Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Present? I need your Vote!!

Ok, I need your help! I'm torn between several different items for my Christmas present. I have a check, as well as a GC to Barnes and Noble, so I can combine them if I want something large from a bookstore, like this (item 1). I've been wanting to get that for quite a while, so it has definite appeal, AND I don't own any of them yet.

Then, there is THIS gorgeous item (item 2) that a friend found for me when I mentioned that I was looking for the perfect pair to complement my Pioneer costume (with this dress and these socks, in case you've forgotten):

Finally, there are boring, but necessary things like these... (item 3) Ok, so the sale makes them look more appealing, but eeewwwww.... That's not a CHRISTMAS PRESENT!!

So, what should I get for Christmas? Item 1, Item 2, or Item 3? Please leave a comment with your vote!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wedding Shower!

Some of you already know this, but the Founder of the Knit or Knot Guild has found love once again, and in a short week and a half, will be marrying her sweetheart! We're all so thrilled for her, and wanted to do something special. So, as a group, we knit the Great American Aran Afghan as a wedding present for them.

The plan was to give it to them at our December meeting. In order to get them to the meeting, we decided to have a "Holiday Potluck". Ok, well, that's what SHE thought. Here's what the decorations REALLY looked like:

Our decorator also made these cute little shower favors for our guests! Stitch Markers!
T & J arriving for the Holiday Party, only to suddenly find out that they were the Guests of Honor!! We said for our "Holiday Party" that spouses were welcome, in order to get J to come. In a rousing success, 4 of our other long time members brought their own spouses, helping J to feel very comfortable, as well as giving the guys time to socialize too!

There was a lovely garland of "wedding advice" Knitter's style prepared by all attendees... Some of the gems included "K Knaked" and "Handwash Often"! Not holding out the suspense, we presented T & J with their gift:

Of course, T's first question was "Who knit this??" The framed, signed photo provided those answers:

It's wonderful to see T SOOOO happy!!

The lovebirds wrapped in their afghan:

And here's the full view photo!

T's comments today: "Tonight we kept the patio doors open and snuggled under the afghan. It is so warm and soft and fun to examine all the different patterns in the squares."

She also shared, last night, that this is the FIRST shower she's ever had! It's true!! When she married 49 years ago, it was to elope, so no shower. Also there was no baby shower when her son was born! We're so happy we could share this wonderful first with T & J, and we know that they will have a long and beautiful marriage!

Intervention?, INTERVENTION?!?!

Ok, so after that glowing report I just gave about how much my team is now appreciating my knitting?...

We had a going away brunch this morning for two team members - one was promoted, the other is an intern who's time with us is nearing an end. I figured hey, it's breakfast, we'll be eating, but I'll bring my knitting anyhow, to kill time before, and if necessary, distract myself from eating, nibbling, etc after... After 20 min or so, my boss says "I think you have a knitting problem...this isn't really a going away party, really we all came together to have an intervention for you..."

I did mention something about a T-shirt that M shared with me recently:
Got up to go to the restroom...came back... Knitting bag was GONE! Of course I noticed immediately! Fortunately they had coerced my old boss (the one who learned the word "skein") into "hiding" the bag...but he was really not a willing participant, so one or two words from me and he caved!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

They're Not Laughing Now!

It has been a point of amusement, awe, learning, etc for years around my workplace that I knit. As has been reported previously, one boss is still very proud of learning the word "skein" - and uses it whenever there's an opportunity! Another brought me a skein of mohair from South Africa when he came back from his vacation there! My teams have eagerly followed the design process as I knit and submitted the Cherry Tree Hill jacket. They look on in amusement on the occasions that I bring knitting to a meeting or conference call. Of course, they all dutifully ask whenever I wear a "new" sweater (Hey, this is FL, I don't get to wear them that often, so if I'm on a new team once a year, my old sweaters are always new!) if I made it - and the answer is typically yes as I have only 2 or 3 store bought sweaters in my closet.

