Friday, May 26

lost in stitches

I brought back a new toy from PLY Away 2....a Clemes & Clemes stitching stand.

I learned to cross stitch in my teens, and kept at it occasionally throughout my twenties. In my mid-thirties I started a very small business designing cross stitch and quilt patterns. The business didn't last long, but my love of cross stitch and creating designs was cemented.

I abandoned my stitching for a while when I fell down the knitting rabbit hole, but a few years ago I picked it back up and worked on some pieces here and there. Then I started giving away small cross stitch patterns on my blog for a bit. 

Now, I'm lost in cross stitches again. Frankly, I blame Flosstube...and that's a good thing! I've had so much fun watching others share their cross stitch projects and plans. It's revved up my love for cross stitch once again!

So, right now, I'm working on an old WIP from Little House Needleworks (Little House Neighborhood), plus I'm stitching away on a couple of new designs of my own. 

You may be seeing more of this in the future:)

Monday, May 15

Sock Club

One of my favorite projects each month is coming up with a new colorway for the Sock Club members. It's always fun to just play around and see what comes out. Some months I have a definite idea of what I want, and other months I jump in and see what happens!

Sock Club colorways are exclusive for three months, and after that you may see a few of them become regular colorways. A few popular examples of colors that started in the Sock Club are Madeleine, Poet, Spiced Plum, Water Lilies, Seashells and Velvet.

A new one that I'm excited to add to the regular colorways list is Hopskotch.

This was one of those colors that was a complete surprise. I was just playing around with a couple of skeins and whammo! After I added the last layer, I loved it.

To get your own subscription to the Sock Club, click here. There are 3 and 6 month options available. That's 3 or 6 months of yummy yarny surprises! :)

Friday, April 14

fiber, fiber everywhere

It's been all work and not much play around here the past few weeks, what with preparing for DFW Fiber Fest (which was last weekend) and PLY Away 2 (which is in 2 weeks).  The dye pots are going full tilt, there's fiber and yarn everywhere, and I'm still trying to cram in as much dyeing as possible before we head off to Kansas City.

And really, if you're going to have work stuff laying around all over your home, yarn (and fiber) is a pretty sweet deal.

The thing is...I've got an itch to do some sewing. I'm dreaming of patchwork and paper piecing, new pj's and project bags, not to mention breaking out the embroidery and cross stitch!

Right now, I'm satisfying myself with paper piecing hexagons for this very old WIP. Which started out with a little pouch and grew because making hexagons is very addicting, albeit slow. One day it will be a lap quilt (it's larger than now, about triple the size from this old photo).

But once May is here, there will be a lot of sewing projects started around here. Like this, and this, and even this:)

Monday, March 20

works in progress

Although I don't have many pictures to prove it, I've actually been quite the productive knitter so far this year.

I'm working on the sweater for myself in Cloud Burst, which is coming right along (although it's hard to tell anything by the photo, I've finished the top and the ribbed waist and have just started on the skirt):

I'm also continuing to make a few blanket squares here and there, although that's rather infrequent and completely subject to my whims.

Plus, I'm knitting these lovely mittens, which are completely addictive:

And I've knit several pairs of socks in the last few months, 3 pair for Jimmy and 1 pair for myself. Unfortunately, I haven't taken pictures of any of Jimmy's socks. It seems like his sock stash has taken a few hits this last year. He's had 4 or 5 pairs blow out, or just plain wear out. They're all pairs that were knit several years ago, so it's not surprising. But they seemed to give up the ghost all in a lump.

I darn or mend socks that have a small hole, so we get maximum mileage out of them (and he wears hand knit socks every day). But you usually reach a point where it's just not worth it. So, there's a lot of replacement sock knitting in my future:)

Thursday, March 9

getting ready

Fiber Festival season is fast approaching, and we are in full swing preparing for the 2 shows that we are participating in this April. The dye pots are going full time and the skein winder is smoking!

