Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stash Enhancement Sunday

Jen went to New Orleans for the week so I'll be soloing this one.  This past week, I did manage to resist temptation, with the exception of buying a skein of The Cyborg's Craft Room Bested base as a gift for a friend.  However, the 2 previous orders I was waiting for arrived on Thursday.  

The first came from Knitterly Things.  When Jen and I met the Yarn Harlot the other week, K8erpillar was knitting these gorgeous self-striping socks.  I asked her what yarn she was using and it was Knitterly Things Vesper.  When I got home that night I went on the website and fell in love with the Rainbow Love sock yarn.  

Knitterly Things Vesper-Rainbow Love
The second delivery came from Three Irish Girls.  A few years ago, they released a colorway called "You Are my Sunshine".  20% of the proceeds were going to SHARE to help people who suffered from Pregnancy Loss, stillbirths or lost their babies after a few months.  I was saving my skein for the right project.  Last summer, I had a friend who was going through some hard times.  I wanted to knit her a shawl to help comfort her.  I figured this yarn would have been perfect for it.  I went to wind it and my swift collapsed...after trying to untangle it I only made it into a mess of epic proportions.  I ended up putting it in a bag in my closet and was thinking I was going to need to trash the skein.  Jen, being the wonderful person that she is, offered to untangle it for me.  After MANY, MANY hours, she was able to salvage it, but I had her turn it into mini skeins for our sock yarn blankets.  In February, Jen sent me a text to let me know that Three Irish Girls re-released You Are my Sunshine to raise money for SHARE again.  I immediately went to the website and ordered a replacement skein.

Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock-You Are my Sunshine
 That's all I have for right now.  I did manage to finish knitting my Hitchhiker and will be showing that off on Friday.  Stay tuned for a giveaway coming soon!  


Friday, March 28, 2014

FO Friday

       So this is our first FO Friday post. If you are here and are not a knitter, an FO is a finished object.  This is where we can post about projects that we have finished this week. Since I forgot to post about it last week, I am including FOs from the last 2 weeks :-)
So the first project that I have to share is my London Hat. I have a stash problem.  That should be obvious based on the last post.  I also have a problem using yarn that I see as special. Maybe it is a limited edition colorway, or yarn that I got on a special trip etc.  So I made a vow that if I bought yarn on our trip to Europe last year, that I would use it!  I won a raffle drawing for a pattern download on Ravelry in the Sticks and Stones group. I selected the pattern that I had marked on my queue to use the yarn I bought in London. We visited the shop Loop. I really loved it there. So cozy, and they even had Wollmeise! I bought one special skein of yarn for myself.  It is The Uncommon Thread BFL Light in the colorway "Lust."  
I love that you get your purchases in a Loop totebag!
So I used this lovely yarn to make the Norie hat. It is a slouchy hat that has a wonderful cat's paw lace detail to it.

       My next FO is the pair of socks that I was working on WIPs Wednesday.
Socks on a Plane - Three Irish Girls Yarn - Adorn Sock - "Bread and Butterflies"
     This is the second pair of socks that I have made with this pattern, and I have a feeling that it is not the last.  It is the only toe up pattern that I have knit, and I really like how they fit, especially the heel.  With the leftovers I made a preemie hat to donate to the NICU at St. Luke's

Lastly, I have a test knit that I have finished for a friend using my handspun. It is blocking right now, so I will post pics of it next time.  I cast on a shawl to knit on the plane tomorrow, so depending on how much I knit this week in New Orleans, I may have another FO for next week!
~ Jen

I seem to have caught a spinning bug this week.  I finished the first of my SpinningFates Self Striping sock and started the cuff of the second sock.  I knit a few teeth on my Hitchhiker, but I primarily spent my week spinning away.  I finished my second single of the Into the Whirled BFL and plied it last Friday/Saturday.  I washed it Sunday and let it dry a few days.  I managed to get 216 yards of worsted weight out of it so it should make a lovely hat in the not so near future.

Into the Whirled BFL-Witches Leggings 

 Right now I am spinning up some KnittingKnorth Polwarth in a super bright pink, blue and yellow combo.  It reminds me of Peeps candy.  I've devoted most of this week to spinning it and hopefully will be able to share it on our next FO Friday!  


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stash Enhancement Sunday

Since I didn't have much to share as far as FO's go this week, I thought I would share my most recent splurges.  This week was a busy one for my mail carrier so there is about to be lots of enabling in this post.

