Category Archives: Fiber

My Baker’s Dozen


If you don’t give a hoot about my problems, and really? who could blame you! Please feel free to skip down to where you see #mybakersdozen – that’s were it gets good.

 

I have worried over this post, the first post in a long time, the way an old Italian grandmother worries over sauce. I have written, erased, edited, trimmed, fluffed and dismantled every word at least once without much success. It turns out that what I want to do is really quite simple, even if the circumstances that have gotten me here are not. So bear with me if you can and I’ll try not to ramble.

So here it goes.

This has been the hardest year of my life. I could talk about the struggles that my friends, family and myself have endured but it’s a long freaking list and really, you don’t need to know it all. The one main thing I will discuss is that Trevor and I had to let go of the dream of being parents.

My MS has gotten worse in the 32 months since my diagnosis and in November we were told I was losing functionality in my right leg – my good leg. While the chemotherapy seems to be keeping new lesions from forming, the 22 buddies I already have squatting in my brain and spine are pissy little buggers. We are currently working our way through a variety of immunosuppressant drugs to try to prevent any more loss of function in my leg (where the majority of my problems reside) but the more we go through the harsher they become.

The way my treatment is going there is no way I would have a successful after-pregnancy; most MS patients see a vast improvement when pregnant but once the baby comes, well, mama might be screwed with a 76% increase of having the worst exacerbation to date. To top off that crap pie I would also have to start my chemo within 24hrs of birth, and it was with this news that we decided that parenthood wasn’t going to happen.

Losing this hurts in a place I didn’t know was exsited until it was. It was that split second of understanding that life wasn’t going to go the way I wanted it to go that broke a little piece of me, that place that hurts now. Typically I can laugh off anything, I can shake off bad news with the vigor of a wet dog but this one, I just can’t. I knew I had to sit down and figure out how to live with the awful knowledge, how to get back to who I was.

I threw dozens of ideas out there; all the things that I found interesting and wanted to learn more about were fair game, but to be honest, most of them were rubbish. *and yes, I am an American using the word rubbish, but I have a degenerative neurological disorder, so get off my case! 😉 * There were so many half realized ideas, they all had some potential but none of them were working. I wanted to find something that gave me a feeling of purpose again, a feeling that I could use this otherwise wasted maternal instinct to, perhaps, better the world. It’s a lofty thought but hey, why not dream big? This was the realization of the #mybakersdozen

#mybakersdozen

Here it is. Finally!

Once the little thought nugget of knitting for others for a year entered my mind it never left, it grew. I felt like it was an opportunity to make a small difference in the world, to cast little bits of light on others because isn’t that what all mothers do? Cast out the shadows and make you feel warm, safe and loved? That’s how my Mom has always made me feel, and while I will never get to do that for my own child, I might be able to do it for others.

Starting December 1st I will spend 13 months doing nothing but knitting for others.*I decided to go with 13 months because I lose so much time with the chemotherapy treatments and who doesn’t enjoy a little cushion?*

The rules I have set for myself are very simple

  1. I cannot knit for myself unless the project was started before 12/1/2017 because I need the bags and needles
  2. I will not buy any yarn*

*I will not be buying any yarn in 2017, but there is no way to keep yarn from coming into this house. Everyone who knows me buys me yarny things and I’m not going to discourage that. But fair warning, that yarn may be for someone else 🙂

So simple really, I want to see if I can bring a little light into the world. Spread a little love to find my way back to myself.

I want list is much bigger. I want to highlight knitters on Instagram who make me smile. I want to send gifts to people who inspire me, who help me not only find a creative outlet but also the thing that brings me peace. I want to highlight a charity each month and have projects that coincide – the problem with this is that once I started researching charities I found loads that I love and would want to share. I want to send handwritten letters and take the time to tell people how they make me feel, which is normally like being wrapped in a hand knit blanket…with handmade socks, tea, a roaring fire, classical music and my cat on my lap not being an a**hole.

There will be more posts, more updates and if this grows (like I’m dreaming it will) more and more love to share. I have only one expectation – that one person, yes one, will see/read/hear about this in the next 13 months and suddenly feel a little kinder, a little more like giving to others.

A Month of Knitting: Part 2


For someone who complains about having no time to knit, I sure get a lot of it done! There is this space of time, usually when I am at my mother and father-in-law’s house that things just seem to get done. Most of the Instagram  pics I take are there, although my blanket tends to go where I go. If you are interested in seeing what I am doing in real time, I suggest Instagram – that seems the easiest way to keep up with knitting. Plus, there is always awesome eye candy there. 😉

Okay, so here we go.

Opal Socks.

Opal Socks.

Patons Socks

Patons Socks

Trevor and I's Matching Socks.

Trevor and I’s Matching Socks.

  • Pattern: All variations on The Knitmore Girl’s Vanilla Socks. (#sockswithsarah)
  • Yarn: Opal Bicolor in 5503 (being discontinued), Patons Kroy FX in Cameo Colors, Patons Kroy Stripes in Blue Gray Marl.
  • Verdict? : I love making socks, I just love it. These are my brainless knitting socks – I just cast on and go with it. Trevor finally got his first pair of socks and it chomping at the bit for a another pair – I am so happy to oblige!

Afterthought Heel

Afterthought Heel

  • Pattern: AfterThought Heel Socks by Laura Linneman
  • Yarn: Patons Kroy Stripes in Bramble Stripes
  • Verdict? : I love how the afterthought heel looks, but making it was a little unnerving. I didn’t do a true afterthought heel (where you…shiver….cut your knitting) but rather where you place waste yarn and join. The second sock went much smoother that the first, by then I had figured out that I needed to pick up more stitches to avoid any unsightly holes. I am going to wear these socks as much as possible before I do another pair – they just don’t seem a sturdy as a gusset. But the pattern itself was written very well and it was fun to try something new.

I like filters…teehee

I like filters…teehee

16 Cable Hat

16 Cable Hat

  • Pattern: 16 Sixteen Cable Hat by Circé Belles Boucles
  • Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Worsted in Plum Heather
  • Verdict? : I LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern. There are really only four cable rows (five if you do the slouchy, which I did) and the effect is so dramatic. I had purchased this pattern forever ago and *slouching with disgust* forgot about it. I was surfing patterns one night and was like “Why can’t I have money to buy this beautiful pattern! Blast!” – before I realized that I already owned the pattern. The hat took two days to make and as soon as I bound off I wanted to cast on again, and again, and again. Five stars to this pattern!

Love Train

Love Train

  • Pattern: Love train by Susan Ashcroft
  • Yarn: Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight Solids in Charcoal
  • Verdict? : Since this is the third Susan Ashcroft pattern I’ve made in a month there is obviously not enough good things to say about her stuff. I got this ebook from a friend who wanted two of the four shawls made for her. (I promised I would not take photos of her finished objects as she is claiming she made them herself 😉 ). The yarn wasn’t great, but it was far from bad. All in all this shawl, which is going to be a very merry Christmas present for ______ cost about $5.00. It is nice and stretchy and the yarn is very soft, not to shabby!

Mikado Cowl

Mikado Cowl

  • Pattern: Mikado Cowl by Susan Ashcroft (I am sensing a pattern here)(HA! PUN!)
  • Yarn: Red Heart Super Soft in Seafoam
  • Verdict?: LOVE! Just another Stitchnerd design that made me fingers sing. I actually made this in one day, I just kept thinking that I had to see it finished as soon as possible! I have already given this one to a friend and my Mom wants two more to give as Christmas presents. It’s a great deal – she buys the yarn and I get to knit the pattern and throw a card into her package.

25 Hexipuffs

25 Hexipuffs

  • Pattern: Beekeeper’s Quilt by Stephanie Dosen
  • Yarn: Oh so many….
  • Verdict? : Needs its own blog post.

So there is March’s finished objects. There are always other things chilling on my needles that I haven’t shown yet, but hopefully I will be back soon. The most important thing about blogging/knitting/spinning is that you can’t allow it to make you feel guilty – it’s here to be enjoyed. Friends and neighbors, I am going to try to remember that blogging is fun again and I hope to see you again soon.

So, What’s in the Box?


It has been a … less than stellar day, which means it is the perfect day to share something awesome.

A little while ago (during my B.A.D.D. period) I was at work when I received this picture from my Mom, Dad and husband….

What's in the Box?

What’s in the Box?