So today, we had our team holiday potluck, and the Global team that we report up to was invited to join us. After we ate, they told us that they had been going around to each of the 5 regions (we were last) and doing a fun activity with everyone - making paper plate snowmen! They provided us with paper plates, colored construction paper, google eyes, pompoms, pipe cleaners, scissors, glue, crayons and pencils, and yarn for the construction of these snowmen.

Wait, did she say YARN?? Yep, she did. The idea was to punch a hole in the top plate and a hole in the bottom, pull yarn through them and tie the two plates together. Of course my mind started wandering as soon as I saw the yarn. The leader that was introducing the project knows me a bit, and said "Now Jody, you can't knit with the yarn, you only have a total of 35 min to complete these projects". Yeah, who's she kidding?? So, I glued on my eyes, cut out hands, feet, and a hat from the construction paper and glued those together. Started surveying the items at hand... knitting needles? Nope - didn't bring my purse to the meeting - needles were a mile away at my resort. Pipe cleaners? Hhmmm...probably on the flimsy side and might not provide a large enough needle size. Chop Sticks? Perhaps one of the secretaries might have some leftover from ordering chinese... Ah, but then there's the possibility that someone might cry foul. You see, of the 9 snowmen created in OUR meeting, we were to choose the 2 best to move on to the Global office where all 10 of the best would be judged by an impartial panel (people in their building who don't know us and wouldn't be biased)! The winner of that competition would secure a prize for their entire team! Looking around further, I found two lovely sharp pencils nearby! So, quickly cast on a 5 stitch garter scarf and spent the next 20 minutes or so zipping out a 10-14" garter scarf for Mr. Snowman! There was much amusement and conversation - and a lot of disbelief!

I did finish the scarf, though it was a tad shorter than I might have liked - threw some tassels on the ends, and tied it around his neck! The finished product? Have a look:

My team decided unanimously that he would definitely be one of the two to move on to the next phase of competition. So, he was transported along with Mr. T the snowman to the finals!

The good news about being the very last team to participate, is that they did the judging this afternoon, so we had to wait only a couple of hours to hear who won. And the final verdict? Three way tie with my Snowman with Hand-knit scarf being one of the three!! So, everyone's now wondering and conjecturing what the "prize" for winning will be. One thought was an ice cream social for our team - a likely possibility. Another thought might be a pair of movie tickets for each person... We won't find out until after the new year, but we're all happy that my little bit of knitting paid off!

As a side note, the judges did not know who submitted what, and none of them knew me well enough to know that I knit, but one of the other managers that works with the Global team walked by and looked over the finalists. She IMMEDIATELY said "I know who did THAT one!" - then proceeded to call me and tell me about it :) And it's true, no one on the overall team would have a hard time identifying that as mine.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

4th Annual Distaff Day Event!!

The Orlando Area Knitters and Spinners are once again pleased to announce:

“The 4th Annual Distaff Day”


Presbyterian Church of the Lakes
4700 Lincoln Ave.
Orlando, FL 32819

Saturday, January 5th, 2008h from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Day’s Events

10:00 -12:00 - Meet, Greet, Coffee, Goodies, Spin, and Knit
12:00 - 1:00 - Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 - Fashion Show
2:00 - 3:00 - ‘Yankee Swap’
3:00 - 4:00 - More Spinning, Knitting, Chatting, Sharing

If you have any questions I can help!

Cost: $5.00 – (Monies collected will be given to the church for the use of the room)

What to Bring:

1. Spinning Wheel, Knitting, Weaving, Beading, etc. (whatever you have put away, or not, and want to work on)

2. Bag Lunch – There is a Publix and Albertson’s close by with a deli if any one forgets.

3. Coffee or Tea mug - The Hosting Guilds will provide the beverage and treats. (cookies and veggies)

4. Item for the “Yankee Swap” Put in a plain paper bag and seal so the contents cannot be viewed. This item should have a value of up to $20.00 and should also be something that if you get you will be thrilled!!! (Because you might!!)

5. Items for the “Sale Table” Just like last year. Items that you have decided you might not want and would like to sell. Put a tag on the item with you name and price.

6. FREE TABLE – Some people prefer just to give things away, so get to the “Distaff Day” early “The early bird gets the worm!!”

