Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Test Swatch - I Command Thee!

Okay, so I never follow my own advice!! I felted the koala (sorry, I forgot to take a photo apparently - I'll post one tommorow). He's (it's?) very cute, but I didn't do a test swatch. The Galway felted fine - I knew it would. By the Kitten mohair didn't. So the inside of the koala's ears are goofy and the chest patch is really odd - and poofy. UGH! And, I don't really want to make another one, because the pattern was pretty fussy. Oh well!

Been working a bit on the 3 Kittens website, but I'm still having problems getting two of my photos to appear on the 3 Kittens Patterns page. I've tried using different photos, but I'm still having the same problem. The photos just won't download onto the site properly. The same photos did download onto the home page just fine, so what gives? I've tried changing the size of the photos and using different photos, but I just can't figure it out. Any ideas anyone?

I've been working on a crochet shrug out of Berroco Pronto that I picked up at 3 Kittens during our November sale. The pattern is a purchased one from Lion Brand's website. Normally, I would look for a pattern in the store or on, but I figured Lion Brand would probably have some easy, quick crochet with bulky yarn patterns - and I was right. Here's a photo of the back and the beginning of the sleeves:

The color doesn't look great in this photo. The yarn is actually a deep blue with a hint of green. It's really very pretty. The shrug is working up very quickly - yippee!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Felted Koala, Part 1

I started the Fiber Trends Felted Koala on Wednesday with the hopes of getting it complete for Australia Day, which was on Friday the 26th. It's a much more complicated pattern than the Hedgehog! Many more pieces and more sewing up at the end. Anyway, I didn't get it done for Australia Day - my daughter is way into Australia, so it was going to be a surprise for her. I finally finished the knitting and sewing up tonight (around 10:30 pm). Here's what it looks like pre-felting:

I used Plymouth Galway for the main color and Sandnesgarn Kitten for the mohair chest patch & inner ears (both from 3 Kittens) and some leftover Cascade 220 for the nose and feet. Tomorrow, I'll felt...

Monday, January 22, 2007


I've been knitting swatches the last few days for 3 Kittens. Here are some of the ones that I've completed.

Clockwise from the top, first is Noro Wakaba, a 100% cotton ribbon yarn. I don't think we have much in the store - I believe it is discontinued. It's a bear to work with, especially with pointy needles, but I love the reverse side fabric - it reminds me of a barnacle's shape. Next, is Berocco Cotton Twist which is a beautiful cotton yarn plied with rayon which gives it a lovely sheen (unfortunately, you can't see the color very well in this photo - it's a dark blue with black rayon). Third is Uruguay Chunky, a merino/alpaca/silk blend, from Queensland Collection. I really enjoyed working with this yarn. It has nice stitch definition and flows well. The last one is Caviar by Reynolds, an acrylic/wool blend plied with a strand of metallic thread. It is spun in a thick & thin texture and produces an interesting fabric.

One of my partners sent me a link to an article that you might find interesting. It's all about how mathmeticians are using crochet and knitting to make models of difficult-to-understand concepts for their students - particularly hyperbolic planes and Lorenz manifolds. The article can be viewed at I really want to make a hyperbolic plane at some point. Not sure what for, but I think it could make a cool decoration for the shop.

I've been doing a ton of work on the store website, I'd love to get everyone's reaction. I am having some difficulties uploading photos of our most popular patterns, Sam the Ram and Sue the Ewe, but I'll keep working on it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Moving On

Well, it's been a few days now since the marathon, and I'm feeling pretty good - still a little sore in the quads and the blisters are still there, but all-in-all o.k.

Thought I'd post a few photos today of Phoenix Knit and Needlepoint which I visited on the Saturday before the race. While there is a fairly large amount of space in the store, there wasn't a whole lot of knitting/crochet yarn in the store - of course, they don't need as much wool as we do up here! Except for felting wool, of course. They had a very large selection of needlepoint canvasses, and the owner has a wholesale line of canvasses called Tapestry Fair. No website, so I can't direct you there, but here are the photos.

The store did order several of our fabulous felted bag patterns by Sheryl Lange (if you haven't seen them yet, check out the 3 Kittens Design page), and I think 3 Kittens will probably purchase some of the Tapestry Fair patterns.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Big Day

Well, I did it! I "ran" the marathon. "Ran" is in quotes because the last six miles, I probably walked more than I ran! SIGH! But, I made it. Here are some photos - the first at mile 8 or so when Tom saw me for the first time and the second at the end with my coach, Mike Trudeau (who was great!).

It was a long, hard run in surprisingly cold weather - I think it was in the upper 20s or lower 30s at the start and probably in the upper 40s at the end. Kind of that in-between weather that it's hard to dress for... And, today, the day after, I'm a little sore but not too bad... My official race time was 6:05. My personal GPS watch (which pauses whenever I stop) came in at about 5:55. I had to stop at port-a-potties a few times and at a medical station for blister relief once, so that's where the difference came in. I wanted to run the marathon in 5:45, but I'm happy - especially since I was feeling so icky during those last six miles (nauseous, depleted).