No one would tell me what was sitting in my living room – or what was in the box. I thought that it was a book Trevor and I had been trying to sell. Finding the right seller for rare books can be difficult and tedious, and we have a doozey we found at a garage sale.

Of course I got mandated at work that night, and after 16 hours all I could do was come home and crash. To be honest, I forgot all about the box. I even forgot doing the horrible impersonation of Brad Pitt from the movie Seven when he yells “what’s in the box?” (spoiler: it was a head). The terrible impression made from hours 4 through 11 in my shift were soon forgotten after that the sucky-ness of work caught up with us and well … we all forgot.

Trevor had been twitchy all week and all I thought his second job was catching up with him. With his Dad being sick and working all the time of course he couldn’t remain the Zen Master of the Universe. It’s still strange that I thought that though – because the only other time if our eleven year relationship where I have seen him twitch like that is before he proposed.

So when I came home one night, this is what I found sitting in my living room … no longer in the box …

My first spinning wheel!!!!!

My first spinning wheel!!!!!

My first spinning wheel! The present, from my family, was a (very) early 30th birthday present. As it turns out, everyone was waiting to see my response to the gift – so much so that I spent two hours on the phone before I could even sit down and look at my new toy. The wheel is an Ashford Spinning Wheel Kiwi 2 and unfinished – which is perfect. Everything about it is perfect – except my spinning 😉

Here goes nothing

Here goes nothing

So friends and neighbors, who are also spinners, I am begging for any tips/tricks/advice on how to make the perfect yarn for my perfect family!

No pressure 😉

 

 

The Ravellenic Games Main Event Project!


I joined the Ravellenic Games for the first time this year and I went all out for Team Sasquatch! My main event was Event Shawl, but I also signed up for Event Charity, Event Single Skein and Event Modular (which was a huge mistake but more on that another day).

My main event was to knit a shawl. Since my disgrace with the Fiori Autunalli by Rosemary Hill I have been downright scared of knitting lace. Did I mention the disgrace came from 1. Reading the wrong chart 2. knitting the wrong chart 3. switching rows while knitting the wrong chart and 4. frogging about 1,000 sts in tears at my LYS? Word to the wise friends and neighbors, don’t knit when you’re too tired to remember your middle name!

Anyway, here I am rambling again! I choose for my Games piece a shawl knitted in worsted, I felt like it was my knitting equivalent of a nightlight. So The Lonely Tree Shawl by Silvia Bolvia (which is not only amazing fun to knit but FREE on Ravelry) seemed like the perfect choice. I gathered up some Caron Simply Soft in Dark Sage from my yarn stash and was off!

Humble Little Beginnings

Humble Little Beginnings

I was going really slow until the leaves started to emerge, trying to remember that lace knitting is only as hard as I let it be in my head. Once I got to this point I felt kinda confident.

(Disclaimer: Some lace knitting really is freakishly difficult, my problem lies in my lack of confidence after mucking up the same pattern so many times.)

and it kept growing….

and it kept growing….

and growing...

and growing…

Before I knew it, it was time to bind the bad boy off. I felt bad for not picking a harder, more involved project at this point though. I know that point of the games is/was to challenge yourself, and I stand by my reasoning that I had to conquer my fear of lace – otherwise the Fiori is never going to get done.

But my shawl is done!

Blocking

Blocking

High Def filter - I love the leaves!

High Def filter – I love the leaves!

Leaves! Done correctly!

Leaves! Done correctly!

It's about 350 yards - much bigger than it looks.

It’s about 350 yards – much bigger than it looks.

Aww….Happy Place!

Aww….Happy Place!

So there you have it friends and neighbors, the first leg of my Ravellenic journey came to an end. I’ve already given the shawl to a friend. I forgot to take a picture on the mannequin but I gotta tell you – giving away something that gave me a little confidence was pretty epic!

Happy Tuesday!

All Aboard the Hogwarts Express!


Since my last post was very word heavy, lets make this one picture heavy shall we? I tried to take pictures of the progress of my Hogwarts Express Shawl by Susan Ashcroft. It was a lovely gift from a friend for my birthday – no worries if your reading this, I will keep your identity safe. 🙂 I used Malabrigo Sock Yarn  (my first time working with Malabrigo – also a gift) in Cordovan. Any other information you would like to know about my project – or the minuscule tweaks I made with 440 yards of this luxurious yarn, click HERE.  Otherwise, let me let the pictures talk for themselves.

The Yarn was already caked.

The Yarn was already caked.

The set-up with my yarn pet.

The set-up with my yarn pet.

Lovely, calming garter stitch.

Lovely, calming garter stitch.

The yarn is oh so pretty.

The yarn is oh so pretty.

Garter section is done

Garter section is done

The owls have eyes - all 34 of them!

The owls have eyes – all 34 of them!

Max does not like being stared at.

Max does not like being stared at.

Completed at 4am

Completed at 4am

I can't quit taking it's picture.

I can’t quit taking it’s picture.

On the bed in the basement

On the bed in the basement

Still pretty darn stunning

Still pretty darn stunning – and my favorite picture.

Friends and neighbors, I love this shawl!!

12337697853_15a9f5a5d0_o

The Incredibly Heartbreaking Story of How I Came By My First Skein of Malabrigo


Has there every been a time in your life that you really, truly wished there were hidden cameras recording the moment for posterity? Well on January 29th such a day happened to me at my new Local Yarn Store. I want to share with you the story as close to verbatim as I can, because the incredible oddness of it was blessedly unique.

~Setting the Stage~

I was sitting at a long table at the front of the shop. I had come in for a bar of Lo-lo to Go (which was 75% off) but remained lingering – throughly content to fondle the yarn and work on my pattern.

A woman comes in through the back entrance with a cake of (yummy) yarn in her hand. The weather is crummy, we are actually just a few hours from getting 10.5″ of more snow and she was obviously in a hurry. Here is the conversations that ensued. 

  • Woman: I would like to return this please. I don’t have the tags but I remember what it is and I should be in your system.
  • Clerk: I am so sorry but we cannot accept returns on yarn that has been caked.
  • Woman: ….
  • Clerk:  I wish that there was something I could do but there is no way to inventory it.
  • Woman: ….
  • Clerk: If you’d like I can suggest a pattern for you to…
  • Woman: I only buy one project worth of yarn at a time and I decided not to do a project with sock yarn. I am going to use worsted yarn, so I cannot use this.
  • Clerk: (makes desperate eye contact with yours truly) I am sure that we can modify the pattern you are doing so you can use sock yarn. Let me have a look, Rachel – what do you think.
  • Me: I love modifying things!

I walk over to the checkout counter and the strap on my purse breaks, spilling the contents of my purse all over the floor. I laugh but the woman is looking at me strangely, strangely enough that it actually makes  me nervous. The clerk is pulling up the pattern on Ravelry when the woman turns her full attention to me….

  • Woman: What’s your name?
  • Me: Rachel, what’s yo….(cut off)
  • Woman: Do you have a stash?
  • Me: Um, yes I d…(cut off)
  • Woman: Do you knit with sock yarn?
  • Me: Yes. (I have temporarily given up on more than one word answers)
  • Woman: Do you like this yarn?
  • Me: Yes, it’s lovel….(cut off)
  • Woman: Do you have a project that could use this yarn to the best of it’s abilities?
  • Me: Um…
  • Woman: A pattern. Do you have one planned?
  • Me: Yes.
  • Woman: What is it?
  • Me: The Hogwarts Express Shawl
  • Woman: And who is it by?
  • Me: Susan Ashcroft.
  • Woman: When did you buy the pattern?
  • Me: I didn’t. It was a gift for my birthday from a very dear f….(cut off).
  • Woman: When was your birthday?
  • Me: December 27th…? (at this point I wasn’t sure)
  • Woman: Let me see your queue.

At this point the store clerk is staring at me with open mouth amazement. She hands me her iPad and I pull up my queue. There was the message from my gifter and the pattern.

  • Woman: Here you are. (She’s handing me the freaking cake)
  • Me: I cannot just take this, at least let me buy your worsted yarn (I didn’t have the money for this, but I was flummoxed and I did owe her one).
  • Woman: Do I look poor to you?
  • Me: Uhhh…No. (she didn’t – but then neither do I)
  • Woman: I can afford my own yarn thank you. Here are the specifications on the yarn (she pulls a scrap of paper out of her purse). Just do me a favor.
  • Me: Uhh….anything!
  • Woman: Let this be your next finished project. Go home and cast it on, and use it. I hate languishing yarn.
  • Me: Okay…

At this point she turns back to the befuddled store clerk and lists, which such precise clarity the yarn brand/weight/name/quantity that she needs. The clerk all but runs away to go get the items the woman asked for, leaving me alone with the woman. I was planning on thanking her again and giving her my Ravelry name so she could see the FO when she said….