We'll be at DFW Fiber Fest in Irving, Texas from April 6-9 (Thursday - Sunday). This is our third year attending, and it's always a huge blast. I love meeting everybody and drooling over all the yummy yarn everybody makes. It'll be a little bit odd this year because that is also Masters week this year. Jimmy and I are both huge golf fans, so there may be some surreptitious viewing on the iPad come Sunday afternoon:)

We'll also be returning to Kansas City, Missouri for PLY Away 2 a couple of weeks later - April 27-29 (the retreat actually begins on the 25th, but the vendor hall doesn't open until the 27th). We had the best time at the inaugural PLY Away last year, and I was really excited to be invited to come back. Jacey, Levi and the whole gang did an exceptional job hosting their first spinning retreat. I'm not sure how it could be better, but I bet there will be some good surprises in store this year.

Those are the only 2 shows we are doing this year, because we have a busy summer of house renovations and remodeling planned. I'm not really looking forward to it, but it's got to be done. Then in the fall, we'll be taking an anniversary trip we've been talking about for a while.

I'm also looking forward to giving our online shop my full attention for a while. I've got gobs of ideas that I'm raring to put into play, but there hasn't been time for them this past year.

Tuesday, February 28

Folklore Socks

I recently updated my Folklore Socks pattern to use our Everlasting Sock Yarn. I used the Cloud Burst colorway (cause it's one of my faves), and I needed to take a new cover photo.

The only sad thing about that is it meant replacing the original cover photo that included our beloved collie, Shepherd:

I loved that picture so much, so it's still included in the pattern on another page. He loved the smell of wool yarn, but he never chewed on my projects. Oh, he'd give them a good smell, but that was it. :)

Anyway, that's just to say, the pattern has a nice, new update. It's been updated to work using any type of needle (dpn, 2 circulars, magic loop) and the toe has been tweaked for a smoother fit. If you purchased your copy on Ravelry, you get an automated update.

And now, I get to wear the new socks!

Tuesday, February 21

Inspired by Spring

I am sitting in my studio enjoying a sunny view of my front yard, with the daffodils popping up and the forsythia already in bloom.

I am normally a person who clings to the last days of winter, since I love cold weather and wintry days so much. But this year, I find myself eager for spring and warmer weather - kind of a new feeling for me.

Yesterday I spent the day dyeing up all kinds of spring colors, and today I am anxious to cast on a new "spring" thing.  I'm not sure what, but something!

Monday, February 6

Finished Object: Wintermint Party

I realized I never shared pictures of my finished shawl, Wintermint Party. Which I love and have worn to death already.

It makes a perfect scarf, since you can wind it around your neck a few times and then tuck in the little ends. That's how I wear it almost every day.

The pattern, of course, is the very popular Party on My Needles by Joji Locatelli. I made a couple of modifications:

Instead of using one color for the stripes and a third for the bind off, I used a Mini-Skein set...this one. (I'm sold out right now, but more should be coming in a couple of months.) That worked perfectly. I used one color for each stripe, and then used my two favorites for the last row and the bind off.

I knit the bottom repeat just before the bind off in the main color, instead of a contrasting color. I just liked the continuity of it better.

This had been one of my favorite knits this year. I love the pattern, I love the yarn, and I especially love the color. It still makes me happy just to look at it.

Friday, January 20

In a Gray Way

Gray has been calling my name a lot lately. I just finished a pair of Folklore Socks in our new-ish Everlasting Sock Cloud Burst. And I'm working on the Cinnamon Girl cardigan for myself in Sojourn Cloud Burst.

It's such a lovely can I go wrong?

I'm also about to cast on a scarf for Jimmy using some of my treasured Arbor Cloud Burst and Pearl. It's actually going to be a modified version of the Abella stole.  I'm going to replace the lace borders with ribbing, plus make it one repeat narrower.

And then there are the sock yarn blanket squares that I work on when the mood tones of grays and creams:)

So, it's neutral city over here these days. But not to worry, there's still plenty of color being splashed around daily in the dye pots!

Friday, January 6

Happy New Year!

And we're back. Well that was fun, wasn't it?

We had a terrific holiday, and it was really nice to just sit back, relax, and do whatever I felt like (or not do) for a couple of weeks.

But, it's good to be back at the dye pots this week! We're gearing up to prepare for the spring fiber festivals and making plans for the rest of the year. It's kind of amazing how quickly October rolls around:)

It's always good to spend a few weeks in January planning and prepping, before things really get rolling...and roll away from me. So I'll be spending this lovely month planning, scheduling and dreaming about what I would like to accomplish this year.

