Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ode to the cable needle

Ok I really don't use cable needles very often but when you need them boy do you need them.
I know some are able to do cables without any type of holding device and I would agree that this is fine for wool, alpaca and other non slippery yarns but not for silk. When I started Sea Tangles I looked all over for my favorite cable needles but couldn't find them anywhere. Then I remembered I gave them to a friend who was a new knitter and working on her first cabled project. So off I went in search of a cable needle since I don't carry these in my online shop (yet).
First I went to Fred Myers to check their small yarn section, nothing. Then with 30 minutes to spare I went down to JoAnn's before they closed on Sunday. They had one but not my preferred style of cable needle. I was stuck so I took it anyways. I plodded through with this cable needle for over 50 rows of my project but still wasn't happy with it. So yesterday I while running some errands I found a hobby shop that looked like it would have a decent sized yarn section. Yep, it did stuck back in the furthest corner. (why do all hobby stores shove knitting to the back? Then I found it... my favorite type of cable needle!

There are 2 common types of cable needles. Fish hook (left) and straight with a bump (right).
The straight is ok in a pinch but I really am much happier with the fish hook style. For me it feels more secure holding the stitches in the crook nicely with the balance and gravity holding it from shifting around trying to lose your stitches.
The other really nice 'feature' of the fish hook style is hangs nicely on the side of your knitting basket while not in use. I've decided to order these for the shop and include one in each order of the Habu Stainless Silk order for those using it for Sea Tangles.
So what is your preferred style of cable needle? Fish hook or straight with bump?

Last Nights Knitting - Well as you can probably tell from this picture not much knitting last night. 6 rows to be exact. I was working on the website, answering emails and of course watching Project Runway. Well hopefully better progress will be made tonight.
As promised pictures of the completed Trekking King Charles Brocade socks.
I'm excited about entering these and a few other projects in the fair next month.
Anyone else planning on entering their projects in their county fair?

Oh, and a shipment from Habu arrived this morning! Already up on the site and going out the door so take a look > There's another shipment on it's way and should be here next week but this is part of my order for the Winter Seasons of Habu Club. Very excited to get started on this one. You can also see more info on this in the shop.

Knit on people

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just a quick update

Thought I'd put an update to my last post.

Last Nights (and the night before) Knitting....
First I did share the love and finished the King Charles Brocade Sock before working on my Sea Tangles Monday night. The socks are washed and blocking now getting ready to be entered into the county fair. Pictures tomorrow. Last night I did work a dozen rows on Sea Tangles. This pattern really is so cool. You have a choice of knitting from the static .pdf files or the dynamic Excel spreadsheet. What makes the spreadsheets dynamic? Well, the designer uses some fairly complex formulas to create each rows directions and each time you close and reopen the spreadsheet the random placement and size of the cables change but keeps the number of stitches in the row and increases correct. Really fun to watch. This also confirms her note that no worries if you don't exactly place the cable 34 stitches in but 43 or if you invert the cable stitches... it's all random. Cool!

Habu Stainless Steel Silk for the Sea Tangles update
Wow, response for the Habu Stainless Steel Silk has been tremendous.
From the upcoming shipment here is currently what is available for reservation
  • grey are all spoken for
  • brown 3 available to be reserved
  • white and black plenty available for you to reserve
You can email me if you want yours from this upcoming shipment but
Of course I will be reordering this again soon.

Habu is coming
I have a great shipment that is scheduled to be here tomorrow and it includes some favorites that haven't been in for awhile.

Plus I've been busy today working on a surprise for the shop... more on that later.

hmmm, guess this wasn't really that quick of an update.
Promise pictures to share tomorrow.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ok, I know I really shouldn't have ...

I know, I know I have way too many in progress projects right now and several just need a bit of finishing to get them in 'completed' status. But you see went and released the Summer 08 suprises and I couldn't help myself.

One of the patterns is Sea Tangles by Kie Zuraw.

This pattern is a unique design that showcases Habu Textile's Stainless Steel and Silk yarn perfectly. It is a frothy tunic that uses randomly placed and sized cables to mimic fishing nets or Japanese seaweed - amazing! I really did have intentions of finishing up my King Charles Brocade socks with just part of a repeat and toe left to do then this project called to me.