7. The “Fashion Show” – Bring an item you made this year and share with us your experience and talent!!!!

All activities are voluntary. Feel free to participate in all or none

See you on the 5th!!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

To SP or not to SP, That is the question!

Knittyboard SP10 is about to get started, signups close in two days! I filled out most of my survey weeks ago... But I haven't decided whether to turn it in yet or not...

Yay - It's fun to spoil someone and get spoiled in return. You may be introduced to new yarns, patterns, books, teas...who knows!

Nay - It starts right after the holidays. I'm having a hard time even getting motivated to spoil family for Christmas, much less a downstream. I have a TON of yarn. There are good upstreams, and then there are just so-so upstreams. I don't want to BE or GET a just so-so Upstream...

The dating thing has been taking up a lot of my time lately, though it doesn't appear to be going very far very fast. So, I just don't know. What do YOU think?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Help out a Fiber Person in Need...

Alyson had to have surgery done on her doggy Bitty, and is trying to raise some funds to help pay for it. Pick up some cool yarn/roving and help out a fellow knitty!

Friday, November 23, 2007


Where HAVE I been?!? (I know the Saturday gals have been asking that question for weeks now!) Well, there was the Pioneer Day event - I already showed you the pictures of that... Then there was my trip to Macon to visit my friends and their family. We had a wonderful weekend, went to see an amazing Archeological site, and spent lots of good time with friends. Oh, and I managed to hit 4 knitting stores that weekend...2 in Macon, 2 in Gainesville. I also cast on for those socks I've been talking about...knit both of them up and turned the heels that weekend!

Came home sick (courtesy of the 2yo), but got over that in time to go to Tampa with M this past weekend for my first Native American Powwow!! Had a fabulous time, loved all the dance competitions, the dancers in their native regalia, the drums, and the jewelry and things for sale. It might have convinced me to dig out my inkle loom and learn how to bead! Also can't wait to make it to the Family History Center to do more family research!! Too bad their hours are so limited.

I did get quite a bit of knitting done at the powwow...the beauty of straight knitting is that it didn't take a lot of concentration, so I could focus on the dancers! Oh, and I tried to take pictures, but it was really too dark in the arena, and the flash didn't carry sufficiently to get any good ones. I did have a lovely conversation with another attendee who sat in front of us, mentioned what a good idea I had to bring my knitting, then mentioned that she had been trying to learn continental, but kept twisting her stitches. Conveniently I was on the ribbing of the socks, so I just leaned over and slowed down the stitches for her a bit so she could see how to wrap them properly. I think she got it!

So, started casting off the socks Monday night, can't recall what I did on Tuesday, visited with an old friend Wednesday night, finished up a charity sweater Thursday night, and FINALLY cast off the remainder of the socks today. So, without further ado, here are my new hand-dyed, handspun, handknit socks for my Pioneer costume!!!

And yes, I ADORE the way the roving's all completely random, but there is definite color variegation!
Socks were knit toe up, short row heels, 1/1 rib at the top with a kitchener bind-off.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sock Updates

First, here is one of the pictures that Kelley took of me on Saturday. I like it because you can get a better view of the dress :) Oh, and it's not a bad view of that lovely wheel either! You CAN see the socks I was wearing...handknit and lovely, but not really the best choice for the outfit.

Here's what I spun Saturday. Spun the single, then Andean plyed it back. It's about 130 yards and is just under 2 oz. I'm thinking I'll spin the rest of this 4 oz of fiber on the wheel, then knit it into a pair of socks. Not really to wear, but for demo/display.

Here's the first single of the Merino/Tencel - finished both singles Sunday night and begun plying them.
Oh, and look! Here's the finished yarn! Sorry about the lighting in all of these. The demise of Daylight Savings Time is definitely going to make yarn photography more difficult. You can see the tweediness a bit here, between the two plys.