  • Woman: My daughter was on Xanax.

I am confused, then I realize that when my purse spilled open my own anti-anxiety medication bottle fell out of my purse – she must have seen it.

  • Woman: She committed suicide several years ago when she quit taking her medicine. She lost her job and lost interest in everything she did – I didn’t notice.
  • Me: I am so sorry….
  • Woman: Can you do me one more favor?
  • Me: Anything.
  • Woman: Tell the people you love to pay attention if you cannot list, on the spot, something you are passionate about. To pay attention if you quit doing something you so obviously love. Tell them to pay attention.
  • Me: I promise.

Friends and neighbors, thank you for letting me share this story.

I’ve Knit 2.53 MILES this Year?


This is ridiculous, right? I mean I do actually have a life, two jobs, friends and family – but I double checked the numbers and they are correct. Thanks to Knitmeter.com I have mathematical proof that I have knit 2.53 miles/ 4451 yards/ 4070 meters. Yowzer boss.

Here is the most recent collection of things I have knit since 2014 began.

My Favorite Beanie

My Favorite Beanie

12218079056_39e5b974b6I decided to knit something I had already knitted once before, the Orchids and Fairy Lights beanie by Tiny Owl Knits. I bought this pattern ages ago (if you’ve read my blog before, this is the beanie that got me to quit complaining about my silly hand and start knitting again.) I know the pattern is for sale through Tiny Owl Knits, but I don’t think that it is in Stephanie Dosen’s book Woodland Knits – if I am wrong please correct me – although the book is equally amazing! I used Lions Brand Superwash Merino Cashmere (which I found at the infamous garage sale last year). I added another repeat this time to give it more stretch and frankly I am still in love with it.

**** **** **** **** **** ****

Another Design

Another Design

12139150515_34c595c149

Since I have been knitting leg warmers almost non-stop since the whole Polar Vortex shenanigans started, I thought my head was going to explode from looking at Red Heart Super Saver.  So when I got an order for legwarmers and fingerless mitts I was itching to turn the cowl I “designed” into fingerless mittens. I took a design I didn’t like from 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats*20 Scarves*20 Mittens in Cascade 220™ (60 Quick Knits Collection) and reworked it till it suited my needs – as well as my fancy-shamancy design aesthetic. 😉

I’ve read over and over that you only have to modify an original pattern by 25% for it to be called your own – since all I took from the original pattern was the mock cable I am calling it mine. As soon as I get to it – or when my main job allows outside internet access again – I will be putting it up for free on Ravelry. Side note: I kinda love it.

**** **** **** **** **** ****

Sock Yarn Beanie for the Loving, Patient, Wonderful, Supportive, Handsome Hubby ;)

Sock Yarn Beanie for the Loving, Patient, Wonderful, Supportive, Handsome Hubby 😉

This is my first sock yarn beanie, and I am in love! I knitted this is a white heat during the Polar Vortex/Level Two Snow Emergency that left me trapped at work. I used, of course, Patons Kroy Sock Yarn in Gray, Brown, Red Marl as well as Patons pattern. Sock yarn, even on a larger needle, is becoming the thing that my arthritic hand is falling in love with. I am not sure if it is the weight or less motion involved in the actual knitting, but I can knit almost with pain – which is wicked awesome. I love this beanie, and lets face it – the hubby needed another hat!

**** **** **** **** **** ****

And legwarmers 🙂

30" of 1980's goodness! ;)

30″ of 1980’s goodness! 😉

So that catches me up on what I’ve been making since my last post. I have started several super awesome projects, things that I am really excited about and cannot wait to share. I actually finished three projects in one day, which meant the next day I casted on five more projects just to keep up – this makes sense right? Either way, I cannot wait to get far enough along in these that I can share them with a community of yarn lovers that I respect so much!

I will leave you with one question if you will allow me that friends and neighbors – if you had the money for the pattern, the yarn, the needles yada yada yada – what would it be?

Sarah & My Love of Socks


It is pretty amazing that I finished my first pair of socks in October of last year. Now, working on my seventh pair, I am a true sock knitting convert. This is my newest addition to my ever-growing sock drawer – and maybe my favorite.

Rusty Stripes Socks by Patons Kroy Socks

Rusty Stripes Socks by Patons Kroy Socks

There is something so utterly enjoyable about knitting a sock – since my first pair was officially finished I have never even remotely suffered from the dreaded “second sock syndrome”. There is this zen like state that is achieved by knitting socks, especially socks with stripes

When I am knitting a pair of socks with stripes I will often be heard muttering “just one more color!” and watching it grow is just mesmerizing in the best way possible. Knitting Sarah’s Socks with Sarah KAL (#sockswithsarah) has given me the perfect opportunity to indulge in selfishly knitting for myself and my loved ones. My Dad received his first pair and the hubby is already hinting – quite loudly – that he would love some socks. Before I move on, let’s enjoy a montage of sock-y goodness, just for giggles. 😉

Yea socks!!

Moving on. I have mainly been modifying the Knitmore Girls Vanilla Sock Pattern for my own socks. Before Sarah came along, Operation Sock Drawer had me yearning to fill up my dresser with handmade socks. Other patterns I’ve tried were the Patons Simple Socks and the Men’s Basic Sock Pattern for my Dad.

Also, I’ve only used Patons Kroy Sock Yarn or Lions Brand Sock-Ease yarn so far. I really like the Patons yarn, but the Lions Brand just hasn’t grown on me. It’s gonna have to though, because after the pair of socks I casted on yesterday I am out of sock yarn except for two balls of the Sock-Ease. This isn’t really that scary, I don’t need to buy Malabrigo sock yarn and there is still Premier Sock Yarn (at a whopping $2.99 a ball) to try. I will keep my eyes out for sock yarn sales as well.

I am, at least as of right now, firm on my decision not to integrate patterns into my socks for two primary reasons: 1. I don’t have a cable needle that I can wield on sock yarn and 2. I like the brainless knitting. Socks are meditative, I think I might have mentioned that, but it is also fabulous for my hand. So what are my plans to not bore Sarah to death?

  1. Afterthought Heel.
  2. Fish Lip Heel
  3. Toe Up Socks
  4. Houdini Socks
  5. Spiceman Socks
  6. Two at a time socks

So there’s my plan friends and neighbors – now back to knitting!

Week #1 of 52 Week Challenge & Some Finished Objects


First Glove….From a Chart!

First Glove….From a Chart!

Oh how my hubby had no idea what he was doing when he picked out his favorite pattern out of my newly acquired book. 60 Quick Knits was a Christmas present this year from my dad, his adorable opinion on knitting is that it all should be quick! I am actually really enjoying it so far, just remember to check Ravelry for errata – I have found a lot of entires that were just a little off. So this is the Cabled-Cuff Mitten Pattern, knitted with Patons Worsted Wool. So where did I learn something new this week? I learned (try not to gasp) how to read a chart!

~ You Couldn’t Read a Chart Before this Past Week? ~

Well, no. I have no problem following a chart in the round, at least in the past few months – but a chart knitted flat – akin to bamboo shards under my fingernails. I hated the idea that one symbol having two meanings, I just couldn’t understand why on earth they couldn’t just make a “knit as written” chart.

When they hubby pointed to the mittens that he liked the best, I saw that flat chart and cringed. I’m not gonna lie, the first 7 rounds were….difficult. I pushed through and by the end of the first repeat I finally understood the purpose. I was getting the hang of it after the second repeat and by the third I was gladly going left to right, right to left and realizing that there was a ligament reason for making a chart this way. Final thoughts – YEA FOR FINALLY BEING ABLE TO READ A CHART!

~ How About Some Finished Objects! ~

Christmas, birthdays, New Year’s …. blah blah blah…. has slowed my FO list down quite a bit. However, I still feel like sharing.

It may not be super interesting to look at, but this is a custom order for a new customer. Her sister-in-law went to school in Jamaica where her school colors where purple and gold. I took one of my stitch dictionaries and found a way to combine a standard rib with a zig-zag. I know that it would show better on smaller needles and s solid color, but it actually turned out really well. I added a slip-stitch border to keep the sides nice and clean and she was very pleased. *Dramatically wiping my brow!*

SInce WordPress isn’t letting me preview the post – and I cannot remember which order I put these in – please just roll with me.

