August 27, 2013

Classes and Events for August 2013!

2 big events have happened.  I went to Stitches Midwest and I went on vacation.

Stitches has not disappointed me.  A couple of my classes there, a little, but this year I took no classes but went to all the evening events.  I was very happy and excited.

I worked in the Zen Yarn Garden Booth, my LYS Fuzzy Wuzzy Yarns will start carrying their yarns this fall and we hosted their yarn at Stitches.  I spent Thursday's market preview learning about their yarns and talking up their cashmere blends.  It was so pretty, I came home with some (not these ... they were already gone)
I came after work on Friday, but missed the podcaster meet-up due to yoga.  I did meet up with some folks from the Fox Valley area in WI, HI!  It was good to see my Yarn School Buddy Ann.  I got my books signed by Antje Gillingham and Melissa Leapman.  Both were very nice but honestly Antje changed my knitting life.  The 2 at a time on 2 circulars method made socks more achievable and more likely to be the same size!  I couldn't thank her enough, she might have gotten teary.  I know I did :)

The fashion show put on by the yarn sponsors and vendors was that night.  I got to sit with Jen Lucas of Sock Yarn Shawls & Knitting Like Crazy, Laura (who won the student banquet editor's choice), Christine and Pam that I all know through my time at Fuzzy Wuzzy.  The Fashion Show was very cool, lots of great things going on, Lion Brand's LB collection has some real nice stuff in it!  I was really impressed with Laura Bryant's Artful Color, Mindful Knits collection from the book.  I wish I had more time to check out those garments.

Then the PJ party.  I packed up my sidekick spinning wheel and had it in the car for the PJ party.  I knew that after work, shopping the market and the fashion show, I would be fried.  I took it as an opportunity to spin.  I was the only spinner, but I did get to teach a little about the wheel and what I was doing.  It was a lovely night.
On Saturday I was back in the afternoon after mowing the lawn, house work and some laundry.  I came in around 1, dropped off some noms for the ladies working the Zen Yarn Gardens Booth, because I knew they wouldn't stop to eat.  Then did a little walking the market place and shopping and then did a 2 hr volunteering at Halos of Hope.  Man I love Pam, Alex and that whole organization.  They do a lot to make sure people fighting for their lives have some comfort and love around their heads.  Do check out the drawing for a FREE RIDE to your next stitches event for a $5 donation!
In the evening on Saturday I finished the day with the Student Banquet and Fashion show.  I just love that event.  The peak at what the industry is presenting is great, but seeing what the others at the show are doing is the best!  Fantastic work and great workmanship.  Oh, I loved it.  So proud of the other stitchers there!

I came home with a few goodies from the dinner and then came home to pack for a week of vacation in MI!  There was very little fiber fun on the road.  I knit a lot of my Camp Loopy Project, some socks, and taught my friend to spin!

She should be very proud!  And she is so enthusiastic that when she got back to California, she signed up for a drop spindle class.  Woo hoo!

I saw cool things and ate lots of great food.  Ann Arbor MI is a wonderful town, even for a Buckeye.

I wish I had had the time to take a class at Stitches, but I pooled my money into SOAR.  And it's good I did, because it's the last one :-(  I am thrilled to be going and to sleep in my own bed while attending.

On the teaching front I have several classes that are new to me.  Design Your Own Christmas Stocking.  Like this one I made for my sig other.  

I am teaching Christmas Ornaments too - Balls Up! is our pattern and it's going to be great!
Check out the store website for details. 

August 19, 2013

It's August - Let's Talk about Spinning and Books

This month's Spinning and Books are linked.  

I was gifted 8 ounces of Gale's Art Corridale wool in a Randome Colorway.  Of course there is no before picture.  Sorry.  It was a bunch of Purples, some red, a navy, aquas and a blue.  They were 2 bumps of four ounces each, likely dyed at the same time.  I didn't care for the red, however the purples and blues were very nice.  I decided to break this up, pulling the colors into different piles.  I then weighed each pile to see how I could divide these colors up while still being able to pair the red with a color that would ply into something good.  The red is so tonally different than most of the other colors but I wanted a 2 ply.  I figured out a color progression that would pair the red with the navy which should give an effect of a purple from a distance.  

My sidekick bobbins hold about 4 ounces so my intent was to spin 2 bobbins FULL and ply them together making a 2 ply that would be a lovely purple yarn to gift over the holidays to a new knitter.  I have never spun Corridale before, it wanted to be spun pretty fine, finer than I usually spin.  So, I needed to come up with a different option and I turned to The Spinners Book of Yarn Designs.  I had flipped through the book in an early post, but I hadn't READ the whole thing.  I did, and I loved it.  I went browsing and learning through the book looking for a multiply that would work with my Z spun singles that are divided into 2.  I had already spun one bobbin full :-/ 

I found the Hawser Plying, I think I was familiar with Hawser Rope.  It's a 4 ply that is a double 2 ply taking your z spun singles and making a z spun 2 ply yarn, then taking the 2 ply yarn and making an S spun 4 ply!  Ah!  And when I was flipping through the book I found a secret pouch on the back that had cheat sheet cards!  So handy to remind me what I was doing.

So far I have spun my Z spun 2 plies.  I should start S plying tonight.  BUT I SAMPLED:  Look how nice that is :)

Bonus Recipe You Need To Try: 

Filipino Chicken Adobo.  So easy, so yummy, in love.  Make with rice, eat with gusto.

August 9, 2013

A Late July Wrap Up - Projects!

I've been readying for a vacation and Stitches Midwest and the Chicago-land Yarn Crawl.  All the while I let the end of month wrap up fly by!

I have been knitting swiftly and getting a lot of projects done.  I still have a few projects in need of buttons.  Including my Bittersweet vines set.
I worked the smaller size out of Plymouth Mushishi.  Love the silk noils, don't they just crave your attention?  I don't know if I like the color gradation, but with 5 buttons in place I will be putting this set in the gift pile.

I also need 2 cute buttons for Ava's sweater.  It's a Helena from

I made the largest size and made a couple modifications.  Those were removing the picot edging on the bottom and sleeve to match the garter edging on the button band/collar.  I also did all garter and reverse stockinette in a contrast color.  A forced modification due to a lack of purple yarn was to add a couple stripes near the edging on the sleeves.

Her 3rd birthday is at the end of the month, and she picked out the purple, Flashdance in MadTosh DK.  I picked out the pink to go with it.  The combo reminds me of Dora the Explorer, a big hit at her house.  This soon to be 3 year old said it was pretty and you can't ask for a better endorsement!

I have been obsessed with the pattern Sallah Cowl by Bristol Ivy.  All my 100% wool sock yarn WANTS to be one.  Including some Insanity Sock from Knitting Like Crazy (currently not dying up more) in a Packer color!
It's drying on the rack right now.  I love the simplicity of the pattern.  With a set of interchangables, I put on one size 5 tip and one size 10 tip and off I go.  The cowl is so squashy and the pattern creates a lot of pockets for air to act as insulation.  I am completely fascinated with the squash-factor and color pooling.

I have yet to pick a new yarn to become a Sallah, but I'm eyeing some Zen Yarn Gardens Serenity Silk at Stitches Midwest for one!

On my needles right now are a million things.  I found a blanket in Lion Brand Homespun that was 1/4 done in my closet.  I moved it from the old house and shoved it in the closet?  *sigh*

So I dug it out and quickly doubled the length in cool afternoon a couple weekends ago.  I do like it and it's on US 11 needles, so it's about 2 rows per inch.  BAM!  Blanket!

For those counting that's 4 blankets on the needles, none remotely close to being done!  I'm 1/2 way through the GIANT needles blanket too.  That one is heavy and warm.  8 strands of worsted acrylic on size 50's.  I did about 8 more rows on it but have gotten to a point where I need to be joining new yarn.  Things get tangled and I get frustrated.  Every row helps though!

I haven't done any work on the Building Blocks or Beekeeper's Quilt.  They are lonely and neglected.

Other projects I'm working on are a hat for Halos of Hope.  Simple Tam pattern for that in a beige.  Kind of boring... a KAL with the Mean Girls Yarn Club that I have made a million (about 35) tiny granny squares for.  So cute.  I can't wait to work with them, but I have to weave in ends.  YUCK!  But I'm going to attach them and combined withe some garter stitch rows of white... maybe I'll have a new pattern!
Have you seen Sharknado?  I have been bitten and I am making Sharknado Socks!  Look for an afterthought garter stitch heel.  Oh they are sweet.
Lastly I've started challenge 3 for Camp Loopy.  800+ yards in ONE project.  I'm doing the Audrey Cardigan in 100% Wool Lace from Prism.  I have lace tension issues and have snapped the yarn once.  (I'm a hulk)  I do nothing but re-think my choices when knitting this; it's not a good sign.  The color is a boring brown, which I know I would wear all the time but don't like looking at right now.

I know that I have had to make a couple adjustments to the pattern for my hips and arms.  It all makes me a little nervous.  Dear God I hope this works out.

Hope everyone's knitting is going well!  See you after Stitches!