What are your goals for 2017?

Wednesday, December 14

Happy Holidays

It's almost Christmas, and there are lots of cookies to bake, presents to wrap and holiday movies to watch!

I'll be taking a blog break until the new year, but the shop will still be open and I'll be adding a few things to it here and there. So, until next year....

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 5

Epic Bind Off

I'm finishing up my Party on My Needles shawl by Joji Locatelli, and boy, does it ever feature an epic bind off!

The pattern offers three choices of bind off, and I chose the one in the pattern photo, the loopy bind off. I've been binding off for several evenings, now:)

Almost done....

Thursday, December 1

IK Knits, Winter 2017

I had almost given up hope. And honestly, had pretty much decided in my mind that I wouldn't be renewing my subscription. Then the Winter 2017 issue arrived in my mailbox.

Can I just say....good to see you, old friend! It's been a long while since I've been this excited about an issue of Interweave Knits. A few years, in fact. But I feel like this issue harkens back to what made Knits such a great magazine, and such an influential force in the knitting community: classic knits. Classic knits that you actually want to knit and wear.

I'm not sure if it's the influence of new-ish editor Meghan Babin, or something else, but...yay!

I'm excited about almost all of the patterns in this issue, including the rarely seen men's sweaters. My husband loves wearing hand knits, and sweater patterns that he likes are hard to come by. There are several great choices in this issue.

Belfast Cardigan, Solstice Capelet, & Tullamore Pullover.  Images from Interweave Knits.
The Belfast Cardigan by Irina Anikeeva is probably at the top of the list for Jimmy. It would make a great Saturday & weekend cardigan.

I'm in love with the Solstice Capelet by Monika Sirna...oh my goodness. And the Tullamore Pullover by Brandy Velten is calling my name. I'd love to knit it in my favorite olive, Picholine.

Here's hoping this is the first of many great issues for Knits. I'll be renewing my subscription, after all:)

Monday, November 21

happy thanksgiving

This week is Thanksgiving here in the states, and we plan to eat, eat and eat some more. There is also knitting and lazing around planned. (And truth be told, a few walks in the park.) Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful holiday and gets plenty of pumpkin pie!

Thursday, November 17

a little podcast love

Knitting video podcasts are everywhere these days, aren't they? It seems like they are the new "influence bloggers" in the knitting world. Which is great, since prepping, skeining, re-skeining, labeling, measuring and fluffing fiber and all those other little tasks that go with running a yarn business take a some time. And how better to pass the time than with some podcasts?

While I'm not the podcast watching expert that others may be (I know there are tons I haven't watched or even heard of), I've got a few current faves:

The Gentle Knitter
This is a new podcast for me, and it may be my favorite. It's hosted by Nicole who lives in Ottawa, Canada and boy, she does some serious knitting. She does quite a bit of sample knitting for some major designers, which is interesting to hear about. She also spins and has a dog, so you know...yay! Nicole's aesthetic and project choices are right up my alley. She likes "quiet things" and soft colors. A definite must watch for me.

By the Lakeside
This is also a new podcast for me, and it's another Canadian gal. Sandy lives by the lake near Toronto and knits, sews and does crafty things. What hooked me here, besides her lovely demeanor and interesting projects, was her love of planners, journals, sketchbooks and paper. I'm a paper, planner and sketchbook lover too, so this was a happy discovery.

Grocery Girls
I'm guessing most podcast-watching knitters out there already know about Jodi & Tracie of the Grocery Girls, but you never know. These girls are just fun. They remind me so much of my aunts, and the crazy good times we would have just hanging out, shopping, and eating. If by some chance, you haven't seen them yet...go watch. You'll smile.

Suburban Stitcher
I've been watching Dianne for a while now, and I'm constantly amazed at the amount of knitting that comes off her needles. For someone who's running a business, raising kids and you know... generally living a life, you would think she knits 24/7.  Sock knitter extraordinaire, shawl knitter and frequent enabler of "lovelies", she's definitely worth watching.

Do you have a favorite podcast?

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