Category Archives: Spinning

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 😉

 

 

Happy New Year & Hello 2014!


Howdy friends and neighbors, it seems a new year has begun and that means big plans to fill the next 365 days! Oh the plans I have, not resolutions so much as grand plans for all the things that I want to get into in the next 52 weeks. Let’s see the list shall we?

  • Find a year long KAL – any suggestions would be helpful by the way.
  • Join KALs to meet even more amazing online knitters
  • Finish a sweater
  • Finish that lace beaded lace shawl.
  • Find that perfect sock formula
  • Stash bust 50% of my stash
  • Actually spin things I want to share on the internet 😉
  • Try my hand at designing more intricate things 
  • Try weaving – it looks like fun!
  • Keep all my social media up to date. aka Ravelry, Twitter, Facebook,  Flickr (my personal favorite), Tumblr and Instagram
  • Be so much better about updating my Etsy store
  • BLOG MORE!

But here is the one I am really, really excited for….

~ 52 Weeks of New Experiences! ~

I never make New Year’s Resolutions – they usually lead to disappointment. But this year I want to try something new, I want to try 1 new thing a week (or a total of 52 new things in a year). This can be knitting related or anything else my mind dreams up. Life is too short to not keep learn and trying new things. I already know what I want to do for week 1, which is really exciting!, but I am going to have to keep reading blogs, books, magazines and anything I can get my hands on to keep expanding as a person.

This is going to be a very full year indeed. So now I beg for your input friends and neighbors – what knitting are you doing this coming year? Heard of any good KALs? Seen something that tickles your fancy? Please share! I am here and sooo ready to listen!

 

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!

My Cat Made Me Make This


When I was taking a break from knitting, aka wearing two braces and icing my two misbehaving hands, my cat went on a yarn bender. I found him Saturday night with my knitting cabinet open, yarn strewn across the floor, and him curled up in my WIP bag. So, I got him a new ball of yarn and he slept all night.

My little buddy with his yarn.

My Maxwell and his yarn.

Little did Max (or Trevor for that matter) know that I was planning on making something with this as soon as the braces came off. When all you do all week is work, talk on the phone (I couldn’t drive with the braces and all my close friends have new babies) and marinate in your need to make something, you get very creative in…um…sneaking around.

So, as soon as my hands felt close enough to ready I casted on. I really like this yarn, it is Patons Classic Wool in Harmony and it will be nice and warm this winter. The first hat I did had a ridiculous thick brim to keep your ears nice and toasty.

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Feedback from the hubby was that, while it was good for me and all my hair, that for him the brim was just a little too wide. So, what would any good knitter do when she already has the yarn and didn’t get yelled out for knitting? I made another one!

This one is half the height of the first hat brim-wise, but otherwise all the same design ideas. The best news being that this one went over swimmingly with the hubby! I have to agree with him that the smaller brim looks really good on him and once it gets a bath it’ll lose all its itchiness.

So again, a little sparse on content but lots and lots of pictures! Thank you again for sticking with me while I try to hunt and peck out blog entries – I am enjoying all your blogs so much and I cannot wait to get commenting again!

My First Custom Order!


First, here is are the pictures of that adorable baby hat I whipped up for my Dad’s friend.

Secondly, here is a the finished product of my Baby Sophisticate Sweater. I am super proud of this little guy – I cannot wait to gift it!

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Progress…

Finished!

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

You’ve heard it here first friends and neighbors, I have received my first custom order! Best part, it is not a “custom order” for ruffles! I have been presented with the opportunity to make five hats and two scarves in whatever fashion I want! It has been so exciting so far, I’ve been in every stitch dictionary and design book that I own – or my local library can provide.

There is never a downside to an order, but there is a way to self-sabatage your business. I quoted the lowest price that I could think of (thinking that they would say no! you are far to talented!). Seriously, what goes through my head, I’ll never know! Either way, this is the first opportunity to really knit my heart out and show off what I can do.

