Deep South Shop Hop: Stop One, McNeedles, Lacombe, LA, June 26, 2015

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A few weeks ago, I received a promotional e-mail from McNeedles, which is located in a small town across the lake about 45 minutes outside of New Orleans, that they would be having a kickoff party on June 26th as part of a yarn crawl in which they were participating along with four other shops.  For customers who complete the entire crawl by obtaining all five stamps on the passport, there are two prizes:  an Addi interchangeable set (which I don’t need since I already have one), and a basket with yarn goodies from each of the shops (which I also don’t need since my yarn stash has taken over the back bedroom).

Knit Addict Co-Worker frequents McNeedles, and I have been there before, although less frequently.  We agreed that we were going to go to the party.  I thought about it more and decided that I wasn’t going to stop there and I was going to complete the entire Shop Hop.  Even though I don’t need either prize.  (Knit Addict was not so ambitious).  Since my office is on the way, Valiant Husband picked me up after work and we met Knit Addict at the shop, which was staying open after hours for the party.  After acquiring the first stamp on my passport and helping myself to some of the chicken fingers and Texas toast that were set out in the kitchen, I browsed the yarn.

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I was looking for a few specific things and I did luck out.  They regularly carry yarn in Mardi Gras colors, however, the sock weight had been out of stock since before my cruise in April.  Knit Addict checked for me at least twice.  This time I lucked out!  The Yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in the “Mardi Gras” color.  I also wanted something blue and gold to match the colors of the dance group I am joining, and found a skein of Zen Yarngarden Serenity Glitter Sock in the “Sandbox” color.  I have also had my eye on the Zen Yarngarden Serenity 20 in the “Blue Hawaii” color for the Ho’okipa Shawl.  Sorry the photo really doesn’t do the colors justice!

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Each shop is also giving out a free goodie and McNeedles had a luggage tag.  They gave one to Valiant Husband, but I don’t think he is going to be using it!  He said something about giving his to Uptown Girl.

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So it was an enjoyable and successful expedition to McNeedles.  Even though I wound up with more yarn I didn’t need!  And even more, since I won the door prize, which was two skeins of Plymouth Linaza.  It has a very nice feel to it, and I might acquire one more color, either the cream color or the raspberry color, and make a Color Affection shawl.

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Then it was on to the next shop!

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Dog Days of Summer, Already

Except for the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup win, there has been little excitement in my world lately.  The heat and humidity of the South Louisiana summer has set in, in full force.  Since we did the cruise back in April and we are going to Chicago in September (involving splurges on a hotel room downtown and club level tickets to the Bears game) we don’t have any trips planned to break up the season.  I worked crazy overtime for three weeks straight.  Valiant Husband worked out of town for a week, inspecting the levees outside of Baton Rouge in the aforementioned weather, with a busted work boot.  (This is your tax dollars at work, folks!)

As far as knitting I have been trying to get some things OFF the needles so I have an excuse to put something ON.  With little success.  I have my first sock this close to finished but cannot start the next one because I don’t have the size larger needles needed for the cast-on, on my person.  I even looked back at my blog post from when I started the first sock to make sure of what I did, because I remembered having to start over three or four times during the trial and error process, and I really prefer not to reinvent the wheel if I don’t have to.

I am joining an amateur dance group that marches at Mardi Gras wearing corsets and frilly skirts and Marie Antoinette wigs and eye masks.  But since Mardi Gras is not until February there is not much going on with that yet.

In other words, the dog days of summer seem to be here when it has just barely started.  I promise knitting news soon, with lovely pictures including drool-worthy yarn porn.  Right now I am at a friend’s daughter’s softball tournament, in rural Louisiana, waiting out a 90-minute rain delay without book or knitting.  In other words I am Bored Out of My Skull and have little to do except blog about my lack of things to blog about.  Better sign off before my phone dies and I bore you out of your skulls!

More Yarn I Didn’t Need

The other day Valiant Husband mentioned that he had received a flyer in the mail that the yarn shop was having another sale.  Determined to be a good Megan, I shrugged it off.  I told Valiant Husband I do not need any more yarn right now.  I only have seven large bins full of the stuff, cramping up our back room.  And there several other things I need to be spending my money on before I buy more yarn.  If I were to only use yarn in my stash I probably would not need to go anywhere near a yarn store for about two or three years.  At least.

Then I received an e-mail from Helpful Shop Owner explaining that there was baby yarn included in the sale, along with some other yarns I had been wanting to work with.  This being several days later, the incident involving the flyer was conveniently forgotten by that point.  I decided I had to check out the sale.  Hence, I rushed over after work on the first day of the sale, since this happened to be the one day she keeps her store open after business hours.  Although the baby yarn didn’t turn out to be something I wanted to add to my stash since it was mint green and not enough for a blanket, and I already have some mint green baby yarn in my stash, of course I found a few other things.

There was enough of this Crystal Palace Mini Mochi to make the Ho’okipa Shawl which I have had my eye on for ages.  Possibly.  I was looking for a Hawaiian blue but this might work.  And it really caught my eye anyway.  Owner and I agreed that we cannot understand why the color is called “Blueberry Pancake.”