  1. The three (rather boring/ rather repetitive) things I have been commissioned to do this week is  20 dishcloth – 10 Christmas Colors and 10 Pink (these are not done yet).
  2. Another Christmas Stocking – which is actually quite nice, but you’ve already seen a gazillion pictures of them. Sorry friends and neighbors.
  3. AND of course, a few ruffles. I have an order for 5 OSU Buckeye Ruffle Scarves – all done *insert deep sigh of relief*

Yea Cabes and Bobbles!

Yea Cables and Bobbles!

This is yet another concoction of the genius that is 60 Quick Knits – with some big changes on my part. The pattern is the Bobbles & Cables Cap by Suvi Simola and is a decent pattern. I changed the 1. The cast-on 2. The bobbles (which I made bigger) 3. The cable progression was continued another round 4. and I slightly felted the hat when I was finished (no pic of that yet…because I suck).

I made the hat larger and longer to felt the pattern because it does wonderful things to bobbles and finicky cables. It tightens everything up and gives is a delicious fit. I made the cap with Ella Rae Classic Superwash in Kiwi and chucked in into the dryer. The result? Pretty amazing – slight felting give the hat a denser feel and makes the bobbles seem more natural and less like a hanging hemorrhoid 😉

I need a Post-Felt Picture….bad Rachel.

I need a Post-Felt Picture….bad Rachel.

Okay friends and neighbors, that’s all for me today. I will be back with more on my sock stashing, thanks to Knitting Sarah and her #sockswithsarah year-long Sock KAL. I am working the instep on my fourth pair of socks – pretty epic! I need to finish those mittens (yea for reading charts!) and I’ve unearthed my Fiori Autunnali and my Jayashri Pullover. Until next time – remember, if the gimp can try it you can too! 🙂

Good News, Bad News & Oodles of Photographed FOs


Max - maxing and relaxing with some yarn.

Max – maxing and relaxing with some yarn.

Alrighty friends and neighbors, this is how I’m gonna try to put weeks of blogging into one post. First off, let’s get the bad news over with – bad news will be in red and good news will be in green (Christmas-y huh?). So, let’s begin.

GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS

  • Gloria, my amazing niece, is in the top 10% of students in the midwest and will be sitting for a ACTs in January – she’s in the seventh grade!!!! 🙂
  • I broke my tailbone. BUT the snow has been beautiful!
  • Trevor’s Dad has cancer. BUT the treatment is doable, and his crazy hair from the treatments makes him look like Bill Murray.
  • My special stash was ruined when a pipe burst. BUT I still have loads of yarn to play with.
  • I had to get a second job. BUT I was able to get a second job in this economy and at this time of year.
  • Trevor and I shared our 11 year first date  anniversary! 🙂
  • Orders seem to be slowing down. BUT I had my first Etsy store sale.
  • I’ve broken four pairs of needles. BUT I can rewrite patterns for straight needles, something I had never had to do before.
  • 2014’s money may be worse than 2013’s.  BUT I married Prince Charming and we can survive anything.
  • I lost my LYS. BUT I have found a new yarn store. It’s a drive and I won’t be able to go often, but everyone that works there is lovely!
  • I’ve been avoiding blogging because I don’t want to lose my online knitting community.

I guess it is silly not writing, but it feels like my projects (or my yarn) are really that special to blog about. Since the incident at the LYS my knitting mojo has been….none existent – I am constantly doubting my ability and my finished product. Again, silly. It is time to take a breath and move on. Get back to blogging and back to sharing with the amazing online knitting community. Who knows, I may even have a pattern to share soon!

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FINISHED OBJECTS!

I don’t know if this is everything, probably not but this is the best way to catch up with all the things I’ve been finishing. The scary part is that there are multiples of several of these project – I will spare you several duplicate photos and do one pic of each. I hope you enjoy.

I actually feel like I haven’t really knit that much in the last month, not until after I got a good look at the photos. I think for next year I am going to do the Knitmeter to see just how much damage I can really do. I think that is it for me today, I have bared my soul and now it’s time to get to knitting. I will be back, getting over this insecurity is something you just have to push through – no other way around. For anyone reading this, thank you for sticking with me, it means the world.

Oh No! Thor Has More Knitwear I Want!


After the post about the Katniss Cowl, you remember? The one where I blatantly begged someone smarter than me to not only design it but let me knit it? Well, here I am again.

My niece and I went to see the second Thor movie this weekend and we saw this…

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Amazing hat.

Amazing Cowl.

Amazing Cowl.

Amazing hat AND cowl.

Amazing hat AND cowl.

Maybe this time I will figure it out….well, probably not. But if anyone sees these photos and feels inspired I cannot wait to see what you come up with!

 

With WIPs to Keep Me Warm


I just love snow!

I just love snow!

It appears to be Wednesdays again, funny how that seems to sneak up on me every week! With the holiday weekend coming up and Trevor, Max and I celebrating alone for the first time every, I am tickled pink to have plenty of projects to keep me warm. Wanna see what’s on my needles? Brace yourself, there are quite a few projects going on!

– The Projects –

In keeping with the different projects on different needles theme I have more WIP than ever….and I kinda love it! Being a monogamous knitter (or just knitting ruffles) gets so incredibly dull. I guess I will start with the smallest needle and move my way up.

Second Pair of Socks

Second Pair of Socks

The second sock is well on it’s way, which will be completing my second pair of socks ever!

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If you’ve read this blog before, this is where I was in the lace pattern BEFORE I had a nosebleed and had to frog the entire thing. I still love knitting it and my Mom is chomping at the bit for me to finish.

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  • Pattern: Hinagiku Hat on Ravelry by 87cafe – It is pretty heavily modified by still very much so their pattern.
  • Needles: Size 4US (3.5mm) and Size 6US (4mm)
  • Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport Multis COL. NO. 108
  • Progress: Hopefully finish tonight.

I am in love with this hat, and since the OSU Buckeye’s are planning annihilate the 7-4 Michigan Wolverines I want it ready to wear by Saturday. 🙂

jayashri sweater - week 4

Pattern: Jayashri Sweater from Craftsy
Progress: What is the word for a frown-y face? 😦
Needles: Size 6US (4mm)
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss DK in Fedora

My KAL sweater (a knit along that was MY idea) has been sadly languishing in my knitting cabinet. I am hoping to finish the ruffle order after work tomorrow and play with it this weekend. I am hoping to finish it by New Year’s Eve….we shall see.

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This is a truly horrible picture – my apologies!

  • Pattern: Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West
  • Needles: Size 9US (5.5mm)
  • Yarn: Bernat Mosaic in Aura
  • Progress: I’ve done 9 of my intended 12 repeats – on the second ball of yarn (≈  410 yards)

I needed a piece I could take to work when I am “sitting” with a patient (I’ve been picking up hours sitting with confused/suicidal patients at night). It is the kind of knitting you can do without looking and the pattern is super simple. I started with hand spun but whimped out and switched to the Bernat (which I don’t endorse at all). I can’t wait to finish this one so I can make another one.

And finally….

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  • Pattern: Double Knitting Baby Blanket from my noggin!
  • Yarn: 2 strands of Lion Brand Pound of Love in Antique and White
  • Needles: Size 15US
  • Progress: I am currently in a black hole where it doesn’t seem to be getting any bigger, I’d say 1/4 of the way through.

A friend asked for a big, fluffy blanket that could be used as a floor mat as well. I know the stigma on Pound of Love but you can wash it everyday and nothing happens to it. The double knitting is practice for a Lucy Neatby design I want to try, and after this blasted blanket I should be ready.

– You’ve Made It to the End! –

So that’s it for me friends and neighbors, loads of things to do and not enough hours in the day – just how I like it. I wonder if I am the only knitter with so many WIPs going at once, I mean really – what is a normal number of WIPs to have on the needles?

In case I don’t talk to you before the (US) holiday, Happy Thanksgiving! Oh! and since I am currently down a LYS do a little Black Friday yarn shopping for me, I can live vicariously through your purchases! 😉

Time to Start Fresh


Holy crap I almost blog-faded! I could make loads of excuses (and more than less likely will do just that :)) but as my dear Lottie from Lottie Knits would say “it’s time to get off my bum.” Oh! Also, it’s snowing – which greatly improves my mood!

Knitting Weather!

