Tag Archives: fiber

One Year (Sock) Anniversary!


I am going to completely sidestep the fact that I have not blogged since May. I am not going to mention the ongoing guilt I have for not keeping up with this blog because there are, truly, so many things I want to write about. I am just going to bask in the glory that is October 18th – which is the day I finished my first pair of socks last year!

It’s hard to imagine that its been an entire year since that first pair of socks came sliding clumsily off my double pointed needles. I thought I would never finish that first pair, but as it turns out their completion started an obsession that has lead to 29 pairs of finished socks …. 29! Five for my husband, three for my Dad, four for friends and the rest reside in my sock drawer.

Double points, two circulars and magic loop. Patons, Lions Brand, Plymouth, Serenity, Regia and Trekking. Toe-up, Top-down and the ill-fated two-at-a-time …. Seems I’ve made a pretty good dent in my sock education. I’ve still yet to make a patterned sock but I seem no worse for wear on this – I love the ease of a simple stockinette sock. There is a mindless joy of looking down and realizing you’re creating something functional and that the knitting has calmed your mind to a pleasant zen-like state.

So please allow me to share with you a year of obsessive sock knitting and as always, I cannot wait till next years recap!

What a finished pair looks like. It smells like victory though!

What a finished pair looks like. It smells like victory though!

Second Pair of Socks

Second Pair of Socks

They are almost perfect!

They are almost perfect!

My Dad's First Sock.

My Dad’s First Sock.

First pair of finished socks for 2014!

First pair of finished socks for 2014!

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Singin' the Blues Socks

Singin’ the Blues Socks

Feet - and that is my ceiling ;)

Feet – and that is my ceiling 😉

Opal Socks.

Opal Socks.

Patons Socks

Patons Socks

Afterthought Heel

Afterthought Heel

I LOOOVE these socks!

I LOOOVE these socks!

Prince Charming Needs More Socks!

Prince Charming Needs More Socks!

Two at a time madness.

Two at a time madness.

Perfect for Hiking!

Perfect for Hiking!

Prince Charming Needs Socks!

Prince Charming Needs Socks!

Regia Socks!!

Regia Socks!!

Neon Gum ball Socks

Neon Gum ball Socks

Cashmere for a sick friend!

Cashmere for a sick friend!

Monet's Watercolors

Monet’s Watercolors

Easter Egg Rainbow - I like it!

Easter Egg Rainbow – I like it!

A Night in the Woods

A Night in the Woods

Ohh....Purples

Ohh….Purples

The Hubby

The Hubby

They Glow in the Dark! (not really but darn close)

They Glow in the Dark! (not really but darn close)

Serenity Sock Yarn

Serenity Sock Yarn

Celestial Blues

Celestial Blues

 Plymouth Stiletto Sparkly Socks.

Plymouth Stiletto Sparkly Socks.

I want to leave you with this. Happiness, in part, is a full sock drawer!

 Happiness is a full sock drawer.

Happiness is a full sock drawer.

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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 😉

 

 

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.

October 9th – 20th Yarn Photo a Day Contest


Let’s see if I can get back into the blogging groove, starting with loads of photos should help! Okay, here we go!

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So here we have day nine, socks! I finally casted on my second sock, um, almost four months later *sigh*. Spoiler Alert: there may be a post on this later this week. 😉

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Day 10 was themed around morning. I was at my Mom’s house, drinking blond coffee and staring lovingly at knitting that needed finished. Still healing that day so there was no knitting, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t look….longingly.

11

 

Day 11 was circles, and boy howdy does this chart have circles in it! It is a small section of a chart I am working on right now (not all of it, I swear). I am still pretty intimidated by charts – this one is growing on me though.

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A was for Abundance! This is a snap of my LYS after they had actually stocked everything, seems my timing was impeccable. There is something so magical about a fully stocked yarn store – so wonderful, so fluffy, so full of yarny possibilities! Goofy? Yup, but I’m embracing it!

 

13

 

Day 13 led me to sharing my secret weapon – my yarn/needle chart. I carry a laminated copy of this (OCD has some perks) in my wallet and pull it out when I am second-guessing myself. It is a very handy little thing to keep with any knitter.

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Day 14 was a sign that my not-so-secret knitting needed a rest. This is the compression glove that I use on my arthritic hand. These are Thermoskin Arthritic Gloves and can be found on Amazon, which is pretty amazing because they are amazing! They keep my hands warm, pull the swelling out of my hands and have a nice grippy texture. Excellent little investment.

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Just so you know, I know my knitted pumpkin isn’t really edible…but it still looks delicious!

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So the knitted part of day sixteen’s key challenge was actually my keychain. It was bought off of Etsy – forgive me, I have no idea what Etsy store it was – for Christmas last year. I will try to find the seller of this amazing key chain because I am really rough on my keys and my keychain is still in pristine shape.

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For my imperfect photo I chose the hot mess that was me trying to use a ball winder without a swift or chair. The yarn danced merrily around my laundry room until the giant knot from Hades appeared. Four hours later I learned my lesson.

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These babies are of course my Addi-Click lace interchangeable needles. My thoughtful hubby got them for me and they have changed the way that I knit. They are AH-mazing!

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Day 20 featured the antique ball holder (gesh, why does all knitting terminology sound so dirty? ;)). It is made of iron and hangs proudly in my laundry/office/knitting Mecca room.

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That’s it for knitting pictures this week, I hope you enjoyed them as much as I loved taking them!

One more thing – I was wondering if any knitters/spinners/crocheters/readers have seen any events that are starting in NOVEMBER! I have had so much fun doing this little side challenge that I am chomping on the bit for something to do in DECEMBER!

