My First Lace!

I am so excited to have finished this project. It took less than a month, and was a wonderful pattern to work with. This is my very first lace project and I am SO happy with how it came out. I love it, and even found an excuse to wear it already! It was a bit chilly on my walk to class today, so it worked nicely wrapped around my neck to keep me warm.

The pattern is the Shetland Triangle by Evelyn A. Clark. I did add in two extra body repeats and I am happy that I did, because it needed that bit of extra size. I also added beads to the border chart and it was a great addition. It just adds that certain something, brings out the colors, and adds some sparkle. I do love me a bit of sparkle! 🙂

I used Jojoland Melody Superwash and it took approximately 550 yards to finish this beauty.  I will make this project again, and I will also use this yarn again. The yarn was wonderful to work with, and yielded a soft, drapey, warm lace project.

Here are the photos (click for bigger pretties):

 

In the Early Stages

In the Early Stages

Going into a bath.

Going into a bath.

Finished and glowing in the sunshine!

Finished and glowing in the sunshine!

Beading Detail

Beading Detail

Being Modeled

Being Modeled

Adventures in Birthday Land

First of all, let me just say that so far, I have had the most amazing birthday EVER! I say so far, because even though the day is technically over, the celebration continues and I will be spending time with friends every day the rest of this week and Saturday. It honestly doesn’t get better than that. The fact that I am surround by people who genuinely like me and want to celebrate with me, just a wonderful thing!

I also need to note that the elimination diet is no longer. I lasted a week and a day. It was worth a try but just too much to deal with right now.

Originally, I had planned to stay home and do nothing. Zip, zero, zilch, nada (guess you get the idea) all day long. However, this morning my wonderful friend Flame asked me if I wanted to meet up for lunch. Of course I did! We met at TGI Fridays and had a fantastic experience. I was upfront with the waiter and told him I had Celiac disease and could not have gluten. As soon as I said gluten, his face lit up. Get this one……he actually knew what I was talking about. How terrific is that. I asked him for suggestions and he willing provided me with some very tasty options. I chose a yummy grilled steak, no sauce or seasoning and a side salad (which he even understood could not have croutons on it!). When I asked if they would clean the grill prior to cooking my steak, he said of course they would! Yippee!!! The meal was great and Kate and I had a wonderful time celebrating each others birthdays (hers was the day before mine) and our friendship. She gave me a wonderful necklace that I will cherish.

After our fantastic lunch, I went over to a chocolate store in the plaza that Fridays is in. I was seriously bummed to see they were out of business. I decided to walk over to the health food store instead and see what goodies I could find. I walked in and started to look at their lotions out of curiosity. I picked up a coconut one, flipped it over to start reading the ingredients, and noticed in big, bold letters; vegan, gluten free and wheat free. Not only did that make me happy, but I became even more giddy upon seeing that the lotion had a companion coconut body wash. Mmmmmm….I LOVE the smell of coconut bath products. This stuff smells great and feels great on. Not at all greasy and very moisturizing! While there, I also found some gluten free chocolate truffles. Score 2 for the birthday girl. 😀

From there, I proceeded to mosey on over to Starbucks to get myself some coffee, knit, and munch on my truffles. I was contently doing all three when I looked up and saw the skies darken dramatically. I grabbed my stuff and got out of there in an attempt to beat the storm. As soon as I got in the car, the skies opened up! On the drive home, the highway was actually starting to flood because it was raining so hard. Everyone was going really slow too, including me. I was thankful to get near home and drive into clear, blue, sunny weather.

I came home and enjoyed the rest of my coffee and chocolate. I worked on my current lace project some more and was very happy when it was time for my man to come home. We had a nice relaxing night here at home. Dinner was oooey, gooey, chocolaty, and ridiculously good home made and still warm, gluten free brownies. Add a side of delicious ice cream, and a candle, and what more could a birthday girl want?!

I will try to take photos of the awesome birthday gifty goodness that I have been the recipient of and post them later this week or on Monday. I am off to bed now to rest up for another wonderful day tomorrow!

A Good Night, A Bad Night

Tonight saw me heading out to knitting. It all started out so well. I felt really good most of the day today, at least much better than I had after my last reaction to gluten. I even thought maybe the reaction had passed. Boy was I wrong, that thought all ended when I got to the cafe. When I sat down, I was shaking, my face felt like it was burning and was bright red, I had a nasty headache coming on and just felt BAD.

Once others started to show up, I tried to push how I was feeling out of my mind. I did the best I could, but I was having trouble focusing, thinking, and staying put mentally. I have a hard time when I feel like this. I know that it can come across that something is wrong with me. I try so hard to hide that I am sick / not feeling well, because I don’t want people to pity me, or see me as weak. I HATE that something I cannot even see, a stupid little protein, can have such a great impact on me. I do think that maybe my eyes glazed over once or twice, and I apologize if this happened while anyone was talking to me. I can’t control it. 

