I have been quiet for awhile, but knitting is still crazily going on. The most fun thing I have done in the past few weeks is go to a "Knit-a-Way" in carmel that was organized by Hollis at Full Thread Ahead. It was the single most relaxing thing that I have done in many years!! The fun started on a Friday night with a potluck in the conference room at the hotel we were staying at. What a turn out of food!! Everything was delicious.
After dinner, Hollis showed us how to dye yarn with kool aid and food coloring. What a fun time! I had no idea that this was so much fun. We all wound up with hands of very vibrant colors and every single person there (20 in all) wound up with yarn that was a different color, but no less pretty. Some of the ladies didn't like their colors (I happened to like them all) and so they over dyed and got even different colors. So cool. After all this dyeing, I realized that I would not be able to recreate the three colors that I had - I was so enamored of the process that I was envisioning scarves, blankets, and whole sweaters done in my own dyed yarn that I totally forgot that you really have to dye a lot of yarn for a big project. I have always respected and revered the hand dyed yarn out there and the people who create this yarn, but I now have even more respect and am truly awed by them!!! How do they do it??? Lots of yarn all in the same colorway. My own dyeing experience gave "colorway" a whole new meaning!!! More yarn dyeing is definitely in my future and I know that Hollis will be more than willing to help me as I traverse that path - plus I loved the yarn she included in our goodie bags to dye - it was DK Jewels and is so soft even after the dyeing.
The next morning we learned how to do Shadow knitting. We could either choose a double helix or piano keys. Since my oldest daughter loves playing the piano, I chose the piano keys. It took a little while to understand the directions, but I finally got it and love the outcome - I will need to get some more of the yarn so I can make a scarf from this pattern for my daughter for Christmas!
We had lunch at a great little place in Carmel and then walked over to a yarn store called "Knitting by the Sea". It was a really nice little yarn store - the owner was nice and the yarns were pretty. I wound up getting some truly pretty ribbon yarn to make a stole/scarf - the kids keep asking me what it is. Well......it is too wide to be a scarf and too narrow to be a true stole. I will post pictures of everything written about here hopefully later today or tomorrow morning and you can be the judge :o) I love it and will wear it out with my hubby to dinner after I convince my in-laws that they want to spend quality time in the evening with all 5 of the cuties!
The next thing we learned was short rows - three different ways done in very different manners all achieving the same thing. Really cool. On the front of my swatch there is not much difference, but on the back the difference is truly huge. I have my favorite method of doing the process which does NOT coincide with my favorite outcome. I will need to practice the method that I like the out come the most so I can be better at it. I think the Lizard Ridge blanket needs to come out of hiding so I have the oppportunity for lots and lots of practice!!
Sunday morning we learned how to do Kumihimo braiding - I have always wanted to learn this art - and we used our yarn that we dyed on Friday. What a blast. It is not as hard as it looks and I am truly hooked. I came home and showed all the kids (except the youngest) how to do it and they are hooked also. I need to get some more discs so we all can do it together. Although, if I don't, my kumihimo braids will get done rather quickly with everyone working on them. Hmmm....maybe they don't need their own!
The weekend, from my point of view was the perfect balance between relaxation and instruction. I was so refreshed and centered by the time I left - it was so great. Sometimes the whirlwind of life with the activities and chores that 5 kids brings to the mix leaves me drained. This weekend was really something I needed and showed me that I need to take time out for me. I will be spending more time doing what I like doing - Knitting with the ladies at Full Thread Ahead. Mondays they have a knit night and I am hoping to be there at least 2 times a month. That I believe is a realistic goal.
The weekend was, however, not so relaxing for my husband. Even though I had lined up friends to get the kids to soccer games and my in-laws practically lived with him to help him with all the meals and taking care of them, he was exhausted!! I think he is almost recovered now. Hopefully by the time the next Knit-a-way happens he will have forgotten how much it takes to get the kids where they need to be, with the gear that they need, well fed and clothed :o)
Sorry for the lack of pictures of the exciting weekend. I had my camera with me but didn't bring it out because I forgot. I do however have pictures of the things that I came home with and will post those tomorrow.
Meanwhile I have finished a couple of things. First it the "Squared up Throw". This is so soft and cuddly, everyone loves it. The kids like to bundle up in it and after they go to bed it is my turn to use it. I was not sure it would be warm, but it really is. It is warm, soft and light. The perfect blanket for the evenings now that they are getting a little chillier - we have not turned our heat on and will hold off as long as possible.