Friends and neighbors, any suggestions are really appreciated!

 

The Great Ruffle Scarf Conundrum


If you remember from last Friday, I had decided to cast of (haha) the idea of making ruffle scarfs in an attempt to make money just for the sake of making it. I thought filling my Etsy store wall to wall with ruffle scarves might bring me a profit – but I was missing “real” knitting. So after a very rejuvenating weekend of knitting whatever I wanted – including another ruffle scarf for my grandmother, go figure – I was feeling like myself again.

Till Monday came around….

Monday morning I received a very excited phone call from my grandmother, she loved the scarf. Fantastic! I love giving presents that someone is going to use and love. Good times. She quickly handed the phone to my Mom, who was there visiting, and my Mom asked how much I would charge per scarf if she bought the yarn. I named a fair price and figured I was in for making two or three more scarves.

Holy crap Batman….I was wrong.

28 Skeins of Ruffle Yarn.

28 Skeins of Ruffle Yarn.

There are 28 (TWENTY-EIGHT) skeins of ruffle yarn in the bin that showed up this morning, along with my very enthusiastic mother. I am going to take this as a good thing – if I don’t I will be contemplating how to stab the yarn to death with my knitting needles. So here is a rundown of what I’ve learned about ruffle yarn so far.

  • Patons Pirouette – This is my favorite. It is the easiest to work with and knits up the fastest. I also like the different types of layering (sequins, metallic floss, even roving yarn) that creates a great deal of depth.
  • Premier Yarns Starbella – This is my second pick for ruffle yarn. It takes a bit longer with a little less effect and the yarn twists a great deal. I think I spend more time untwisting than I do knitting.
  • Red Heart Boutique Sashay – Is my new least favorite yarn to work with in the world. It has a weird, super synthetic silky feel – but not in a good way. The yarn wants to splinter so badly that you really have to take your time. It twists far worse than the Starbella and the scarf, following the instructions, is too long. Frankly – it is like knitting with fish net stalkings that had a long night on a very busy hooker. I hope I have made my point.

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With that said I would never turn down the opportunity to bring some money into the house, even a little goes a long way with two people who know how to budget. So I am on a ruffle pilgrimage and so far have made four scarves in two and a half days. Wanna see some photos?

** Patons Pirouette **

** Premier Yarns Starbella **

** The Evil Red Heart Boutique Sashay **

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So there you have it, four down and twenty-four more to go. I have a horrible feeling that there will be more ruffle yarn in my future but for now I am going to take it in stride. I am timing myself so that I don’t work with this yarn for more than 75 minutes a day, this seems like a good amount of time and I can still work on my other knitting and spinning endeavors.

So, friends and neighbors, what gets you through a project that makes you want to pull your hair out?

 

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?

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

Stitch Pattern Week 12 & Heartfelt Shout-outs to Amazing Bloggers!! Seriously, My Faith in Humanity Has Been Restored!


I sincerely hope that my good mood is infectious, I want to spread the love! Something rather amazing happened during this week stitch pattern, I am still left dumbfounded by it. The pattern…hold on, let me catch my breath, was totally readable! That’s right friends and neighbors, even my great-grandmother seemed to want my week to go as smoothly as possible. So, with bated breath I present Stitch Pattern Week 12 for your viewing pleasure!

˜ The Knotted Rib Stitch˜

Oh GG, you have made this heavenly stitch so simple. Wish you were here to share the glory that is this pattern!

  • cor p2ktwice p4 end by two – Row 1: (RS) p2, *K front and back, p4*; end K front and back, p2. ( I don’t know if it is the fact that I have spent 12 weeks reading your work GG, but this was by far the most informative you’ve ever been!)
  • k2 pjoin k4 end by two – Row 2: (WS) K2, *p2tog, k4: rep rom* ending P2tog, K2 (Okay, the pjoin was new, but it made since that if I increased in the first row, I had to decrease in the second. Thank you GG, The perfect topper to this week!)

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→ Shout It From the Rooftops!! ←

First shout out goes to Yarnycakes for supplying me with incredible sock yarn to start working on my Beekeeper’s Quilt. I could stare at this yarn all day long, I am actually afraid to work with it, it’s so perfect just the way it is! This was my last purchase coming from Etsy and boy-howdy did it end on a good note! Seriously, check out her store – I don’t think I could be more satisfied with the purchases I’ve made from Etsy if they had come with chocolate and a masseuse!

My second shout out is more of a sincere thank you to someone. My grandfather used to say that there was still magic in this world – but the magic came from either 1) Nature or 2) The inherent kindness that still lives within people. This magic came from the latter.

Lollyknits has done something incredibly kind, incredibly gracious and incredibly unexpected. When I posted that my husband was losing his job and I was losing my mind, she immediately contacted me with her surefire ways to keep your head on your shoulders. The message, all on it’s own, was incredibly reassuring and quite comforting. Lolly decided to take it a step further though. She sent me, for free, my first spindle and fiber to spin. She said that it helped her relax, and that might be just what I need right now.

Can you believe this? Someone I have been talking to through our blogs for only 12 weeks sent me a package of fiber/spindle goodness out of the kindness of her own heart. I am taken aback, still not sure how to fully understand that there is still magic in this world. I don’t know how to say thank you enough for her kindness – but also in helping to remind me that there are people in the world that can reignite your belief in magic, thus restoring your faith in humanity.

I want to end on that note, the best note to start a weekend on I believe. Just remember friends and neighbors – life is full of magic.

Me in Fiber Love Heaven

Me in Fiber Love Heaven