I just happened to have some of this yarn in my stash waiting for the perfect pattern. The color also happened to be the same as the one the designer used (03 - top grey). Soooo, I found an empty US 6 circ, opened the pattern and cast on for the left sleve. Ok, this yarn really is between cobweb and lace weight (read sewing thread), but once you get it going on the size 6 needles it really isn't bad at all. I would however recommend using needles with the pointiest tip you've got. You will also need a small cable needle to hold this slippery goodness of yarn when doing the cables. Oh, and please don't do what I did (see pic below) and wind this off of the cone into a ball... not a good idea. Just knit it directly off of the cone.
Several customers have already contacted me asking if I have this in stock. I am currently out but I've placed an order for a mess of these in the top 4 neutral colors. If you'd like to reserve some for a Sea Tangles for yourself just drop me an email and I'll set some aside. I am still trying to confirm the yardage on these but looks like it will only take 2 to 3 cones of this to do a sweater. Oh, and this pattern is sized from XS to a 3X!

Ok, I guess I'll have to get busy knitting now and share the love between this one and the socks that are sooo close to done.

Friday, July 11, 2008

They're Here!

I've finally recieved the new product for The Knitting Hutch that I've been working on for a while now.

Knitit Wickit
The perfect knitting drying towels
For some time now I have searched for the perfect towel to dry my freshly washed knitted items. Old bathtowels were fine but just never seemed to absorb enough. These chamois cloths do the job very well. Knitit Wickit is a German made Chamois towel designed to wick away water. Whether you are preparing to block your freshly washed knitting project or dry your cherished heirloom knitted item this will wick away water and cut your drying time in half.
This is a must have item for any knitter! The kits include: 2 XLarge 27” x 20” cloths plus care instructions for $9.95. You can only find them at The Knitting Hutch.
Ok, now back to my knitting updates...
Last Nights Knitting .... Nothing really exciting here. I finished the leg of the King Charles Brocade sock and started on the heel turn. I did go with the Eye of Partridge flap but with the variegation you really can't see much pattern. Oh well.

Job Search update.... I haven't heard anything yet from the company or recruiter on the job downtown I really, really want. Hopefully I'll hear something on Monday... like a call to come in for an inperson interview.
That's all for now so everyone back to your knitting, and have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I promised pictures today

I thought I would share just a couple of birthday presents I received last week.
From my sister I got a couple cool craft/knitting related items.

Her friend made this cool craft/sewing pendant. I know I want to use some leftover tsumugi wrapped silk to hang it with but still not sure where exactly I want to showcase this.

Then she gave me this knitter's dream. A rolling knitting bag. Tons of room, tons of pockets and really great patterned fabric. But alas as noted on the tag 'Supplies Not Included'... bummer ;-)

A yarn only a mother could love .... and I use the term yarn very loosely (pun intended).
Actually it isn't too bad for my first attempt at this magic called spinning yarn. Hoping that I improve greatly with practice and glad I am using some inexpensive roving for this practice piece.
I do still envision a spinning wheel in my future.
Last Nights (and prior nights) Knitting... Here is proof that I am knitting a pair of socks right now. This is some Trekking XXL I purchased last May on the Sea Socks 07 Cruise in Victoria, BC. Love the muted, muddy colors and I selected the King Charles Brocade pattern for it from More Sensational Knitted Socks. The pattern does take a little extra attention and heavy reliance on knitting matras to get a rhythm. I am into the 4th repeat of the leg and this should be my preferred length and onto the heel. Gonna try the Eye of Partridge heel on this one for something different in a heel.
Ok now onto the job front.... I had the phone interview with the company I talked about yesterday and it went very well. The recruiter also heard from them that it went well. They are of course interviewing several people in the next day or two and will select a couple of us to come in for the in person round of interviewing before they make their choice. Hmmm, this isn't exactly they way the recruiter initially presented how this would go but oh well. I just hope I get this one as it sounds perfect for me and an exciting challenge.
Keep on Knittin'

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Very good week

Job Search News .... and looks like it might end with me getting a job. As you probably know I've been looking for 5 months and on Monday alone I submitted 9 applications. On Tuesday I received a call from a 'recruiter' looking for a Remedy Administrator / Developer for a client of theirs. It appears this isn't even one I had applied for as it isn't posted anywhere (yet). This 1st screening phone call went very well so he set up a time for me to have another screening interview this morning at 11am. This also went very, very well and he then set up for a (hopefully) final phone interview with the Director of Software Engineering tomorrow at 11am. I was told right off that the company really liked my resume and it looked good for me to be selected for this job. This will start off as a 6 month contract which more than likely lead into a permanent position. I've already researched this company, and equally important their location here in Seattle. I will share more about who they are and what they do once I land the job... but let's just say it is located in the absolutely most perfect spot in Seattle. They are right on the waterfront, between Pike Place Market and Seattle Center/Space Needle/Sculpture Garden. Oh, and my new hair stylist and So Much Yarn is just a few blocks away. Now I ask you how perfect is all that. Ok, now back to my chances. Not only does the referring and hiring company like me, I am the only candidate they are presenting to the hiring company! Check back tomorrow for updates.