Knitting Weather!

So, for anyone that is still reading this languishing blog, here is what has been going on the past few weeks to contribute to my blog-neglect (see? excuses already!)

– The Excuses –

  • No Dragon Speak Software – My NaNoWriMo gal has been plugging along so well with her novel that I told her just to keep it till it goes on sale on Black Friday.
  • My Mom retired – Yea! 
  • I had an order for 43 ruffle scarves – this brings my year total to….wait for it….319.
  • I have gotten a boat load of questions from hospital workers since it snowed, and now have a nice little influx of non-ruffle knitting.
  • 4 baby showers.
  • 2 weddings.
  • My father-in-law has changed Alzheimer’s medication and is being treated for skin cancer 😦
  • My LYS asked me not to come in because they were afraid my hand would scare off new knitters.

– The LYS Experience –

Before I retell this story, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve already heard it, feel free to skip ahead (there’s a picture!). Also, I am going to keep this as short as possible – mainly because dredging it up makes me über cranky.

So back around the time I last posted my LYS owner called me to tell me knitting was canceled. No big deal. The week after that I called the shop to see if we were meeting that night and had the oddest reaction from a gal I’ve known for years. She told me _______ would call me back. About 20 minutes later ________ called me back and asked me not to come to knitting that night; they were having a meet-and-greet for new potential knitters (in a younger crowd than our knitting group (even though I am 28)) and she didn’t want my hand to scare them off.

My reaction was to go get on Instagram and connect with knitters who, in my mind, would be able to be objective because they’ve never seen my hand.

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I. Was. Heartbroken.

The support from knitter’s on Instagram was so overwhelmingly awesome that I should have just snapped out of it. So what? I don’t have an LYS anymore…..

Nope, not going to work.

Instead of feeling the love from the  99.9% of  knitter’s who are freaking amazing, I ran down the rabbit hole of knitting all the time to prove that I could do it. This is a fun mixture of stubbornness, OCD,  and my very own Panic Monster. I have been eating, sleeping and knitting….and not a whole lot else. I have kept all my social obligations and haven’t become a hermit yet but saying I got a little obsessive would be putting it….lightly.

– The Fresh Start –

So here I am friends and neighbors, ready to get back to what makes me happy. I love writing and I love reading your blogs. Both of these things have been severely neglected. So there will be some catching up to do (lots of catching up to do) so please be patient. I am slowly going to try to work the comments and questions that I’ve received – especially regarding patterns – but it may take a little longer than normal.

Also, I follow loads of you on Facebook – I haven’t “liked” or commented on your blogs because my Facebook account and my WordPress account aren’t linked – but I have been reading your work. Rob’s Surf Report and A Tangled Yarn are just two that I read every single time they post. The Knitterly Hook-er is one of my favs to follow on Instagram. If you want to follow me on either of these sites click → FACEBOOK LINK ← or → INSTAGRAM LINK ←. Both of these sites get updated daily because I can use one hand to upload and type.

– SPOILERS!! –

Stick with me and I promise I will try to give you something awesome to read or stare at – as awesome as I can make it! Here is a itty-bitty preview of what I’ve got up my sleeve:

This took three and a half hours to type friends and neighbors, every minute both cathartic and totally renewing. I can’t wait to catch up, happy Tuesday!

November Makes Me Think About Pie. . . .


But since I don’t want to weigh 400 pounds I decided that rusty/pumpkin-y yarn was the way to go. This is another “original” design – a better way to phrase this is “stitch dictionary modification integrated with tried-and-true beanie bind-off”. However you take it, I like how it turned out.

The Vogue Stitchonaries  have been a huge source on inspiration on making some things that are more mine, as in I didn’t download it off of Ravelry. Maybe this will be the start of something wonderful design wise, maybe not. Either way I am really happy with the outcome.

That's me!

That’s me!

So you start with the fancy, schmancy stitch pattern – then figure out how to write it in the round. Not the most creative thing in the world but I have to start somewhere. For those that are interested this is a herringbone stitch with a ribbed section in-between, which I found to be super fun knitting wise.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Then you work the pattern till desired length, for me this is about 3 1/2 inches. it ensures that the ears will be covered and kept warm. Then work the beanie until it reaches desired length, again, for me this is about 6ish” or a total of 42 rounds. It may seem really anal to keep track of every round I do, but hey, you know I have OCD.

Then you do the tried and true 15 row decrease (I will include this at the bottom of the post). What do you get when you combine all these knitting ingredients: a hat. Moron 😉

The bummer is that these hats look way better on than they do on the poor Styrofoam head, it looks a bit silly on the head to be honest. They fit like a dream though, nice and snug around the ears and a little looser at the top of the hat without feeling slouchy. Oh! This is Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Rust – just in case you were curious.

 ** The Tried-and-True 15 Row Decrease ** 

  • I start with 100 stitches on size 7US needles (and worsted weight yarn) because I like a dense, warm beanie.
  1. K8, K2tog
  2. Knit
  3. K7, K2tog
  4. Knit
  5. K6, K2tog
  6. Knit
  7. K5, K2tog
  8. Knit
  9. K4, K2tog
  10. Knit
  11. K3, K2tog
  12. Knit
  13. K2, K2tog
  14. Knit
  15. K1, K2tog

Leaving a 20″ tail, sew live stitches in the round twice and remove from needles. Pull tight to keep the top of the hat from looking like a bellybutton and weave in your ends.

That’s all I have for today friends and neighbors, although if you have time I would like to know what you think of the hat. I figure with the vast amounts of smarts you possess you will come up with a way better way to do this.

October 21st – 31st Yarn Photo a Day Contest Pictures!


It’s November 1st and I am already missing this photo contest! It was so much fun to watch what everyone was posting and have an excuse to over share on Instagram every day 😉

So let’s finish up the month in style – here we go!

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Day 21 was FO. This was my first pair of handmade socks – which I am so in love with that I have casted on another pair!

22Day 22 was SPOON. This was the first textured knitting I ever did (I can’t find the pattern on Ravelry, so if you do lemme know). It was pretty eye-opening to see that knits and purls could actually make things like a dishcloth interesting.

23Day 23 was INK. This is my little table next to my knitting chair, and there is always an abundance of different colored ink to work through a project. Also, my iPod holder has a finger protector on it, which is kinda awesome.

24Day 24 was SHADOW. This is a book that I picked up at my local used bookstore that has been languishing on my shelf, just waiting for me to be patient enough to learn it.

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Day 25 was PROJECT BAG. This is my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE knitting bag! Who doesn’t want to think about snow when they are lugging around their knitting?

26Day 26 was FAVORITE MUG -or- CUP. This mug is from Starbucks, I think it came it out two Christmas’ ago. I love it, so much so that when the vases came out at Target last year I bought them too.

27Day 27 was CHAIR. I know, I know. This is not a chair, but it my favorite place to knit when we go to our cabin in the woods – if it isn’t flooded that is. 🙂

28Day 28 was MAIL. This is my mini sock collection of Yarny Cakes yarn that started my Bee Keeper’s Quilt. It is super addictive and amazing to work with, I’m kind of in love.

29Day 29 was RIBBING. This is pretty self-explanatory. Also, I deplore the hunt and peek method of typing.

30Day 30 was SWEETS -or- CANDY. This is a knitted, felted donut stuffed full of catnip for Max. He loves this stupid thing, I even found him with it hiding in my laundry basket.

31Day 31 was aptly HALLOWEEN. These are my new pair of in progress socks which are flying! I think if a candy corn and a Tootsie roll had a yarn baby, it would look like this.

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So there it is friends and neighbors, a full month of knitting themed pictures done! Now, what is going on in November? Any ideas about what will fill out this month? If you’ve heard anything through the blog-line let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October #yarnpadc


Okay, keep in mind that I am at work and have NO idea how to link or do anything like that in my iPod.

So The Knitterly Hooker had a post today for October’s yarn picture a day contest and I’m totally going for it.

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Luckily I took a pic before I left today to send to the lovely lady I am making this for do I am good to go! Join in, follow at #yarnpadc on Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter. Here’s to making it through the month!

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Day one – On the Needles – complete!

Breaking the Ruffle Scarf Diet


I broke my ruffle yarn diet after I hit 100. Yuppers friends and neighbors, this girl right here has made 100 ruffle scarves – and all but 7 are sold! There are still orders for 5 more and I am waiting to hear back from a few groups, but I have decided to put them aside for a bit. Here’s how it happened….

