Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Off the Needles: Cowl for a Friend

This was a last-minute gift for a friend. I've lost the tag for the yarn, but I think it's an alpaca/wool blend (or maybe just alpaca) that I bought at one of the Carolina Fiber Fests. The yarn is a twist of grey and charcoal. It's very soft and cuddly and should keep my friend warm.

Here's a close-up of the cowl. I cast on 152 stitches and alternated 4 rows of k4 p4 with 4 rows of p4 k4 to achieve a checkerboard effect. Because the yarn is so soft and fuzzy the pattern doesn't stand out sharply, but think the effect is more pebbly and interesting.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Talk in Chapel Hill

This weekend Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (the "Yarn Harlot") came to Chapel Hill to talk and teach. As a present to myself I signed up for it and had a front row seat at her Friday night talk. For most of the two hours I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. If knitters had a comedy club, then Stephanie would be the headliner. She did get serious talking about how we knitters need to be doing a better job presenting ourselves and our work to the non-knitting world and not dismissing the importance of what we do. But most of the talk kept the audience in stitches (pun intended). Although she says public speaking makes her uncomfortable, she is a wonderful speaker and a great ambassador for the knitting community. I have been following her blog for some time, so I'm glad I had a chance to hear her in person. Thinking back at some of her stories, I'm still laughing.

Here's a photo Stephanie took of the audience. I'm on the front row, 3rd from the right: