31 March 2008

Actual FO!

I have actually made the effort to squeeze in some knitting time. I didn't take the time to photograph it at the beginning but here is an actual FO, some Red Dwarf socks for me.

Pattern: Red Dwarf socks
Yarn: Artyarns Supermerino
Needles: 2 size 4 circulars (did them 2 at a time)

Notes: After being disappointed by this yarn in terms of yardage, I was glad that it was enough to finish these socks. Although, I had to do 4 repeats of the fishtail lace and only 3 garter ridges because I was afraid that I wouldn't have enough yarn to do the 6 repeats and 5 garter ridges that the pattern specifies. (In the end, I had about 6 grams of yarn left from one skein but only 1 gram of yarn from the other skein.) I also find the bindoff a little tight. I did the bindoff with size 6 needles (after doing them on the size 4 needles the first time) so its not too bad *but* it is a little tough to get the cuff over the heel. Once the socks are on, there is no problem and the bindoff looks good with the garter ridge edge so I left it as is. (Considering I wove in the plies separately, there is no way I'm re-doing the bindoff again.)

I'm supposed to be in the Maryland area for MDS&W and I will finally meet, in person, the lovely sock designer herself, Cristi.

24 March 2008

Help Cure Cancer and Get Some Yarn and Good Karma in the Bargain

OK, so I haven't been posting much knitting these days in part because I've been training for the Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage, AK through Team in Training. Apparently, I am only capable of doing one non-work activity/hobby at a time. However, I want to combine my love of yarn with my goal to raise $5,100 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I have lost some loved ones to cancer and currently have a childhood friend struggling through cancer treatment. From what I've read, leukemia has been designated as a "gateway" cancer, namely that they think that once they figure out how to cure it that cure will lead to the development of cures for other cancers.

So how can you help cure cancer and get some yarn out of this? Well, I've decided to hold a contest of sorts. (Its my first-ever so bear with me.) Here are the rules:

-for every $10 you donate, your name goes in the pool of potential winners once
-for every $50 you donate, your name goes in the pool of potential winners six (6) times (that's 5 for each $10 you donated plus a bonus because I appreciate your sacrificing some yarn money for this cause)

-for every $100 that you wonderful knitters/crocheters/fiber lovers donate to my fundraising efforts, I will give away a skein of yarn (or perhaps a braid of roving) and maybe even a little surprise
-the drawing starts from scratch for each skein giveaway, so no more than 10 people will be in the running for any given skein
-at the very end, everyone who has donated and not previously won anything will be in the running for some surprise yarn

-keep in mind every donation is tax deductible (the money goes directly to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society), you are doing something that makes a tangible difference to someone fighting cancer (hence the good karma), and you might even get some yarn out of the deal (a 1-in-10 chance isn't too bad and the odds increase in your favor the more you give)

The winner at each $100 mark will be chosen by a random number generator. You will need to let me know when you donate that you are interested in being part of the contest. Email me at betzig AT gmail DOT com (change the words to symbols and remove all the spaces so you don't get a bounce-back) with your name and email. You can donate online or you can email me to get an address to send a check. When you win, I will send you an email to get your snail mail address.

The yarn to tempt you to donate is from Yarhahoy. We'll be starting with some lovely sock yarn in Coral Shock, appropriate name no?

Handpainted sock yarn
100% superwash merino
460 yards (more than enough for a pair of socks or a scarf/neckwarmer)
Gauge: Gauge: 7- 8 sts=1" on #1-#3
Retail price: $22.80 (and could be yours for a mere $10 donation)
The color is pretty true on my monitor but you can get a second opinion on Yarhahoy's site here.

One more thing, if you would like for me to run in honor of someone you know and love who has battled cancer (doesn't have to be leukemia or lymphoma or a blood cancer), please send me the name of that person. During the marathon I will be wearing the names (probably written on ribbons) of people who I am honoring by undertaking this challenge.

A little preview of the next skein up for the contest:


15 March 2008

Yarn diet out the window

So, I've decided I'm not going to Stitches East this year. Although very enjoyable, I think I'm ready for a new avenue. Well, it just so happens that the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival will occur the weekend I was planning on being in the area anyway. Is it me or is that a sign that I should go? Of course, I will be attending with the fabulous Pam, the very funny Amanda and I think I may even (finally) meet Cristi in person. It goes without saying, that first weekend of May will involve some serious yarn shopping.

Considering its already mid-March and I haven't really been swayed to break the diet, I thought waiting until May would be a no-brainer. However, I was tempted by the Yarnahoy sale. Her yarn is lovely and starting on March 17th she will shut down her shop for 2 months while she is in India. Even that alone was not enough to sway me. So why did I break down and buy yarn (and even some roving)? Because I am planning a blog contest!

I have never done a contest before so I'm thinking the easiest thing is to use a random number generator. The reason I'm having this contest is to bribe folks into making some donations for my fundraising efforts for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I'll figure out the details by the time the yarn arrives. Just wait until you see what I got for you.