Wednesday, September 14, 2011

random timing or masterful coincidence?

I recently received an email ad from Webs America's Yarn Store.  I like their prices on some things and all the orders I have ever placed with them have been handled efficiently and quickly.  I know some people have had issues, but I have not.  They have introduced Knitter's Pride knitting needles and crochet hooks. The knitting needles come in straights, dpns, circs and interchangeable circs.  The colored wood line is called Dreamz, the natural wood line is called Basicx,  the the nickle plated line is called Nova, the square wood line is called Cubic, the solid rosewood line is called Symfonie and the acrylic line is called Trendz.

First, the Dreamz, Nova and Trendz look to be the Knit Picks Options needles (which are also made in India, probably by the same company.) Knit Picks's Harmony line is multi-colored wood while the Webs  offering is single color needles with each size being a different color. The Novas look the same and the Trendz acryllcs  are in transparent colors, which I have suggested to Knit Picks in the past.  The perfectly clear acrylic Zephyrs in their line can be hard to look at, depending upon the needle size and the yarn you're using.

The cables and needle size markers and end stoppers look the same too.

I ordered 1 pair of Cubic and a cable because I have heard so many glowing reports about the comfort and great stitch consistency that the use of  square needles. I suspect that the cables will be interchangeable with the Options ones of which I have a plethora. If they are, I will likely be purchasing from Webs because their price point on the acrylics is over  $10 less and if I don't increase my interchangeable stash with the Cubic line, I probably get some Trendz.

The most interesting thing about this offering from Webs is the timing.  Kelley and Bob  at Knit Picks are taking more of a support role there, now and Bob's son is at the helm. I understand from a podcast a while ago, that he's been there for about a year learning the business and integrating into his new career, but now, he's  really the decision maker.  I can't help but think Webs timed this perfectly to leverage  sales  away from Knit Picks.  Maybe not, but if not, it's a remarkable coincidence.

I'll review the Cubic needles after they arrive.

Monday, September 12, 2011

new blog for foodies

A few members of my Grace family have just started a new blog.  I love them and I know this blog will delight you if you're a foodie and like to share in the discovery of beauty and fine dining. The bloggers are Chris Ruel, Miriana Ruel (Chris's wife of just over a year) and Scott Ruel (Chris's brother.)

As of tonight, there are 2 posts. I hope you will enjoy the blog as much as I know I will.

church sign for 9/11 week

This was a tough week and yesterday (by 8 minutes) was the toughest. We're a stone's throw from NYC and just a few hours from Shanksville, PA. Everyone knows someone who lost someone or lost someone themselves.  I checked with Pastor Jeff before putting anything on our sign this week. (I had been buffeted by rain storm after rain storm after hurricane and not updated our sign for several weeks.) Pastor said he was going to preach about 9/11.  We talked a short while about the additional aspects of the day that believers need to remember. Here's what I posted this week.

In triumph and tragedy
Our hope is in the Lord

tsc bobbled hoodie

I was hoping this hoodie would have been done last week, but I haven't had as much time as I'd have liked to knit, crochet, sew or ... play the guitar. I have made very good progress, though.  I'm about a third of the way into the raglan shaping of both sleeves. The front and back are done. I think there was an errata in the instructions for the placket through which the i-cord will be laced, but we'll see.  The only thing I will have to knit after the sleeves will be the hood, which may be a perfect size or it could require some adjustment. I don't want a gigantic hood on this short sleeve hoodie.
It's hard to see how textured this hoodie is, but it's got a row of bobbles spaced at either 7  or  13 stitches apart every 10th row.  Apart from the ribbing, placket and i-cord, the bobble pattern is over the entire garment. I'm not using the TSC yarn. I found a great deal on Knit One Crochet Too Wick, a soy/ polypropylene blend that is rumored to wick moisture away. So, this is a warm weather hoodie.  It would be nice to wear it a time or 2 if we have some Indian Summer days.  I will take pictures of it before and during blocking and then, assembled.

How's the yarn?  Well, it's interesting. Once washed and blocked, it's softer than during knitting. It's the tiniest bit splitty and very snaggy, much like silk.  You need smooth hands and slippery needles to enjoy knitting with this yarn.  I think I paid a little more than a dollar a skein when I bought 20 skeins from an eBay seller. So, the cost of this garment will balance the cost of some garments I recently made and am making out  of  Claudia handpainted fingering.  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

last purchases at Borders

It's a shame that Borders is closing forever. Our neighborhood one will close in a couple days.  It was a very convenient book store/cafe in the same mall as our local grocery store, JoAnn Fabrics, TJ Maxx, Bed Bath and Beyond, CVS, Michaels, Dress Barn, etc. just a mile or 2 away.  E-Rex liked to sip coffee there every so often, and I loved that I could get iced coffee made with a cold brewing method.

In these waning days, I couldn't help but go over to see what I could find at a bargain price.  A few weeks ago I picked up a couple magazines and an Interweave Press hefty one called 101 Patchwork Projects and Quilts 2011. I wouldn't have purchased it at full price but I think it was somewhere between 50% and 60% off. Since I'm knitting for me this year (which is making me feel a bit guilty, but I'll get over it) I will be sewing  a good number of Christmas gifts.  This bookish magazine has tons of small but interesting projects for gift giving.  (When I'm done blogging tonight, I will be stash diving to match projects with fabric I have.) So, that was a great acquisition.

A friend who does not read this blog - or at least I don't think she does - collects vintage Barbies.  Last week I found a book called I (heart) Ken, My Life as the Ultimate Boyfriend.
I think she'll like it. I know she has a Ken or 2 from her childhood -- very vintage. At the crazy 80% off price, it will be a little "extra" with her Christmas gift.

I poked around the music and craft books after I found the Ken book.  I found Twinkle Chan's Crochet Goodies for Fashion Foodies. It has some hilarious projects - surely not all to my liking, but I can think of a few people who would find a food scarf a welcome, funny fashion statement. Stay tuned for news of which one(s) I make.

I also found a book that I picked up and put back 3 times because of its title, Vampire Knits by Genevieve Miller. Any of you who know me well, know that the Vampire bit was bothering me.  Hey, I don't go to Starbuck's because their logo is a siren!  So, Genevieve Miller got some designers together to create designs themed around the whole Twilight phenomenon.  I haven't and won't read the books or see the movies. I don't do pagan. So there I am in Borders, it's closing and I can grab this book of knitting patterns, several of which are appealing if I can look past the names and inspiration. What to do? Well, I paced around a while.  I concluded that it was better for me to purchase the last copy of the book at that location because I would not be the least bit drawn into anything dark by it, as some might be.  So, I bought it. 

Then, with books in hand, I sifted through a very untidy shelf of "stuff." Lo and behold, I found a set of interchangeable  wax seals. No joke!  I'm sure they were sold for scrap booking, but they would work fine for sealing correspondence. The set I purchased included a handle that had a screw on bezel and a selection of "baby" themed coins, or seals: carriage, foot prints, rocking horse and birthday cake.  I also found some individual coins (the term for the part of the seal that impresses the wax): thank you, heart and a bouquet.  These are not high end, but I like the interchangeability. I have a few other interchangeable sets and at the ridiculous price, it was a nobrainer for me.  

This isn't the set I purchased, but my heart and birthday cake are pictured in this set.  The big surprise was that the sealing wax contained in the set was Stuart Houghton, which surprised me.  Usually, sets contain the junky sealing wax that's really like melted crayons with a little resin in it.  Not good for anything.

I did very well on all these purchases.  I didn't need any of them, but I will make good use of the things I purchased for me and I think my friend will like Ken as much as Barbie does.

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