** The Break-Up **

I awoke to Trevor and Gloria unfurling ruffle scarf yarn for me on Saturday. I am not ashamed to admit that I teared up looking at the two of them pondering the inner-workings of the complicated yarn, as if it was an awesome mind puzzle. I can knit the scarf in less than an hour if I don’t have to pull apart the yarn so this saves me a ton of time! I decided right there and then that I was going to take a break, I was going to be able to knit them so much quicker that it was time to do what I was dying to do. I guess you could say the ruffles and I are on a break.

So I got up my needles and made three baby hats!

I have a love/hate with making baby things – I am choosing to look at the love part at the moment. The hats are adorable and they knit up so quickly. Working with circular needles, heaven! I was going through all my baby patterns trying to find my next thing to conquer when something changed…..

** The Email **

So this morning I received an email from Lolly over at Lolly Knits and (take a deep breath) it was the Katniss Catching Fire pattern! If you are new to this blog or didn’t read the post, I made a desperate call to anyone that could help me figure out how to make this for my niece. She did it and it is fabulous! I was so excited that I printed out the pattern, got in the car and bought everything I would need to make it.

I got home in a mad flurry, rushing around trying to plan how to make this as quickly as possible when I saw my loving hubby shooting me the stink-eye. When I asked what was wrong he said ” you have so many things started and you haven’t finished them”. I tried to explain that I was NOT a monogamous knitter and that I just had to make this Katniss Cowl right now! Trevor being the sage that he is proposed something then….

“Why not use the pattern as a way to motivate you to finish started projects?”

Well that adorable butt-head had a point, and I’ve started to run with it.

** So Much to Do. So Little Time (and Patients) **

So I sat down and looked at my UFOs, and tonight I finished my super thick, warm and comfy scarf.

I have quite a few other things on my list to do before I get to knit the cowl, but with the motivation instilled in me by Trevor I am hoping to plow through them. Imagine, an empty UFO basket! It won’t last but I am going to run with it!

** UFOs Begging to be Finished **

I think that is all of them (oh God PLEASE let that be all of them!!!!)

** For Your Viewing Pleasure **

Well friend and neighbors, you’ve made it through my rants and my newest goals. Coming soon to a computer near you will be a segments on: What I am Drooling Over on Ravelry and if I can manage it Interviews with Bloggers. Until then, here are some super adorable pictures!

Have a great Wednesday!

And The Winner Is….


Drumroll please….(insert drumroll in your mind here)…..!

whatimuptotoday Congratulations! Please PM me and we will work out the details on how you would like to receive your wicked awesome mystery box!

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As promised, here are the list of applicants and their stores, their favorite stores and of course their favorite craft!

Before you dive in there are a few things you should know:

  • All the links to the bloggers are listed at the bottom.
  • All the links to their stores and their favorite stores are at the bottom.
  • That each and every on of you are freaking awesome.
  • That I am so thankful to all the people who took the time to share their love of small businesses. You are a community of amazingly talented people and to share what we know only spreads the word. The more we try to promote the lil guys trying to make a go of what they love the better the world will be! (in my ever so humble opinion!)

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Musical Butterfly
1. My passions – at the moment, all things DIY wedding planning! Usually its knitting and sewing, and I’ve just started with a bit of crochet :)
2. I had an Etsy page a while ago, but its not active at the moment, maybe next year when I have more time to make up stock!
3. My favourite small business is Stiletto Studio (www.stilettostudio.co.nz) but I’m rather biased because my sister runs it! As for online stores, it would have to be Felt.co.nz, and Vintage Loft in particular – http://felt.co.nz/shop/tasha
4. I’ve already bought a few things from Vintage Loft and I have my eye on several more – she has great creativity, and I love that many of her things are matching! She’s also pretty flexible with regards to changing settings if needed.

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Christen Mattix
1. My passions – knitting a half mile line to the ocean and blogging about it!
2. My etsy page – christenmattix.etsy.com
3. I most admire mooreaseal.com.
4. Simple design with a bohemian twist supporting compassionate causes.

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Sara Crafts

1. My passion is most definitely knitting.2. I’m don’t have a shop.

3. I love the shops JewelryMORIAH and knitshearbliss

4. MORIAH’S jewelry is sweet and simple. I especially love her sparrow pieces. Knitshearbliss makes fabulous little wristlet project bags- perfect for on the go knitting!

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Polka-Dots & Sparkles

Favourite etsy shop???
Oh that is difficult. Not too much effort but difficult to narrow down.
I love yarnvszombies – kiki’s colour combinations and inspirations are always just too awesome for words

I have 4 bracelets and 3 more on the way and 2 rings from sugar pop boutique.

Hungry Designs has the most awesome brooches.

And…. And… And….

I am an etsy addict. Here are more of my favourite things. http://etsy.me/15DLP2x

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Nadine CreatesMy passion is crocheting. I keep a hook and yarn with me at all times.
My shop is in my blog nadinecreates.wordpress.com I have decided to let people email me if they are interested in a piece I have in my gallery.
My favorite shop isn’t a shop. It is http://www.crochetconcupiscence.com/ She does sell her book Crochet Saved My Life there.
What i love about her shop or book is that she promotes crochet in a positive way. She also explores crochet that is outside of the ordinary and give me inspiration.

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A Tangled Yarn1. Knitting all the things is my passion (ok maybe obsession…)
2. My etsy shop is small but mighty, A Tangled Yarn https://www.etsy.com/shop/ATangledYarn
3. My fav drool worthy shop right now is Knitcircus https://www.etsy.com/shop/knitcircus
4. This shop has some beautiful gradient yarn that makes my heart skip a beat!

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vuchickens

My passion is knitting… and chickens… and sometimes knitting chickens. I don’t have a shop, but I may someday if I start coming up with more original designs.

My blog is http://vuchickens.wordpress.com/ (I just published my 100th post as well!)

My favorite Etsy shop is Claire Garland’s:http://www.etsy.com/shop/knittedbabe. She inspired me to starting knitting toys, which I’ve become obsessed with, and I think she’s a brilliant designer. I’ve bought quite a few of her patterns, and she even inspired me to learn to sew! (But I still prefer knitting… the needles aren’t as dangerous.)

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A World Created

1. First and foremost, CROCHET. I’m in love with it and its endless possibilities. And I love that it can be used in my second passion, which is making jewelry. I may eventually fall equally in love with knitting, if I can ever completely master it.

2. https://www.etsy.com/shop/AWorldCreated

3. LoveFuzz https://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveFuzz
I love this shop because the owner takes simple crochet beanies, hats, etc, and embellishes them with unique and beautiful embroidery. I love the look of just about everything in this shop.

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The Knitterly Hooker

1. My passion is knitting and photography. I’m aspiring to design knitwear and I have ideas I just have to start.
2. My shop is relatively new and small; it’s called WoolSeamToMe (www.woolseamtome.etsy.com). It’s more of a hobby right now… We all have to start somewhere right?
3. My favorite Etsy shop is Remember Wynn (www.rememberwynn.etsy.com).
4. I like the shop because of the personalized labels for handmade crafts to give it that special and professional touch.

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Craftmaniac Mommy1. I’m passionate about so many things! It’s hard to narrow down…Yarn (knitting and crocheting), pretty packaging and soap
2. I have 2 shops (is that greedy? lol)
http://www.etsy.com/shop/MaitriDsigns and http://www.etsy.com/shop/sidedoorsoaps
3. My fave etsy shop??? sooo hard but right now is http://www.etsy.com/shop/legoods.
4. I’m a sucker for washi tape, cute packaging materials and have been building my shopping list to upgrade both my companys’ packaging. I window swoon at this shop almost daily!

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feelgoodknitting

1, My passion: Primarily knitting. I also can and do crochet, spin, and dye, but mostly knitting.
2. My patterns: Feel Good Knitting, http://www.ravelry.com/stores/feel-good-knitting
3. My favorite Etsy shop: Tough call. Probably Butterfly Girl spindles.http://www.etsy.com/shop/butterflygirldesigns
4. WHY you love this store: They’re just so pretty! Droooool.

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whatimuptotoday

1 Knitting first, crocheting second.but really card making is 1.5. Sewing comes after crocheting.:-)
2 no biz of my own. :-(
3. my favorite Etsy shop is the quirky One Woman Studio – Julia makes lots of fun things, but I love her recycled feed bags. She doesn’t do them on the cheap, they are well constructed and creative. Many copy her, so I try to support her.
4.) Oops – answered above. :-) Never could follow instructions. :-)

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Musings and MotionI love knitting, sewing, running, and teaching.

I don’t have a shop,

but my cousin doeshttp://www.etsy.com/shop/BlissfulThinking09?ref=ss_profile She makes beautiful leather and silver jewelry and her profits go to mission work.

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Superfox Rocks

1. Passion? Knitting and staring at yarn :)
2. My Etsy store is http://www.etsy.com/shop/superfoxrocks
3. My favorite Etsy store? http://www.etsy.com/shop/theberrypatch I love her use of color, quality, and I’ve ordered a lot from her and it’s always been beautiful and well done. The customer service is top notch as well!

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Awesome Sauce & Asshattery– I am a pattern-allergic sewing geek & my weapons of choice are a retro machine & upcycled/thrifted fabrics. I shan’t clutter up your comments with my insane amount of business-y links – they’re all on the sidebar of my blog =O)- I have 2 lurvly lassies that I’d like to introduce: Bekka of http://bellemonde.storenvy.com/ – her crochet is simply divine! & Anna of http://riusocreativo.blogspot.de/p/le-mie-creazioni.html– funky accessories all created from upcycled & recycled materials!

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littleblackdogsa

I love to knit, crochet, make beaded jewellery and toys. I love my family, I also love my cats and dog.
I make goodies for other people, but only when asked.
My fav. Etsy shop is Skermunkil – currently not very busy on Etsy, but we have a monthly “neighbor-goods” market, where she sells her goodies.
Why I love her? she makes awesome jewellery, that is the perfect gift for any of my friends.

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Darlene

My Bliss is Knitting and finding 1 store that I love on etsy is hard but for today I picked Papercatz (http://www.etsy.com/shop/papercatz?ref=l2-shopheader-name) she has great stuff and very friendly packaging.

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Pam

My passion: all things fiber…knitting, spinning, weaving

My Etsy page:http://www.etsy.com/shop/PimlaOriginals?ref=si_shop

My favorite Etsy store:http://www.etsy.com/shop/SmartGirlBookPurses?ref=l2-shopheader-name Why I like this store: I love how she takes beautiful books and makes them into cute, clever purses! She even sends the text of the book with your new book purse so you can read the book, too!

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El Petit Taller

My biggest passion is sewing and quilting (followed by knitting, embroidery, crochet…)

My Etsy page is http://www.etsy.com/shop/ElPetitTaller

And this is so difficult now… there are so many lovely shops I like!
I’d go for one of my first purchases and also because she’s become kind of special. Berry encouraged me and helped me with a few tips to open my shop back in October 2012, and ever since we’ve kept in touch. Her shop is https://www.etsy.com/shop/moxiebscloset

and she makes really (but really really) well made lovely handbags. Her choice of fabrics is really nice and she will always accommodate your personal requests.

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Rainbow Junkie Corner1) I suppose my greatest passion of all is designing things because my head works so much better than my hands but I also like turning my designs into objects and these days that mostly means crochet.
2) N/A
3) I think my favourite small business site would be http://www.woolhogs.co.za
4) I like it best of all because of all the lovely yarns they sell but they have loads of other items and bring together a lot of other small business designers.

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Lolly Knits

1. My passions are many! But in relation to my online persona, knitting, spinning, and writing!
2. I don’t have a shop because I don’t have time :P
3. My current favorite online shop is Mad Color Fiber Arts, http://madcolorfiberarts.com/
4. I particularly adore their spinning fiber, because it’s soft and wonderful and dyed beautifully. I got some at a fiber festival that looks like a pretty watermelon!

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JSletto Designs
1. I love to crochet the most and sew / quilt, making jewelry and art using acrylic paint, and I love to take pictures and blog about them all. haha.
2. http://jslettodesigns.wordpress.com is my small business website.
3. http://www.etsy.com/shop/preciouscraftz is one of my friends etsy business
4. I have known this friend since 2008 and she has always been a wonderful example of her hard work and dedication to her craft and I look up to her. Besides, she makes really cute stuff!

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Moby Knit

I am a knitter through and through. I daresay it’s an addiction. :)

I don’t have an Etsy shop, but I’d totally love to. It’s on my to-do list.

My favorite Etsy store is Pantera Pens. (Can’t figure out how to link on my phone. Sorry! )

I love this shop because I have this thing for fountain pens, and his pens are just gorgeous. Plus they’re really well made.

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Rogue Threads

1. Tatting and Crochet
2. Have my facebook page but not really a business page yet.http://www.facebook.com/RogueThreads
3. Fave Etsy is TotusMel
4. I absolutley love seeing all the new tatted items she does. I love seeing tatting as more than doilies and edgings.

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Spynner51. My passion(s): fiber play (spinning, dyeing, weaving, knitting, crochet, macrame, in any and all combinations); making music (mountain dulcimer, bodrhan, bowed psaltery), writing poetry, with occasional dives into paper art and other experiments.
2. No business website (yet; plan to do Etsy in a bit) but you can find out more about me athttp://thetuneweaversweb.weebly.com/
3. For yummy soaps and other surprises I love http://www.goodiesunlimited.com/
4. Great customer service and wonderful products: yummy soaps, “miracle goo” (aka Everything Balm) and Wood Beams (furniture cream) are my faves but there’s lots more to like. Everything is hand made from her own recipes.

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knitrun4sanityGosh. Looking at the number of replies you are going to be one very busy person over the next few days. I have yet to list anything in my shop so will not share that with you. My main craft is hard to declare …can i cheat and say crochet jewellery? I have to be honest …I spend more time on blogs and tend to by from them but I would like to mention claireabellmakes as she is very supportive to me, has built her shop and blog up over the same ti

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Quick Links to All the Fabulous Bloggers!

  1. Musical Butterfly
  2. Christen Mattix
  3. Sara Crafts
  4. polka-dots & sparkles
  5. Nadine Creates
  6. A Tangled Yarn
  7. vuchickens
  8. A World Created
  9. The Knitterly Hooker
  10. Craftmaniac Mommy
  11. feelgoodknitting
  12. whatimuptotoday
  13. Musings and Motion
  14. Superfox Rocks
  15. Awesome Sauce & Asshattery
  16. littleblackdogsa
  17. Darlene – (no blog?)
  18. Pam
  19. El Petit Taller
  20. Rainbow Junkie Corner
  21. Lolly Knits
  22. JSletto Designs
  23. Moby Knit
  24. Rogue Threads
  25. Spynner5
  26. knitrun4sanity

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Quick Links to All the Fabulous Stores!

  1. felt.
  2. Stiletto Studio
  3. Christen Mattix
  4. Moorea Seal
  5. JewelryMORIAH
  6. Knitshearbliss
  7. Yarn vs Zombies
  8. Hungry Designs
  9. Nadine Creates
  10. Crochet Concupiscence
  11. A Tangled Yarn
  12. Knit Circus
  13. Claire Garland’s
  14. A World Created
  15. Love Fuzz
  16. WoolSeamToMe
  17. Remember Wynn
  18. MaitriDsigns
  19. Side Door Soaps
  20. Le Goods
  21. Feel Good Knitting
  22. Butterfly Girl
  23. One Woman Studio
  24. Blissful Thinking
  25. Superfox Rocks
  26. The Berry Patch
  27. Belle Monde Handmade
  28. Riuso Creativo
  29. Shermunkil
  30. Papercatz
  31. PimlaOriginals
  32. Smart Girl Book Purses
  33. El Petite Taller
  34. Moxie B’s Closet
  35. Woolhogs
  36. Mad Color Fiber Arts
  37. JSletto Designs
  38. Precious Craftz
  39. Pantera Pens
  40. Totus Mel Tats
  41. Goodies Unlimited
  42. claireabellmakes

Sorry for Going AWOL!


 * * Quick Reminder * * 

You have until Wednesday the 21st (my hubby’s birthday ;)) till 11:59am to enter the GIVEAWAY! Click →HERE← to enter!

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 * * I Have Been Negligent! * *

Oh friends and neighbors, I am so sorry for dropping a giveaway in your laps and then disappearing for days – this is the first time I have ever done that. You know, if there wasn’t a natural disaster occurring that is 🙂

I would love to give you a really good excuse like 1) I worked 60 hours last week or 2) I have almost 40 orders for ruffle scarves or 3) I was at the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair and lost in a great euphoria of fiber and yarn or 4) I was crazy busy getting ready to get Trevor ready for work, which starts tomorrow.