Getting ready to leave….well, things just got worse. I started to shake again, feel very nauseous, more spacey. Another headache started to come on, and all my joints started to ache. Did I mention how much I hate this? It was hard to drive home, and I am thankful that it is not too long of a drive. I almost had to pull over more than once because of the nausea. I made it home safe and sound, and am getting worse as I type this.

I think my other greatest reason for not sharing when I don’t feel well, is that I don’t want to be accused of being dramatic or negative. That is something that I fight from being a child. Showing sickness just was frowned upon as unnecessary. I promise though, there are no dramatics in anything I talk about when it comes to reacting to gluten. Just simple, honest, truth.

I wish I could change how this happens. That I could take a pill, and it would all go away. It just isn’t that simple, and this is something I have to learn to live with. It is a struggle that I have been fighting for a few years now, and it doesn’t ever get any easier. 

On the plus side, the good side, even thought I felt awful, I had a GREAT time. I laughed, and laughed, and laughed. I was surrounded by friends, both new and old, and we all just had so much fun. That is what I love about knit night, the fun. It is so nice to spend time with other woman who aren’t petty, catty, mean, nasty, or snobby. We all just get along, and that is awesome in my book.

I was also, miraculously a bit productive. I finally finished spinning that half of my shetland I have been working on for ages now. I will try to get pics up soon. Now I am debating if I should finish the other half right now, or ply what has been sitting done for a bit. I am not sure yet.

So, in some ways, it was both a good night and a bad night. I am so glad I went, even though I didn’t feel my best. Laughter is great medicine and I had plenty of it tonight! 🙂

Tour de Fleece ~ Day 9

I am still here and still plugging along. The update for today is of the roving I am spinning up on my Brandywine Woodworking spindle. It is superwash merino in the Night Sky colorway from Actual Size Creations. I really like spinning this stuff too. It is like spinning buttah! I also have an updated photo of my beautiful Garden of Alla shawl that I have been working on. It is really coming along.

 

Spinning Progress

Spinning Progress

Close Up

Close Up

Pretty Alla in the Sun :)

Pretty Alla in the Sun

Tour de Fleece

So, as Tina over at Rows Red said, we knitters can be a strange bunch. For those non-fibery people, the Tour de Fleece is where you spin every day that the Tour de France runs. Each person sets their own goals, and if you accomplish them by the end of the Tour, you get a badge for your blog. It is much more than that though, it is an opportunity to accomplish something, and to challenge yourself. My goal is quite simple, but perfect for me. My goal is to spin for a minimum of 10 minutes per day.

Now, that might not sound like much to most people. However, just a few weekends ago, I injured my shoulder from spinning for too long. It was not intentional. I just got caught up in the moment, and forgot to put the spindle down. Spinning for a period of time every day, will help build the muscle memory I need to spin for longer spans of time. It will also help to improve my spinning skills. It will get me in the habit of spinning on a daily basis too, so that I am doing more than knitting. After all, it is kinda hard to knit when you have no yarn to knit with. While I can always buy from a store, there is something magical about making my own yarn, and then making something beautiful out of that. It feels like such an amazing thing, a true accomplishment that leaves me with something tangible and useful.

In other news, speaking of accomplishments, I knit my 100th row on the shawl I am currently knitting. It is my first lace project and it is coming along beautifully. I will try to get a photos of that up, and my spinning progress soon.

Project Time!

Things have been going well in this knitters little corner of the world. 🙂

I had so much fun at with Harriet at her knitting group Friday night. When I got there, she handed me a printout for a pattern for my first project — a scarf! She then told me to go shop. Wow! I felt like a little kid in a candy store. It was my very first time in a yarn shop and there were pretty and soft things everywhere I looked. I roamed around the store almost overwhelmed at all the choices. I thought I had something, and then was told it was the wrong type of fiber (cotton, not wool — oops…missed that one on the instructions). So I put it back and kept looking. Finally, as I was about to give up, my eyes landed on some very luscious yarn. I picked it up and loved the feel and look of it, it was the right weight, and….it was wool! I loved, loved, loved the colors. The yarn I picked for my first project was a lovely Noro.

My Lovely Noro, Colorway 185

My Lovely Noro, Colorway 185

I started to work on it right away and made good progress. I was so excited, that I missed another step in the instructions. I came home that night and started fresh. I had fun at the store sitting there knitting and talking. It was another great group of people and I will be going back again this Friday.