The hats are for three children: ages six, three and 5 months. The hat and scarves combinations are for two adult females. This is what I’ve done so far. I created a hat for a three year old from a circular needle stitch pattern book complete with the easiest hat closure possible.

By the way...it's actually purple.

By the way…it’s actually purple.

I am thinking of putting the pattern on my Ravelry page, but it just seems like that pattern would be a little to obvious. So I will see what you think! Here is the pattern:

** FREE PATTERN **

→ For worsted-weight yarn – going down to baby weight you will need to find the correct gauge (for me it was increasing by 32 stitches and going down a needle size).

→ CO 88 stitches (any multiple of 8 will work) on size 6US (4mm) needles – 16″ Circular
→ K1, P1 across for 8 rounds.
→ Switch to size 7US (4.5mm) 16″ circular needles.

Repeat the following 12 rounds three (3) times. (this was how long it took me to get my height)

  1. Knit
  2. Knit
  3. Knit
  4. Knit
  5. *4st. Left Cable, 4st. Right Cable* rep. till end of round. (front to back cable pattern)
  6. Knit
  7. Knit
  8. Knit
  9. Knit
  10. Knit
  11. *4st Right Cable, 4st. Left Cable* rep. till end of round. (back to front cable pattern)
  12. Knit
  • 4st. Left Cable – 2sts on cable needle, hold front, knit two stitches from left needle, knit 2sts off cable needle.
  • 4st. Right Cable – 2sts on cable needle, hold back, knit two stitches from left needle, knit 2sts off cable needle.

→ Switch to DPNs when needed.

  1. *K2, K2tog* rep. till end of round.
  2. Knit
  3. *K1, K2tog* rep. till end of round.
  4. Knit
  5. *K2tog* rep. till end of round.
  6. Cut 12″ tail and sew up remaining stitches tightly to avoid a hole.

Simple! Too simple to put on my page though? I dunno – child sizes with worsted weight yarn is almost always between 82-92 stitches and the cable is just following a book. Well, I am very pleased with how it turned out.

So along with the KAL, I have a custom order and tons of ruffles. I’ve gotta say, I am really in my happy place right now! What about you friends and neighbors? What gets you into your happy place?

There is Always Time for a Quickie….


Post! Your dirty minds should have seen that coming a mile away! 😉

I cannot believe I have somehow managed to neglect my blog for a week and a half – it this blog was a child the state would be involved. There was drama but frankly I am just not in the mood to dissect all of it at the moment (or ever). Not to mention the fact that whenever I go near my computer I am bombarded with all the things that need to be done of the silly machine like:

  • Making new business cards.
  • Making care instructions for all the new knits.
  • Updating my Ravelry page.
  • Updating my Etsy page.
  • Replying to a million emails I would rather avoid (the ones I want to respond to I try to do in a more timely fashion).
  • and of course…Updating my blog.

It’s been a bit of a struggle since I’ve been on a ruffle scarf binge again. I wanted to be able to buy a pair of needles for the Katniss Cowl. I got the needles but managed to much up the pattern so badly that I am seriously considering just doing it all over again – I owe it to my niece  and more importantly I owe it to Lolly over at Lolly Knits. Silly genius made me a perfect pattern and I’ve mucked it up.

Let’s talk about what the hell I’ve been up to – if you’d like to, of course.

** BOOKS **

  • I read Delirium to see if it would be something Gloria would be interested in, since I have heard such wonderful things about Before I Fall. The whole romance thing is something she wouldn’t be interested in and I found it a bit lacking, especially since reading quite a bit of really good YA fiction. If this can count as a review here it is – this book is the first in a trilogy and I haven’t bought any of the other books yet. Enough said.
  • The End of Your Life Book Club was…Amazing. It is one of those that after you finish reading you almost cannot start a new book, it feels too close to cheating. I love this book, and if you are a lover of books, reading, family and life then seriously go find a copy.
  • I am so glad I am almost done with The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club – it’s bloody awful! Set outside of London the completely formulaic story may not have sucked that bad if the author would capitalize ever-single-solitary word she wants to emphasize. Every time I saw something Capitalized it took me right out of the story.