Oh, and here it is again, all wound up and ready to become socks. Will pack the needles with me for the weekend...should cast on tonight and get the toes done, but I don't think it's going to happen.
In not-so-fibery news, I finally got up the nerve (after spending the past THREE years trying to talk myself into it!) to call my grandmother the other day (it's a long story). Anyhow, called her and talked for an hour about family history, her parents, siblings, etc. I finally have some names to begin with in my search for that side of the family. She also reconfirmed the information my mother had told me years ago - that my great grandmother was a Native American. So, now I'm out researching trying to find her and her family online. Exciting stuff!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pioneer Day 2007

Today was another amazing day to spend outside! K, M, and I went to the Pioneer Day festival in Brooksville. This is a great event that takes place annually at Chinsegut Nature Center. The site is the original homestead of the Bishop family. Their chimney and cystern are both still present on the old home site.

This great event brings together artisans from around the area including Rope makers, Cider makers, musicians, chair caners, people making homemade butter and ice cream, growing vegetables, quilting, weaving, natural dyeing, and yes, spinning. This was my third year here, but the difference is that I made a new dress this year, and even better, a "new" wheel! Yes, this beautiful antique is mine!
Each year that I've come out, I've gotten a little better with the costume. This year I felt there was only one or two things still missing. Everything you see in the picture was made by me. Dress, apron, bonnet, shawl (handspun, handknit). My socks were also handknit, but not handspun. Now that I've learned to spin my own sock yarn, I want to spin and knit my own socks to go with the costume. But, what color should they be? Some people have said "oh, they should be grey"... The problem with grey is that it would be 100% natural wool - and probably somewhat coarse. Period correct-ness aside, I don't want coarse wool socks. So, I cheated just a bit - and purchased 50/50 Superwash Merino/Tencel roving. But, white? Nope, just not gonna work.

Did I mention that there were natural dyers at this event? So, I divided my 4 oz of roving in half, tied it into hanks, put it into two lingerie bags. I mordanted the fiber in a 10%Alum/5% Tartaric Acid solution last night, drained the extra liquid off, and put the bags of roving into plastic bags and in the refrigerator. This morning I took them down to the natural dyers and explained my request. They took care of the actual dyeing for me, leaving one bag in 30-90 minutes longer than the other.

We let them hang on the line for most of the excess liquid to drain off, then put them back in the bag to take them home. At home (after a LONG nap), I rinsed the rovings in water several times, a vinegar bath (to set the dye), a shampoo bath, and several more water rinses. And after all that? This is what I ended up with:

I LOVE the beautiful honey blonde color!! Can't wait to see how this spins up when it's dry! Stay tuned, I'll have more pictures as these "socks" progress.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Gossamer \GAH-suh-mer\

The Word of the Day for November 1 is:
gossamer \GAH-suh-mer\ adjective
: extremely light, delicate, or tenuous

Example sentence:
The early morning mists formed gossamer trails through the valley, their frail beauty a stark contrast to the dark, forbidding forest that loomed behind them.

Did you know?
In the days of Middle English, a period of mild weather in late autumn or early winter was sometimes called a "gossomer," literally "goose summer." People may have chosen that name for a late-season warm spell because October and November were the months when people felt that geese were at their best for eating. "Gossomer" was also used in Middle English as a word for filmy cobwebs floating through the air in calm clear weather, apparently because somebody thought the webs looked like the down of a goose. This sense eventually inspired the adjective "gossamer," which means "light, delicate, or tenuous" -- just like cobwebs or goose down.

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pronunciations, please visit:
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Sunday, October 28, 2007

More Pics and an Update

Wow...I just realized! I never posted pics of the beautiful socks made for me by LkManitou!! So, without further ado, here are the pics of the socks she made me!

Oh, and remember that Knitting To Do list?
  • Finish the CTH Contest jacket and get it mailed by 5/29.

  • Knit the Laurel Fibonacci Stripe top for my former boss by 6/24 (it's a gag gift, and I'll have to adapt it a bit for *him*).

  • Finish my Crayon Box Jacket

  • Make the gorgeous Scotch Thistle Stole that Ann gifted me with in SP8.
  • Knit messenger bag for my HP downstream

  • Knit bookmarks for my HP downstream

  • Spin sock yarn for my Spinning SP

  • Spin sock yarn for my Sock Swap Pals

  • Knit the Socks

  • Work on a special secret project for a Pal

  • Fill in the gaps with Guidepost Charity Sweaters
And yes, I AM now back to working on the Crayon Box Jacket...should have more of that to show soon!

Happy Halloweenie!!

Happy Halloween everyone!! I got a great package in the mail yesterday, from the lovely Alarid of the Knittyboards. Take a look!

What's in it? Two GORGEOUS skeins of Silky Wool, yummy Dark Chocolate, evil Candy Corn...

And then there's the little halloween card, beautiful raindrop ornament from her side of the world (British Columbia!), an eagle keyring, purse sized hand lotion, pumpkin soap (with real pumpkin pulp!), BEAUTIFUL homemade stitch markers, and a lavendar sachet pouch for use in the dryer - or in my yarn!

What a great package, thanks!! The yarn color is beautiful...thinking maybe I'll make myself a pretty scarf or something with it!

Oh, and speaking of packages LONG overdue to be blogged are the amazing hand-dyed, hand-knit socks from my sock pal Ms. Pixie Riot! She is starting up her own business hand dying yarns, and there are some great colors on her blog - check it out!

I've been doing some charity knitting lately too...finished a Guidepost sweater a week or so ago, and well on my way to finishing a second one... A friend contacted me because she was in need of some Chemo Caps... So I found this pattern made with Lion Brand Cotton Ease, and whipped them out. I hope they are well loved by their recipient.

Oh, and one last note...many of you are now on Ravelry, and a few are still wondering what it is. To sign up, click on the name above. To find me, I'm FiberFanaticsRUs. Hope to see you there! Oh, and I'm being slow about putting things up....recent projects are there, older projects aren't. Very little stash has been put up...I have yet to decide if I'm going to drag out and photograph all the stash so I can post it, that'll be a job!

Monday, October 01, 2007

It's Official!!!!

I'm a published knitting designer!! That's right, the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat pattern is now available for sale! Where can you get your copy? I understand that Hanks Yarn & Fiber, the new incarnation of Chez Casuelle, will have the pattern for sale, but they are still trying to get their retail store up and running, so it might be a little while. If you're really impatient and you can't wait, there are other online sources that have begun carrying it. Search for Cherry Tree Hill Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (the pictures are hideous, but it's definitely the right pattern!)I knew without a doubt that it was official when I got THIS (along with a very nice check) in the mail last Friday! Doesn't it look too cool, all wrapped up official like a kit! Oh, and I know a couple of you have asked me to autograph your pattern (choke!)...but yes, if you would like, email me off blog and we can talk :)

What else is going on?...ok, long overdue: In July and August, I joined a sock swap, where each person made a pair for the other person or persons they were matched with. I ended up with two people to knit for! Both agreed that they would love to have their socks made from handspun yarn, so I found the perfect roving for each, and jumped in. Ms. Pixie Riot’s socks were made from a 50/50 Superwash Merino/Tencel blend, lovingly hand-dyed by FatCatKnits of Etsy in the colorway Get Going.
This beautiful colorway included lime green, purple and pink, and a variety of other colors. It was 4 ounces, and spun up to about 340 yards of fingering weight yarn.

Being uncertain of the exact yardage, I decided toe-up was the way to go on the socks. The pattern used was a simple twin rib stitch that I found on a pair of socks (made for me by Somerset last fall!). I figured it would be relatively easy to knit, which it was (because I did spin the yarn after all). I found that I liked the bottoms of the socks, in stockinette, almost as much, if not more, as the patterned section. I felt it showed the colors better.

I should note that both yarns were spun using the Fractal technique described in SpinOff Magazine, Summer 2007. The technique did not come out as striking on Pixie’s socks because of the abundance of color in the original roving, and the lack of long solid stretches. They’re still gorgeous of course!

LkManitou’s socks were spun from a 4 ounce ball of Targhee roving hand dyed by Susan’s Spinning Bunny in the colorway Oriental Poppies. I would highly recommend Susan’s rovings for the Fractal technique!! This came out amazingly! I did find that the Targhee actually came out even finer than the Merino/Tencel, ending up somewhere between a Fingering and Lace Weight in fact. 4 oz yielded nearly 540 yards of yarn! I think because the Targhee was a little sticker than the Merino/Tencel, it made it easier to spin fine without breaking. Sadly, that also meant that I ended up knitting it on size 0’s!! Think I need to stick to the blend if that’s what my sock yarn does in 100% wool!
These socks were knit with the Diagonal Cross-Rib pattern from Favorite socks, but done as a toe-up. I liked the choice of pattern much better, since it had more stockinette surface to better see the yarn. And the striping…ooo, la, la!

I spent this weekend at Land of Green Ginger Alpacas with Jane and Steve and their 25 wonderful Alpaca! Jane found a bag of raw fleece belonging to Brooklyn, one of their Suri females, and I spent the weekend spinning her. It definitely falls into the “novelty yarn” category. I would estimate that this is between a worsted and bulky weight, for the most part. I'll post a picture soon - the color is a lovely dark chocolate color, so there's no way you'll see it in anything but natural light.

In other news, I recently returned from my trip to NY to visit family and attend the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival! I really enjoyed the festival. K came up to join the fun, and we got to do some shopping together Saturday morning before classes began. We found yummy fiber, she picked up a Bosworth spindle, and a few other things…then we wandered by the “used equipment sale”… Well, it just so happened, they had a BEAUTIFUL antique flax wheel sitting there just begging to go home with me… And, since I had only bought a LITTLE bit of fiber, and still had most of my shopping budget intact… I bought it! Shipping was a slight challenge – my father helped me disassemble it enough to put in a reasonable sized box. It fared relatively well in shipping, with just one slight mishap. The wheel itself was broken, but nothing that some wood glue and straps wouldn’t fix. I do need to get a little wood filler, and once I can get the wheel filled and set, and re-assemble the entire thing, there'll be more pictures. In the meantime, here's the one that Wendy took of it:

Classes at the festival were awesome, and I have a number of things that I need to photograph and show you, but that will have to wait for another post.

I also mentioned family - my sister-in-law asked me during the first week, if I would make a scarf for Ava for the winter. I told her I'd been wanting to make matching Mom & Baby scarves actually, but I was uncomfortable picking the color - so we went together and she picked out the yarn! Here's the fashion duo!

If you couldn't tell from the photo, Ava is an absolute DOLL! She's an incredibly happy baby, LOVES all animals, was standing up when I got there, cruising handily by the time I left, and talks CONSTANTLY (she's just waiting for us to start understanding her!). Here's another great shot of her. I'll see about sharing more in future posts.

Anyhow, this is your update for the moment. I'll be back soon with pictures of my projects from NY as well as the Alpaca farm spinning, and the wheel. I'm sure there'll be other things by then too (I have it on good authority that I should have a pair of hand-dyed socks arriving any day now :)).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Still here...or back depending on how you look at it...

Do I have an readers left out there? I'm so sorry people... There have been a combination of factors working against you... 1) I was working on two secret pair of socks, that I my spinning AND knitting was a secret! 2) I've been away for the past 16 days, with only intermittent internet access.

What am I gonna do about it?

Well, I owe you a LOT of post...the secret stuff, my trip to see family, the Finger Lakes Fiber Fest, my new Antique Traditional wheel....

...and I'll get to it, but not tonight...soon though, really.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Binding off in the Round

Here's a great tip that J found for binding off seamlessly in the round! Linked for me and for you!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Too Cute for Words

Apparently Timothy is rather fond of the soaps Somerset sent too!

Incoming, Outgoing

The time for the end of the Rut-Busting Sock Swap is here! That's right, you heard me! The point is to send the person a new yarn or pattern to help them break out of their yarn, color, or pattern rut!

I got a package in the mail on Wednesday from none other than Somerset! (She was also my very first swap pal, back in the Spooky Secret Pal swap last fall!)

What was in the package you ask?