Vickie of Bird Leg Bags designed some new project bag styles, one of them being the S'Medium.  It's a wide mouth wedge bag with a smaller base.  When I saw she made one with S'Mores fabric I knew it needed to be mine.  I started stalking her shop 5 minutes before the update and as soon as it was listed I had it in my cart.  For this being a small/medium bag, let me tell you, it must have some TARDIS genetics because it's bigger on the inside.  I tested it out and had my socks in progress along with the half skein for the heels/toes, my hitchhiker AND my notions pouch in there and was still able to zip it closed.  Not only is it big enough to carry all of my WIP's but it's also very durable and stand up on their own.  

S'Medium wedge bag from

Two weeks ago, moonroveryarn posted a photo of her gorgeous merino/nylon fiber she dyed up in Muted Rainbow.  I tried to resist but a week later I was still dreaming about it, so I caved and headed over to her shop to buy myself a braid.  When it arrived and I opened the package, I gasped.  The colors are so gorgeous!  She also enclosed a sachet that smells so good.  I will definitely be shopping there again in the future.  

Moon Rover Merino/Nylon in Muted Rainbow

Instagram enabled me again when I saw that Rijel of Black Market Wool had an update.  I never tried her yarn before so I went to her shop and checked it out.  I saw this beautiful skein of fingering weight yarn MCN in pink, yellow and light grey.  Somehow it landed in my cart and is now living in my stash.  It feels super soft and I'm looking forward to knitting it up.

Black Market Wool Costello in Coffee and Cupcakes

Finally, I have been drooling over Opal Sock Yarn in the van Gogh colorways.  I searched Ravelry destashes and almost bought from there when Jen informed me that our LYS had some in stock.  She was going over there that week and said she would let me know what they had.  Our LYS had 3 colorways in stock, one of them being my favorite, Cafe at Night.  She picked it up for me and I am so excited to have this in my stash!  I have only knit with Opal one other time and at first I was hesitant.  It didn't feel as soft as other sock yarn I used and I was worried that I would hate the feeling on my feet.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that nearly 2 years after knitting that pair of socks, they look exactly like they did when I finished them.  

Zwerger Garn Opal Van Gogh in Cafe at Night
Since Maryland Sheep and Wool is just a month and a half away I am going to try to behave until then.  I have a couple more skeins of yarn I am waiting for in the mail but other than that I should be good until May. 

So I also have a few stash enhancements to share.  My brother has a birthday early in March, and I finally got a hold of him less than a week before to find out if there was anything special that he wanted.  Last year I made him a fused glass Amulet of Talos from the game Skyrim.  

This year he had a different request.  He wanted a handknit, but thought that I probably wouldn't be able to make it in time. No matter what he was asking for it was going to be impossible to have something knit and mailed across the country to him in time for his birthday.  The request he had was "Hey you know that scarf from Dr. Who?", my response "The 12 foot long one that is all the different colors?", "Yeah that's it!" I told him that that was more on the order of a Christmas present so I would actually have time to make it. So after some research, I ordered the 7 skeins of yarn to make it. I decided to get Cascade 220 superwash.  It is a soft yarn, that is easy to take care of. Plus, I wanted something I could block if I needed to.  This order of yarn benefited me though.  This just happened to be my 6th order from The Loopy Ewe.  When you order 6 times, you become a Loopy Groupie!  That means you get a bag of goodies along with your order.  So I have this great project bag, a free skein of yarn, a great sheep calendar and a bag of tootsie rolls. I also hit their first level of rewards for the year and received a little pattern with the yarn to make it.  

So excited to be a Loopy Groupie!
Bonus skein as part of my Loopy Groupie Rewards - Dream in Color Perfectly Posh Fingering - "December 2012"

My cat Athena, or as we call her Ch-Chomps, got ahold of my sock in progress, and chomped my Addi Sock Rocket cable in 2.  I headed to my LYS, Conversational Threads, to get a replacement.  While there I purchased two skeins of Zwerger Garn Opal Van Gogh yarn.  The colorway for Jess, and Sunflowers for me. 

I really wanted Starry Night, but that colorway wasn't available.  Jess is so sweet that she ordered a skein for me online, so now I have two skeins of the Van Gogh yarn!
Van Gogh yarn in Starry Night and Sunflowers.
Ch-Chomps found the skein of Starry Night already....