Saturday saw my husband and I at our friend Tina’s birthday party. It was at a beautiful park in her hometown of Catskill. We all sat in the lovely weather and did our thing. We gabbed, and knit, and crocheted, and spun. It was a blast! Tina got some awesome birthday presents, and it was fun watching her excitement as she opened them. Later on, we went to dinner with her and her husband as well as a few other people. After dinner, we went back to their place for a movie. Tina kindly lent me a beautiful drop spindle because I want to learn how to use one. I cannot wait to have the chance to learn with that! I have some shetland roving on the way thanks to Etsy!

My Progress After Saturday

My Progress After Saturday

Lovely Detail

Lovely Detail

I got a lot of work done on my scarf over the weekend and put in quite a few hours today. It is really coming along nicely and is currently measuring at about 15 inches!! I really love the yarn I am using and how well it is knitting up. It feels good in the hands and the colors are just stunning. I am truly enjoying my very first project and am so excited to be making something. I keep looking at it in awe. I am just amazed that this is coming from me. It is so beautiful and I will be so proud to wear it when I am done.

My Progress After Today

My Progress After Today -- About 15"

Tomorrow night is knitting in Hudson and I can’t wait! I purchased my first official knitting bag from Jess of Stitched by JessaLu, and she will be brining it with her to hand deliver. I am excited to have something really, really pretty to put my knitting in. Plastic zipper bags are just not as nice. 🙂

I am really having an amazing time meeting all these great people. I never imagined I would love knitting this much! It has quickly become something I love to do and feel like I have done my whole life.

Welcome!

Welcome to my new blog!

I thought it only appropriate that for my first post, I would blog about my adventures as a newly minted knitter. Now, when I say newly, I mean it. I am very much minty fresh. I learned how to knit on Sunday, May 24th. That’s right…only 4 days ago! I love it so much and it feels so natural that I can’t believe it has not even been a week yet.

My adventures started out on Sunday at my friend Harriet’s house. She graciously offered to teach me how to knit. It was a great experience for us both. She is a great teacher, and I am a good learner. 🙂 She showed me how to do a long-tail caston, and how to do the knit stitch. Our husbands talked what geeks talk about, while the two of us knit and gabbed ourselves. It was so much fun, and I was really enjoying the feel of the yarn moving through my hands, and seeing something start to form out of it. I left exhausted that night, but excited about my new skill. She kindly sent me home with some yarn to practice with, and we made plans for us to carpool together to her Tuesday night knitting group.

I practiced my little heart (and fingers) out on Monday and Tuesday. I knit, and knit, and knit some more. I even discovered that I had my very own personal knitting assistants. All 3 of our cats thought that knitting was just a blast too, and attempted to help me practice every chance they had!

My Knit Stitch Practice

My Knit Stitch Practice

My Boys "Helping"

My Boys "Helping"

Nom, Nom, Nom

Nom, Nom, Nom

Come Here My Pretty

Come Here My Pretty

Whatcha Doin?

Whatcha Doin?

I was a bit nervous about the knitting group, but more excited than anything else. It would mean the chance to spend more time with Harriet, and getting to see a friend I hadn’t seen in years. Add to that, meeting what I knew would be a great group of woman who were eager to help me become a great knitter — well, I just couldn’t wait. Before knitting we went out to dinner and it was delicious! I was a bit quiet but was enjoying the conversation, and just taking everything in. Then, we made our way to the cafe where the group would meet. It was so awesome to just sit around with other woman and watch them ply their craft. Some were knitting, some were spinning, and everyone was having fun! I learned to purl, how to fix a dropped stitch, and played with the stockinette stitch too. I LOVE how simple that looks and how soft the yarn feels in that stitch. I had so much fun, that I can’t wait to go back next week!!!!

My most recent adventure happened last night. I played around with doing five rows of knit stitch, followed by five rows of purl. I like the effect this had. At a certain point I decided to learn how to bind off. I taught myself how to do a ribbed bind off using The Knitting Answer Book. What a great book this is, special thanks to Tina for suggesting it!

5 Knit, 5 Purl = Pretty :)

5 Knit, 5 Purl = Pretty 🙂

Lovely Detail

Lovely Detail

My First Ribbed Bind Off

My First Ribbed Bind Off

 

Tonight will see me at one of the local yarn shops with Harriet, who is going to assign me my first project. We decided on a scarf. I am beyond excited to start working on something that will have an endpoint, and that is designed to be something. I will be sure to blog all about it once I get going!

There you have it. My first adventures as a new knitter. It can only get better from here! Thank you to everyone who has helped me get started, and to everyone at the knitting group for being so welcoming!

Stay tuned for more minty fresh adventures! 😀

Warmly yours,

Maeghan