Here it is! Included in the package is a great sock pattern for Savannah Socks. In bath stuff, there is a bar of handmade Lilac soap from Euphoric Bath Goodies and two Citrus Burst Bath Bombs! Perfect timing (as always!) - I am taking a "mini-vaca" tonight....two nights resort stays, dinner in an amazing restaurant, a spa massage tomorrow... Tonight's resort has a jacuzzi I'm going to try out one of those bath bombs!

Oh wait, you want to hear about the yarn? It's a lovely yarn bouquet from Zen Yarn Garden! The hand-dyed colors are GORGEOUS!! And the fiber! 50/50 Superwash Merino/Tencel!

Did I say incoming AND outgoing? to the PO this morning to send off my first International package! Oh, you want to know what's in it? Ok, here's a picture of the part that I spun...the rest you'll have to see when my lovely downstream receives it.

This too is Superwash Merino and Tencel and is another of the lovely dye creations of FatCatKnits!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Spinning Package - and what a package!!

I got my Spinning Pal swap package today! Just in time!!

What do I mean? Well, let me show you what was in the package, and I'll explain...

Here's the big picture of all the wonderful things I got from BusyMamaof3! It includes 4 oz of hand dyed superwash pencil roving in a great rut-busting color for me (I know, different swap, but it works here too!). It's red with tones of oranges and browns. Looks like a GREAT pair of socks to me... The other roving is baby alpaca and silk! Yummy!! It too is nearly 4 oz...what to do, what to do...

I got a great mug with my initial on it, potpourri, shea butter hand cream (how did you know that I love to have one of these in my bag!), and magnetic bookmarks! What a great tool for keeping my place as I'm knitting socks out of my NEW SOCK BOOK!!

Below you can see a little closer the two fibers. I think the black is all natural's nearly black with white streaks from the silk.

So, I mentioned perfect timing and a dilemma.... Well, I'm not sure if I'd really looked through this book before or not, but I have to say, this is the PERFECT book for me!! I'm never one to remain a slave to a particular construction technique...and THIS gives me the freedom to have multiple techniques at my fingertips! The dilemma is...I had just finally (at dinner!) decided on what pattern I would use for LkManitou's socks...and, I'll have to think about that a little more.

Friday, July 27, 2007


WOW! I have three downstream pals in various Knitty swaps, and not one of them has made a blog post in the past week! The Knittyboards are very quiet too...

Is everyone on vacation?

Busily knitting or spinning?

Reading Harry Potter?

Me? Well, no vacations, but I did find a great ticket price for my trip to NY in September. Hooray! Non-stop RT flights too! So, that's a bit of good news at least.

Knitting and spinning? Yep. I'm working on a pair of socks that I spun - was knitting during a conference call today and after my boss was looking them over. He said "What would you WEAR those with?" with a skeptical look in his eye... So I gave him the brief description of how Pixie has said she'll wear them, including shoe and hair colors, and he said "Aaaahhhhh...ok." But, since they are a surprise, I can't show you yet. I've been taking pictures along the way though, and will show you when they are delivered.

Am in the process of plying the yarn for LkManitou's socks. Am taking a quick break from that actually...resting my fingers. Have a bandaid on for finger protection as well, which is helping me get farther than I would have otherwise. Yep, can't show you that yet either.

After that? I've decided to spin yarn for my Rut-Busting Sock swap pal too!! I'm so totally gonna spoil her she won't know what hit her! Have found some GREAT sale discounts on things, so have picked up several things... That fiber came from the same dyer that Pixie's socks came from actually, FatCatKnits on Etsy. Will start that roving once I'm done with LkM's.

I did read TWO Harry Potter books this week...finally got my hands on book 6 Saturday morning. Finished it Monday at 9pm. Started 7 immediately. Finished IT Thursday at 9pm! So, one could say I read it in three weeknights. If you want to talk about it, email me. Am thinking I might re-read part of it this weekend before I turn it back in on Monday (only a one week checkout!).

Friday, July 13, 2007

What IS Tencel??

So, this is a question that's been bugging me for a while. Someone said it was "wood fiber"...but how can it be soooo soft and wonderful??

I read somewhere recently where someone was equating Tencel with Acrylic - that bothered me, since I think there couldn't be two fibers that are MORE different from each other. So, a quick search found me Tencel - The Miracle Fiber.