O.K. - on to other stuff. On Saturday night, Team in Training hosts a pasta party for all of their participants. There is a program which includes John "the Penguin" Bingham and other things. During that program, the top ten fundraisers for the event are honored - and I was #1! I was surprised and a bit embarrassed. The head of Elite Racing said I had collected more money than any other single person in any of their events (or something along those lines). I had to go on stage to accept a sterling silver pendant and say a few words! I was given a special TNT #1 fundraiser bib to wear on the back of my jersey, which you can see in the 1st photo above. Plus, they kept giving me "gifts" - a TNT beach towel, a TNT teddy bear, a TNT water bottle, a Nike Watch, a PF Chang's Rock N Roll Marathon backpack, etc. Before the pasta party my door was adorned with a big purple star:

One of the best parts of the whole event was having Tom out on the course to cheer me on. He was able to meet up with me three times on the course - which is amazing in & of itself. Plus, he was there at the finish when I crossed the line. When I did the Nike marathon, Tom's sister Kristin was with me at the finish, and I didn't think I was going to have anyone here this time. Tom got his ticket just a week ago, and I'm so glad he did! It made the finish and everything else so much sweeter!

Over the next few days, I hope to get more photos of my camera and more photos from my teammates that I can post on my blog... Also, for those of you that are here because of my knitting content, I will post some photos soon from Phoenix Knit and Needlepoint which I visited on Saturday and photos of my almost finished crocheted baby sweater.

Friday, January 12, 2007


I'm in Phoenix (not-so-sunny and decidely cool) with my Team in Training team. We arrived around noon today, and after a nice lunch at Steve's Grill, we headed over to the Phoenix Civic Center to check in for the marathon (or half-marathon), get our timing chip, and explore the Expo. I've taken lots of photos, so here goes:

Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport

Spam Man at the Phoenix Airport (aka Patrick)

We're all having a fun time - but I'm exhausted. I haven't slept well for a week because of a nagging cough/cold. I'm hoping to get a good night's sleep tonight, because on Sunday morning, I have to get up at 4:45 am! Ugh!

Tomorrow morning, I'm going to try to visit a local yarn store, Phoenix Knit and Needlepoint Co. Then my husband, Tom, arrives to spend the rest of the weekend with me (except, of course, when I'm running the marathon).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Crochet Mania

Well, I'm getting ready to make my trip to Phoenix for P.F. Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon this Sunday. I'm a little nervous because I have a nagging cough from my cold last week. I'm hoping it will clear up enough to at least let me sleep well the night before the race... In the meantime, I'm trying to find a crochet project to take along with me. I already have a knitting project to take (my Sunrise Circle Jacket), but I wanted a crochet one for the plane particularly. I'm planning on making the cute little Asian-inspired jacket from Candi Jensen's 'Candy Babies.'
I'm having trouble picking a yarn to do it in, though. I've tried a couple of different yarns but I'm not happy with anything yet.

I first tried Utopia (far right), since acrylic is so easy to deal with for a new Mom. Oh, but I can't stand working with it! So then, I tried Cotton Twist by Berocco, but it doesn't have enough loft to fill in the gaps in the crochet - I want the fabric to be less holey, more solid. Next I'm going to try Bazic Wool by Classic Elite (100% superwash wool). If that doesn't work, I'll try Plymouth's Suri Merino (65% alpaca, 35% merino), then Classic Elite's Duchess (merino/viscose/cashmere/nylon/angora).
I also bought yarn for a crochet sweater for me, but I don't have the right size hook yet, so that will have to wait.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Done with the Scarf

I finished my felted crochet scarf. I wore it to 3 Kittens today and received lots of positive comments on it. Unfortunately, I left it at the store - oops! But I do have some photos of other things. Here's one of the sweater I'm currently working on (knitting):

This is the Sunrise Circle Jacket which was a subscriber's web pattern from Interweave Knits. Apparently, now you can get the pattern by signing up for Interweave's newsletter KnitNews. Anyway, I'm doing it out of Jo Sharp's Silk Road Aran Tweed in a very dark blue (looks black in the photo). The picture is of my first sleeve and part of the front of the body. The sleeve is actually a raglan, but it's really hard to tell from the photo because the edges kept rolling under...

Here's a photo of the Fiber Trends Hedgehog I completed a while ago for my son. It was made out of Paton's Classic Wool for the body (except for the paws which were done in scrap yarn - possbily Harrisville) and Lana Grossa Basics for the fur. I'm not enamored of the fur - I think it's too thin. We've gotten Naturally's Temptation which the pattern calls for at 3 Kittens, so the next one I make will use that, and I'm going to try Lite Lopi for the body, although I'm afraid it might be a bit too fuzzy.