** MUSIC **

I could try to explain why I love this music but eh, I just wanna share what I’ve been listening to. Here is Imagine Dragons Radioactive though, the music video is painfully stupid but if you just listen to the song it’s all good!

** KNITTING AWARDS **

The lovely bloggers who’ve nominated me for these wonderful awards deserve a proper “Thank You” shout out, which I will put in the Award section on the upper part of my blog. But if I blog it here their blogs might get read twice!

Go check out some amazing blogs and keep posted for their long overdue tributes on the Awards section of the blog.

** KNITTING **

  • The Reversible Cabled Scarf was a stash-buster which made me so utterly happy that I made two. I found it on Ravelry originally, but when I went to find the link it’s gone. I remember it was free though so if you have an interest lemme know.
  • The Herringbone Stitch cowl is made with the same roving yarn was the cabled scarves, in honor of Lolly and her Katniss Cowl pattern. Plus, I wanted the yarn out of my stash.
  • The cowl was a purchased pattern from my LYS and it turned out amazing! And yes, I did find another WIP in the bottom of my bag – it’s like Mary Poppins’ freaking knitting bag!
  • The baby hat was from Itty-Bitty Knits with a few alterations on my part, when the I-cord is place I will get a proper picture. I am pretty sure it is going to be adorable.

** THE END CREDITS **

If you’ve made it through my ramblings good for you because I don’t think I could! I can’t wait to get down and dirty with the Knit Along details, get some more knitting under my belt and do Lolly some justice with that cowl. You know, if I didn’t have a full-time job I could get a lot more done! 😉 Well Friends and Neighbors, hope all is well, cannot wait to catch up with all of you and hope to hear from you soon!

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This is the scolding look I get from Max when I don’t blog enough. Scary, isn’t it?

I Just Don’t Think I Can….


Knit another (censored) ruffle scarf!

I know I am complaining and whining for no good reason, I really am self-aware enough to know I sound like a brat. The scarves are getting my name out there, they are bringing in extra money that we desperately need and people really like them.

Honestly though, after I hit 50 I just started to stare at the yarn with wild contempt – like it had killed my dog wild contempt. The knitting I’ve gotten used to, can even do it fairly quickly now but it is the pulling apart of the ruffle yarn that kills me. It takes me about 40 minutes to unfurl 30 yards and is killing my hand. Knitting I am used to, pulling apart miles of lace I am not. Not to mention the tedium – I just want to purl!

I am whining again…I CAN’T HELP IT! My Mom has been selling these things like hotcakes and my husband is so happy for the extra fundage – there is no way I would dream of complaining to them. So sorry friends and neighbors, but I needed to vent.

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** On the Plus Side **

I gave away a few knits today – which felt wicked awesome! My Grandmother received my first lace shawl (Oh no! I didn’t take a picture!). My niece got her Link-like Hat and my Mom received a boatload of OSU Buckeye Flower Pins and a cowl I was making before the orders got too crazy (Oh no! I didn’t take a picture of it finished! I suck!). I (censored) LOVE giving presents!

Another awesome thing I got to do today was mail out the Surprise Mystery Box for whatimuptotoday – winner of the 100th post giveaway! Oh – I cannot wait to see what she thinks of the goodies!!!

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** Moving Forward **

So I’ve had a few ideas of what to do with my blogging time (which I am really, really missing right about now) with no new knitting to blog about. So again, I am asking for comments, questions, considerations and suggestions. To start basic though, here are a few brainwaves I’ve had so far:

Also: Seriously thinking of starting this Knit Along the second or third week in September – any thoughts?

Jayashri Pullover Pattern on Knit Picks  (Finished Bust Measurements 34″-62″)