Ridge mountains.

Here's a bit on the inspiration, as adapted from Jack of the Wood's website, a local bar and overall good time hangout.
The face of the Green Man, or Jack of the Wood can be found adorning churches over much of Europe. Very little is known of the Green Man. It is said that he represents the male counterpart to the Goddess of the early European pagans. Fertility, nature, death and rebirth are strong themes of the Green Man.
The Green Man stares down on us from the boughs of trees and the spires of cathedrals reminding us that nature is ever present and we are always at its mercy.
This is my knitted interpretation, to bring a little green into your life.


Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed (192 yds.), a dk weight wool/silk yarn - 1 skein each of colors #45 Forest (MC) and #54 Coffee Bean Brown (CC)
Needles: US size 4, 16” circular needle and US size 4 dpns, or size needed to get gauge
Gauge: 24 sts x 36 rows = 4” Please note I’ve used a smaller needle size than recommended for this yarn, since I liked the slightly denser fabric it produced. If you substitute yarns, keep this in mind.

This is an intermediate pattern, you will need to be able to follow chart, as well as create basic cables. You can purchase this pattern from my website, following this link: Green Man Beret at Counting Sheep Studio, or as a Ravelry download: Green Man Beret on Ravelry.

Thank-you for your support and comments, they mean so much!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Attack of the Hungry Geese....

You know…deadline knitting is just not fun. I’ve decided. The owner of Purl’s and I are trying to finish up something really neat for the store window, for the Holiday contest. The problem, it needs to be done by this Saturday!! Yikes! I’ll leave you a little teaser…it’s more of a ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe’ kind of holiday theme we are going for…..

In spite of that, since my poor hands were hurting from all that cotton yarn on teeny dpns, I decided to start my future SIL’s shawl. (Yes, I know I’m insane, thank-you very much.) I had wanted to have this finished my Christmas, since that’s when the shower is, after several hours yesterday, I only have, ahem….8 rows done. Wow, this is going to take a little bit, huh? On top of that, there are BEADS, about 500 of them, throughout the shawl. Sorry, I know I shouldn’t be doing all this chatting about projects with no pictures! Soon, I promise. You can see the shawl pattern here: Sivia Harding Moonshadow. Plus, the yarn that I’m already in love with is here: Little Knits Indie II.

I will give you a couple shots here of a super quick cabley hat you can finish lickety-split for someone special over the holidays. It’s called Twisted Lattice Cabled Hat, by d-made. She has several other nice, free patterns on her site, go check them out!

Sydney was off from school yesterday, we went over to Lake Tomahawk, over in Black Mountain. This is a beautiful small lake with a playground, only about 5 minutes down the road from our house. Well, we got there and it was fr..ee..zing!! I let her play for nearly an hour, then we tried to walk around the lake but it was just too cold. We were accosted by hoards of geese and ducks, of every kind it seemed, and all I had were some measly crackers and bread crusts from my lunch.

This bunch started running at me when I whipped out my camera, and would have eaten that if I let them, I'm sure.

The duck families showed up too to see if I had anything for them.

Sorry guys! Next time I'll bring you a whole loaf of bread, I promise.