But honestly it was a bit of laziness. I should have been able to keep up with reading all your wonderful posts and promoting the giveaway every day but I was just so burnt out that I felt kind of foggy all the time. I like to put a piece of myself in my posts, and all my pieces were just a little too tired to do it justice. For that I feel a bit guilty – okay, a lot guilty. Hopefully this week will slow down enough that I can give all of you the attention your blogs deserve and make a post that won’t bore you to tears.

It’ll be a busy week! The giveaway ends Wednesday at 11:59 and Thursday a post announcing the winner and listing all the wonderful shops and small business will be listed for your viewing pleasure. I am so excited to see how it turns out and who I am going to get to make a care package for! After that it on to more ruffle scarves!

Cannot wait to catch up with every single last one of you, I’ve missed you through my haze of ruffles! 🙂

Too Funny Not to Share


A little giggle is good for your health! 😉

Oh – and don’t forget to PARTICIPATE IN THE GIVEAWAY!!

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A Quickie – I Believe I was Buried Under Ruffle Yarn


I have been working doubles for the past few days, thus no posts. Add to that the pressure of 1) trying to figure out how to organize a Knit Along 2) work being so busy I cannot even read my blogs and of course 3) F&*King Ruffles…

These are just the NON-dupliaceted ones.

These are just the NON-dupliaceted ones.

These are just a few – a few – of the ruffle scarves I have finished. Basically what you are looking at is all the different yarn colors, if I had taken pictures of all the ruffle scarves in my house right now I never would have gotten around to actually writing this post. I’ve missed blogging, I’ve missed reading your blogs. I miss living in a less ruffly world 😉

** WHAT I’VE BEEN READING**

Since I didn’t have time to check my book reviews with Rob over at Rob’s Surf Report (my new best friend for helping me figure out how to write a decent book review) I am just gonna show you what I’ve been reading this past week or so.

A special thanks to Hannah Rose over at A World Created for suggesting Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. This books was a rarity, something as hard to find as good Mexican street food in Ohio. It was incredible, anyone interested in period pieces, not shy of a little gruesomeness and a truly unique experience go check it out.

**  WHAT I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO**

This is my favorite Bon Iver song – Skinny Love

** MY PLANS FOR THE WEEK **

  • Get my Ravelry Page updated – it is so far behind.
  • Get all the Stitch Patterns put in the upper header.
  • Make a bazillion more ruffle scarves.
  • Organize this Knit Along -or at least get a good idea of it.
  • Write my 100th post!! 🙂
  • Figure out what to write for my 100th blog post 😦
  • Knit squares for the Get Well Soon Blanket (more on this is the person I am knitting for will let me discuss it).
  • Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair in Saturday!
  • Sleep.

** THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND **

I have no idea where the next 100 posts will go, what direction content wise. All I know is that, just in case I forget to mention this in my 100th post, without you bloggers I wouldn’t be becoming the knitter I always wanted to be. So, thank you.

Oh yea! This is the cartoon my husband gave me this weekend assuring me this is how he felt. Well friends and neighbors, even though it was a joke you have to wonder!

Poor Trevor is Living in a House of Ruffles!

Poor Trevor is Living in a House of Ruffles!

What a Wonderful Weekend ♥


This weekend I turned off my computer – turned off any access to the internet at all and embraced a simpler life. I gardened, I went for long walks, I read and most importantly I rediscovered my love for knitting. It sounds strange that just three days could change my perspective – I guess I owe that in large part to all of you. My own version of the constant readers. 😉

I owe all of you a great deal of thanks. Praise and admiration for all of you that helped me clear my head and rid me of my Panic Monster. All of your comments, your feedback and you kind words reminded me that if you love something, well, that’s all that matters. I could write thousands of words in this post, but I think I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Thank you so much for reminding me that I truly love my craftiness.

♥♥ The Shawl ♥♥

My Baby Being Blocked.

My Baby Being Blocked.

It’s had a bath, it’s being blocked and I am just head over heels in love with it!

♥♥ The Cowl. The Cape. The Shrug. All in One ♥♥

The Stash Busting Beauty.

The Stash Busting Beauty.

I have been sitting on this pattern for months, the beautiful little stash buster that it is. So my aunt Kathy’s Christmas Present is all done!

♥♥ Hexipuffs for My Beekeeper’s Quilt ♥♥

Hexipuffs.

Hexipuffs.

I haven’t made a single hexipuff for weeks! I’ve been so busy worrying about selling that I forgot how much I love this quilt. Even though Max ate part of the brown one (no great loss, it was super cheap sock yarn) the Yarny Cakes yarn – the gorgeous purple color way – was a freaking delight to work with! Here is Yarny Cakes BLOG, the FACEBOOK PAGE and of course the ETSY STORE.

♥♥ The Stitch Pattern That Became a Scarf ♥♥

Horizontal Weaving -or- Waves Scarf.

Horizontal Weaving -or- Waves Scarf.

Another wonderful stash buster! The scarf knit up in a few hours and I was pleasantly thrilled with how it turned out, front and back. Just wish I had taken better pictures, after I blocked it but before it got mailed to a friend. 😉

 

♥♥ The Ruffle Scarf for my Mimi ♥♥

Yup. Another Ruffle Scarf.

Yup. Another Ruffle Scarf.

I know I was going to swear these things off but when your grandmother (my Mimi) tells you she loves it and would you pretty please make one – you do. You know what’s funny? I really liked making this scarf….perspective is everything.

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So for a weekend I put the outside world out of my mind and knitted. Knitted so much in fact I cannot believe my needles aren’t smoking! Now it is time to go back to the real world, but that doesn’t seem so daunting now. It has its perks – now I can catch up on all my favorite blogs! So I wonder friends and neighbors, do you have a favorite pattern?

I’ve missed you, I thank you. You are all overwhelmingly amazing!

 

A Knitter’s Dream Garage Sale!! GOODIES!!


Okay, it may be yet another day and the lace shawl is still on my needles but I have a good reason – well, three good reasons. The first being that I am over-thinking this so simple a beginner could do it pattern so much that I keep making mistakes. The second is that I was slaving over my Etsy Store, worrying about selling anything. Ever. The third is that I hit the mother-load of all garage sales today!

We were just driving back from my parent’s house when we saw the garage sale sign. Now normally I am not a garage sale kinda gal, more because I am always afraid to leave my car on the side of the road than anything but something caught my eye. “TREVOR! SPINNING WHEEL!” I screamed and he found a safe place to stow the care and on we went.

Arriving at this sale was like arriving at a divorce court. A married couple, clearly quite angry with one another, were bickering like small children. What I gathered from my eavesdropping (I have now shame) is that she decided to take up knitting about two years ago. When she did she must have spent a fortune on everything she bought – and she bought everything! Drop spindles, fiber, yarn, spinning wheels (yes, wheels), needles and memorabilia for her “craft room”. Then, well, she never touched one bit of it. The husband had simply had enough and just wanted the room back. Thus, friends and neighbors, my goodies!

** My First Ball Winder **

My pretty new ball winder.

My pretty new ball winder.

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It’s an actual Standwood!

My first ball winder cost $2.00 (retail on Amazon is $59.87). I could have cried I was so excited to see this. The two spinning wheels (each costing a mere $15.00) had both sold, but the winder was mine! I learned the hard way that I am going to have to buy a swift, as you can see below, but who cares!

** My First Purchase of Fiber **

I have actually only spun one hank? skein? load? (what the heck to I call a pile of wool?) before so I was hesitant. They were selling drop spindles for $1.00 (I bought another one) and the two sections of wool cost $0.50 cents. FIFTY CENTS!

Fifty Cents! Now...what to do with it?

Fifty Cents! Now…what to do with it?

** Knitting Antiques Anyone? **

These two of these three pieces came out of an old factory in Ohio. The two spindles were from a plant the made wool in Southern Ohio during the first World War. The cradle is an antique she found in a store. You open it up and put your center pull ball in and close the sucker tight, then proceed to hang it for easy access. Total price, $1.00. AWESOME!

What an incredible day, so many good finds! Now I just need to figure out how to spin the fiber into pretty yarn (advice is appreciated) and untangle my newly purchased Cascade yarn. Oh – and price a good swift (also, advice is appreciated!). I am feeling so good, how about some flamingos?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just in case the slideshow doesn’t work – I’ve never tried it before and the pictures are just so fun!