So 10 skeins of yarn in a week is quite a haul for me. This should be it for now though heh.  I am also trying to hold out for Maryland Sheep and Wool.  Well I may have ordered some fiber this week, but it isn't here yet, so that doesn't count :-) 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WIPs Wednesday

There are so many projects I want to knit this year but before I do, I need to finish some of these WIPs.  

I set a goal to knit 12 pairs of socks this year and am on pair 4.  I'm just doing a basic vanilla pattern using SpinningFates Megara in Peonies. I'm halfway through the foot on the first sock and am enjoying watching each stripe form.  

Also on the needles is a Hitchhiker shawl by Martina Behm.  I'm knitting it up with Malabrigo Sock in Abril.  This is the 3rd Hitchhiker I have knit.  It's my favorite shawl pattern since it's pretty much mindless and all garter stitch.  

The final thing I am trying to finish up is my spinning that I started in November.  I learned how to use a drop spindle a few years ago, but never touched it after the day I learned.  Last year at Maryland Sheep and Wool I bought myself a new spindle, played around for a few days and again, set it aside until Tour de Fleece.  During TdF I started fresh and spun Gale's Art Corriedale.  I liked spinning a little more but between all of my knitting and starting to cross-stitch, it again got set aside.  

Jess's Tour de Fleece 2013 

 Jen got a spinning wheel last summer and while my spindle was decent, it was a little tricky to spin with since it had no notch.  Jen lent me her Bosworth mini and I am in love.  I've been trying to set aside time each day to spin and have a little less than half of my 2nd single left before I can ply.  

Fibernymph Dye Works BFL - Witches Leggings

After I get my WIPs under control I just have a couple of washcloths to knit and then I can plan my 5th pair of socks and maybe start a sweater!  What's on your needles?

I am also attempting to knit 12 pair of socks this year and am on pair #4.  Right now, besides my scrap yarn blanket, I only have one active WIP on the needles. I have a hibernating baby blanket that was meant as a gift about a year ago, so that doesn't count.  I am still working on my socks that I was knitting when we went to see the Yarn Harlot.  The only difference is then I was on sock #1, and now I am on sock #2.
Socks on a Plane by Laura Linneman - Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock - "Bread and Butterflies"
Since I am ahead of where I wanted to be with my sock, I spent the day so far cross stitching on my Once Upon a Time sampler.  So here is what I have done of March:

So far I know it doesn't look like much, but it will be the Three Little Pigs! The goal is to finish the sock and this month's sampler square before we leave for New Orleans at the end of the month! Better get back to work

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We meet the Yarn Harlot (again)

Since this is a joint blog, Jen's posts are in purple and Jess's are in blue.  
  Saturday was a big day for the Fiber Fangirls!  We got up early, enjoyed a yummy diner breakfast (I really appreciate all the diners we have in Pennsylvania, so different from California), and headed to Exton.  The Yarn Harlot was touring to promote her latest book "The Amazing Thing About the Way it Goes," with her last stop on the tour outside of Philadelphia.  We knew that we had to go and see her.  The first time we met the Yarn Harlot was at Rhinebeck 2013.  A girl in line at the apple cider donut stand (OMG I really want an apple cider donut right now, might be one of my favorite things about Rhinebeck), showed us a picture of who she just met.  None other than Stephanie Pearl-McPhee!  We took note that she was wearing a beautiful green handknit sweater and left with our yummy treats.  As we were walking by the Verdant Gryphon yarn booth Jess leaned over and said, "You love me so much." I thought of course I do, and then I realized she was pointing to the Yarn Harlot headed our way.  So there was gushing, and fangirling, and maybe a few tears.  We each got a picture with her, and I may have rambled that she was an inspiration, and had had such a positive effect on my life.  I am sure she could not understand a word I was saying.  I was so star struck!