Now back to our regularly scheduled knitting content....

Last Night's Knitting... Last night I went to the Tuesday night knitting group here in Marysville, WA. We met at the park which was a very nice change of venue from a coffee shop. Not only did I do a little knitting on my current sock project (remind me to share later), Megan taught me to spin with a spindle. Can you believe it! It's been over a year that I've been talking about learning to spin and finally I've started. Like everyone says it's a little bit of magic. Well I'm so mentally distracted today that I haven't taken any pictures so those will come tomorrow as well.

at the shop ... I received part of what i need for the exciting, new product I have in the works and the main part of this should arrive tomorrow or Friday at the latest. Then a bit of work and it should be available end of next week..ish. Promise this will be well worth the wait and you'll wonder how you went this long without it.

sorry for the lack of photos but I'll make up for it tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It's My Birthday!

Just thought I'd throw that out there ;-) Yep, 3 more years and I can join AARP... oh boy!
It really was just like any other day but still enjoyable. I did go over to the Seattle Premium Outlets to find an "Interview" outfit. Went to my 3 reliable shops and finally found something I really like. Navy, button fronted skirt, tailored white blouse and a necklace to bring them together. Very happy here... now for an interview or two, or three....

Anywho... onto Wednesday's Featured Project

Myrtle Leaf Shawl from Victorian Lace Today
This is the project for the Victorian Lace Today July 08 KAL. We were supposed to start this on Monday the 1st but .... I cast on for this one on Saturday evening under the premise that it was just a test to see if I liked the stitch definition and color placement. I liked so I kept it and put it aside until yesterday to play along with the non-rules of this KAL. I selected some Claudia Hand Painted Silk Lace in John B that I had in my stash that came from my shop. Using some vintage Susan Bates US5 circular needles that are pointy enough to make lace doable. I like this pattern even though it took a repeat for me to get into the rhythm of it and I can see how it might get a little monotonous.
Ok, That's it for today and knit on all.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

2fer Tuesday

Well, looks like I didn't get to posting yesterday so I'll have to do 2 posts in one.

Monday's Musings - a day late. The last week was fairly uneventful. Still applying for positions and getting calls from recruiters (and nothing yet). I am currently working with one on a couple openings in the area that look very interesting and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that one of them works out, but not holding my breath. Knitting projects are moving along with just needing to finish up the Sonnet and Gisela Sweaters with buttons on the Sonnet and left front band and final blocking for Gisela. Speaking of Gisela. If you are considering this project, which is a great one, be aware that it runs a little small so gauge is very, very, very important. I know I knit on the tight side but my gauge isn't that much smaller but the XLarge is closer to a Large. Next one I will be combining the Tsumugi silk with the Cotton Gima and stepping up the sizing a bit. There is a new project in progress - Myrtle Leaf Shawl from Victorian Lace Today. I this one on a day or so early to check my gauge and really am liking this one. The KAL for this starts today and I am looking forward to seeing every ones projects. Last week I also place another order with Habu for even more lovely yarns and kits for the shop, and they should be in middle of next week. Then I also located a source for a very exciting new knitting tool that I know we'll all love and I already use regularly. Another project I've been working on is helping my mom redo her front yard. She has/had lawn with 2 trees and that's it.
We're pulling out all of the lawn in front, creating 2 tiers and turning into a English Country Cottage style garden. So far there
are 3 Mountain Ash bushes in different colors, coral bells in 2 different colors and a white variegated dogwood. It will be really nice when it's done and I'll post pictures of it's progress. And like an idiot I forgot to take pictures of the before with all of the lawn. Oh well.
Last night's knitting - Over the weekend I washed and did the pre-assembly blocking of Gisela and then assembled on Sunday. Then picked up and knit the collar and one of the front bands. It just needs the final front band and a final, very aggressive blocking. Note on the front bands. To widen the front sides I've opted to double the band from a 5 row garter to a 10 row garter. There was also the start of the Myrtle Leaf Shawl. I said this was the swatch but really I just went ahead and started the pattern and was pleased with the gauge and stitch definition and set it aside for tonight's knitting. No knitting was done Monday night. Spent all afternoon and well into the evening at Group Health evaluating my GERD and making sure it wasn't something more serious, which it isn't, so wasn't up to much of anything last night.
Check back tomorrow.... knit on.