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I have also been wanting to work with Panda Silk and found this neutral tan color that will be useful and versatile even if it’s not the prettiest shade.  It does have a nice sheen.  And I think whatever socks I make with it will feel lovely.  Although cashmere and wool feel so soft and cozy, I think the silk and bamboo content of the Panda Silk will be practical for me since I don’t often need anything warm.

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I also found a few colors of Panda Cotton, another yarn which should make some practical socks.  I think I will get some use out of the blue color which might look nice with dark jeans.  There were some socks in my 365 Days of Knitting Patterns calendar that I wanted to make with a grayish color so I got that shade too.  I got four skeins of the yellow color because I might make the Gingko Crescent shawl with it, which I have also had my eye on for ages but haven’t seen just the right yellow that the gingko leaves turn in the fall.  Or maybe not.  I hemmed and hawed over the Panda Cotton at first because I was not sure I liked the texture of it, but for the sale price I decided to try it for socks since the shades available were good sock colors.  I am not sure whether I like it as much for a shawl.  But I could totally work with the yellow color for socks.

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Bad Megan…  No more yarn shopping!  I mean it!

My Latest Obsession

For the last few weeks, since the birth of Princess Charlotte, I have been able to think of almost nothing else besides my first pattern which I am designing.  Although I suspected from the get-go that the Princess’ lovely blanket was manufactured rather than hand knit, I found photographs in the news articles that showed a close-up of the lace design and figured it would be easy enough to puzzle out the pattern.

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I have enjoyed this venture into the more technical aspect of knitting and I MAY be inspired to try to create an original pattern rather than one that is reverse-engineered.  I have not so much enjoyed all of the trial and error involved.  I am not sure I would have been able to do it at all, and certainly not as quickly as I did, if I was not working on the Royal Look baby blanket which uses a similar technique to create the lace motifs, and if I had not found the Bunny Foo Foo pattern which also has a similar motif.  First I had to knit a strip with some waste yarn in my stash to fiddle with it and figure out the motifs in the pattern.

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Then I had Valiant Husband make some graph paper when I was ready to start charting it out.

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I am in the middle of knitting another test strip to get the gauge with the actual yarn and needles so I can determine how many times the motif should repeat and finalize the chart.  I will share a link once I have the pattern available on Ravelry.  I plan to do both written instructions and a chart for the lace panel.  Someone already designed the Well Received blanket and beat me to it, but mine will be slightly different.  Considering that someone had a pattern for the Princess Bonnet within two days, I wanted to be the first person on Revelry to design the blanket, but I have also been trying to get the Royal Look blanket and Love Socks off the needles so I can delve into my stash and start something else.  Too much to knit…too little time.

I’m Back!

I apologize for the long delay since my last post.  I’ve been caught up with good stuff like a week long cruise from New Orleans to Cozumel, Belize and Honduras for my birthday.  A couple of new authors I have been enjoying.  Several projects on and off the knitting needles.  And a husband whose age has finally caught up with him when he flunked the eye exam to renew his drivers license and had to get glasses.  Even though he only has to wear them for driving at night.  He doesn’t understand what it’s like to have worn them since fourth grade!

Anyway the cruise was fabulous and I was ready to jump right back on the boat.  We left from the French Quarter where there was a big festival going on and it was even more fun with all the people to wave to.  The staff made a huge fuss over me for my birthday and apparently it was a very popular birthday because I heard them singing to six or seven other people at dinner.  Valiant Husband arranged for decorations and wine in our cabin and a cake for dessert.  I had no problem lounging around on the days at sea.  And I enjoyed the food and shopping in the ports.

  
 
  

 
So it was officially the Best Birthday Ever.  Unfortunately the royal baby was ten days late instead of ten days early…I was hoping to share my birthday with a princess!  But I was inspired by the lovely blanket that Princess Charlotte was presented in so I am working on designing my first pattern.  More about that soon.  Goodnight for now!

Day at the Races

Yesterday was a break from my usual weekend routine of knitting, watching “Bar Rescue” reruns, and procrastinating on chores, to continue the tradition that Valiant Husband and I have established of attending the Louisiana Derby every year.  This was no hardship considering it was 72 degrees and sunny outside, with no humidity.  We didn’t win any money but we aren’t big gamblers anyway.  We enjoy it more for something different to do, and as an excuse to wear hats!

  

 

Back to the knitting and reruns and procrastinating today…  Cut a girl some slack as far as the procrastinating though.  My group was down to two secretaries instead of four this week.  So I filled in for Nervous Ninny who called in a panic asking how late I could stay because she had dozens of things to get out, and worked for four attorneys instead of two and dealt with multiple emergencies at once as well as attorneys who tried to bear with the situation but each still thought his own emergency should take precedence.  Then Nervous Ninny called again on Friday panicking that she was expecting to be out again all this week as well…

Valiant Husband offered to skip the Derby but there was no way I was doing that!