Rhinebeck 2013

So when I saw that we could get the chance to meet her again and have my book signed I jumped at the chance.  We arrived at Barnes and Noble at 11:15, she wasn't scheduled to speak until 3, but we wanted to get good seats.  They were going to give out wrist bands at 1.  I think Barnes and Noble had no idea who they had scheduled to appear.  I think they thought a handful of people were going to show up. They knew something was up when they received calls all week from avid fans asking about lines, wrist bands, etc.  They took a peek the Yarn Harlot's blog and saw the size of the crowds she had been drawing and knew they needed to up their game.  
Jen's sock in progress - Socks on a Plane using Three Irish Girls Adorn sock yarn - "Bread and Butterflies

We were 4th and 5th to get our wrist bands (3 lovely ladies from New Jersey had gotten there at 11), and managed to get front row seats!
This doesn't even show half of the people there by the time it started!
By the way, loved that wherever I looked, people were knitting!  So many talented knitters all in one place was so awe inspiring.  
I had a total fangirl moment when we discovered that one of the girls we were talking to was K8erpillar.  I have been a fan of her stitch markers for a long time and I was thrilled to meet her!  

Stephanie was hilarious, we got to meet her again, and this time there were no tears.  We gave her a goodie bag with treats from Pennsylvania, and got our books signed.  We even made it on the blog! Overall, I left feeling wonderful and changed.  I have just started reading the book, but love it already. It may not have many knitting references, but it is still filled with the wit and humor of the Yarn Harlot.
~ Jen
The goodie bag:  Fegely's Brew Works Space Monkey, Weyerbacher Pumpkin Ale, TastyKake Kandy Kakes, Peeps

Jen summed the afternoon up perfectly.  I laughed so hard and got to meet so many nice knitters!  If Stephanie ever tours in the area again, I won't hesitate to go see her.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

More introductions!

I thought that I would introduce myself too! I'm Jen, the other co-host of the blog. My mother-in-law taught me how to knit about 10 years ago, but I have really been knitting the last 4 years since we moved to Pennsylvania.  Being born and raised in southern California, I did not have as much need for hand knits.  What am I saying, everyone needs hand knits! I also learned how to spin on a drop spindle last spring, purchasing my first spindle at Maryland  Sheep and Wool 2013.  I purchased a lovely Bosworth spindle. 

This is a picture from Tour de Fleece 2013. I spun so much during those few weeks that in August 2013, I purchased my first wheel, a Lendrum.

I also cross stitch and am working on the Once Upon a Time Sampler from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  If you like to cross stitch, or even if you have never cross stitched, I highly recommend them.  
Here is January and February:

I am embarrassed to say that I have not even started March, but at least I have a few more weeks before I am officially behind....

Now I am going to take inspiration from Jess and answer the same crafting questions that she did. 

My yarn of choice?  I also prefer fingering weight.  The projects that I make the most are socks and shawls.  I am also making a sock yarn scrap blanket. (I have 65 of the 1,000+ squares done.....)
This is from the beginning of the year.

Favorite colors?  My favorite colors are jewel tones.  I love purples, blues, pinks and teal.  I prefer cool tones to warm, and silver to gold.  I am trying to branch out from my favorite colors though so I don't end up with 1,000 purple shawls.

Most recent FO?  I also just completed a shop sample for The Cyborg's Craft Room, using the Limited DK base.  I knit the Duotone Cowl in the colorways Sage and Hera.  I did my best to make jogless stripes, and kitchenering in the round is a pain, but I think I did pretty well.  The yarn is so soft and squishy with a great drape to it.  I wish I got to keep this one.

Now that we have introduced ourselves, please introduce yourself.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Welcome, have a seat and join us...

After almost a year of going back and forth between starting a podcast or sharing a blog, we finally took the plunge and here we are!

I'm Jess, co-host of the blog, and have been knitting for almost 10 years.  I learned how to spin on a drop spindle last spring but recently started to get really into it.  I dabble in cross-stitch but I usually swap out those tiny needles for my knitting needles instead. 

My yarn of choice?  Fingering weight.  I love knitting socks and shawls and more recently, blanket squares using leftovers. 

Favorite colors?  It varies.  With Spring right around the corner I am really into bright, cheery colors.  As Autumn approaches I lean towards the browns, oranges, reds. 

Most recent FO?  A friend of mine, who is the mastermind behind The Cyborg's Craft Room, asked me to knit a store sample using her Bested base.  I knit Arroyo using the Peacock Nebula colorway.  I know how to read lace charts, but usually prefer following the written instructions.  Somewhere in the middle of the chart I had an extra stitch.  I must have ripped that row out at least 8 times before I finally figured out where the extra stitch was.  After all of that frogging, you would never have guessed after looking at the yarn that I had even the slightest hiccup.  No splitting, not a strand out of place. 

If anyone is reading, what is your favorite weight of yarn?  What are your favorite projects?