In summary, it IS wood fiber, and I LOVE it! The socks I'm knitting (which started out REALLY strong - two socks, toe up, started Sunday, turned the heels on Tuesday!) are a wool/tencel blend. I spun the yarn, and it's SOOOO soft and wonderful. Oh, and as for the socks...I haven't knitted a stitch since Wednesday morning :( I plead budget exhaustion :(

Oh, and while I'm passing on short bits of things found online, here's a great post about some AMAZING Cupcakes...what a fabulous themed idea for a party!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New swaps, Old swaps, Everywhere a Swap, swap...

Here's the OTHER reason I haven't been blogging much... I've been busy swapping!

Most of my swaps are from the Knitty Boards, but, there is one that is being held in the NYGK group! It's the KnitFlix Swap, where we prepare a package with a movie, yarn, and other treats. So, here's my questionaire:

Since this is a summer blockbuster swap, would you rather receive a summer action/adventure movie, a light romantic comedy, or a suspense/thriller?

Definitely NOT a suspense/thriller. I love Action/Adventure as well as Chick Flix and Romantic comedies!

What is your favorite film genre or type?

See above.

List 3-5 of your favorite films and why you like them

Hhmmmm.... Old fav - The Sound of Music - it's just such a classic!
Action flix - The Die Hard Series - just saw Live Free or Die Hard - Bruce Willis just doesn't dissappoint!
Chick flix - Coyote Ugly - those girls just kick booty! How To Make An American Quilt - sappy but fun. Ten Things I Hate About You - yep, never really outgrew some of those teeny flix either...

Is that all over the place enough for you?

Do you like foreign films? Would it annoy you to watch a film with subtitles if you are knitting/crafting?

I don't actually own any, but yes, I tend to listen MUCH more than I watch to most TV/Movies. I'm usually watching TV, online, AND knitting all at the same time!

Is there a movie that you've always wanted to see but haven't?

Not that comes to mind at the moment...

Do you have any favorite actors?

Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Matthew McConnahae, John Cusack

What kind of movie night treats do you like? Type of Candy? Popcorn?

My sinful treat is Jelly Bellies, my "approved" treats are Popcorn or Dark Chocolate.

Are you a sock knitter, lace knitter, or hat/mitten/scarf knitter?

Socks, lace, baby stuff, sweaters, felted bags... You name it, I've probably knit it.

What are your favorite fibers?

I enjoy wool blends, where you get the feel of the wool, but softened by the blend. Much cooler for Florida!

What fibers do you dislike or are allergic?

Not a big acrylic or novelty yarn fan.

What are your favorite colors?

Blue, green, purple, maroon... jewel tones basically.

What colors do you not like?

Orange, yellow, pastels.

Is there anything else that your partner should know that will help her spoil you?

I'm also a tea fanatic.

In other swap news...the Rut Busting Sock Swap partners were handed out today, and I'm V excited! Can't wait to put together a box for this partner!

The sock swap is going well...I'm making great progress on the first pair!

Some other tidbits I've received lately include this great picture frame and natural dyeing book from Penny, my Harry Potter swap pal:

This GORGEOUS hand-dyed fiber from my Spinning Swap Pal:

Kelley got me THESE for my birthday! That's a Lantern Moon bag, a felted mini-purse, 3 pair of stitch markers, some YUMMY peppermint soap, a fun little quilted bag...

Oh, and then there's the loot... K and I went to Tampa a couple of weeks ago to do some shopping. First stop was Knit -n- Knibble who were having their anniversary sale. Great prices, and I picked up something for a swap and a couple of things for me - That's 9 skeins of Obsession (at 30% off!) and a skein of Mountain Colors.

Here's the Mountain Colors up close...

After that we went to Uncommon Threads. Sadly their roving was buried behind some shelving that they had to move temporarily, so we couldn't buy any of it. I did find this GORGEOUS Alpaca yarn though!! Oh, and a couple of cool patterns too.

The week after, I was at Chez Casuelle and found a couple of things there on GREAT discounts, so I just couldn't resist...