Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stitches South Part 2

Okay, so I can see the exact day when exam prep took over my crafting time, since I posted the first half of my Stitches South post in April, and haven't updated since.

So here is the rest of my Stitches South story.

Saturday morning, Kelly and I both had classes. I took Math for Knitters with Edie Eckman. It was great, I learned a lot.

Later that day, we hit up the market again.

Some Koigu KPPM, in color P500.

Koigu KPPM in color P500

Maple Creek Farms South Blend - Wood Plank

Maple Creek Farm South Bend - Wood Plank 789

This is an absolutely delicious feeling yarn. It's soft. smooth and cool, perfect for Florida. It's destined to become a shawl.

Kitechen Sink Dyeworks Merino Fine in Edgar

Kitchen Sink Dyeworks - Merino Fine in Edgar

Kitchen Sink Dyeworks BFL Roving - I'm seeing a trend with all the blue

Kitchen Sink Dyeworks - BFL Roving

Newton's Yarn Country Bamboo Print - I have no idea what this will be.

Newton's Yarn Country - Bamboo Print

Louet Euroflax - For some hand towels

Euroflax from Yarn Barn of Kansas

Silk cap and Noils from Ellen's Half Pint Farm

Ellen's Half Pint Farm - Silk Cap and Silk

Creatively Hand Dyed Yarns Bamboo Wool

Creatively Dyed Yarns Bamboo Wool

Lisa Souza Black Hills Gold

Lisa Souza Silk Merino in Black Hills Gold

I am really looking forward to spinning up these wool blends, but right now I'm lacking the inspiration. I haven't even touched any of the yarn yet.

The rest of the weekend was a blast, and I was so glad we did it. I definitely want to go next year!

Since Stitches, I've mostly been studying for exams, and complaining about studying for exams. I've done a little with the Triathlon training, and took a trip to the Keys with family. I think I passed the exam, so hopefully I will have more time for crafting and getting back on the internets over the next few months.

Right now, I am lacking inspiration in the crafting department, so I am mostly trying to finish up UFO's. Hopefully I'll get my mojo back soon.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stitches South Friday- I will Own This

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to get to Stitches, my first real fiber show. I have never been able to go, and always wanted to. This year, the stars aligned, and Kelly and I were able to get away for a weekend.

We got there Friday afternoon, a few hours before the market closed.

We didn't know exactly where the stitches events were being held, so when we got to the conference center, we parked where we thought it was. We found the Waverly hotel, and knew that was where we had to go to register. Unfortunately, it was down a steep little hill from where we were parked. A little hill that was covered in slippery pine nettles. We looked for a path down, and found what we thought was one. I nearly killed myself on the way down.

First, we made a beeline for Sanguine Gryphon, as we had planned ahead of time. I've been lusting after Bugga for a while now. So, headed straight to their booth. It was easy to find, it was the one with the ren faire tent. I kept myself to two skeins here:

Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga in Cowkiller

Skinny Bugga in Cowkiller. This picture does not do it justice.

Sanguine Gryphon Bugga - Tulip Tree Beauty

Bugga in Tulip Tree Beauty

Absolutely gorgeous. Once I was able to take my eyes off the yarn, I noticed the outfits. The ladies in that booth were wearing ren faire dresses. The best by far, though, was the Steam Punk/Ren Faire outfit. A corset, goggles, and a belt with throwing knives and bullets. This chick is dangerous. I think that may be the best outfit I've ever seen anywhere, ever. Seriously. I wanted sooo bad to get a picture, but sadly, no pictures in the market.

We pulled ourselves away, and stumbled across the Big Sock. It was hard to miss. I'd heard about this, but couldn't picture the size until I saw it in person. We took a few minutes to work on it

Knitting on the Big Sock

It is like an iceberg. What you see on top of the table is just a small part of the whole thing. It nearly went to the ground. It is also much bigger around than the entire table. And this is just one piece of the leg. I have no idea how they are going to work the logistics of heel and toe shaping.

We walked around some more. I saw Rachel Herron, the author of How to Knit a Love Song. You may have heard her interviews on Knitmore Girls and Knitcast. I had, and her book is on my list. I gushed a little, and she was so nice, we chatted for a few minutes. I bought the book there, because I had been planning on getting it anyways, and come on, how often do you get to buy a book from the person who wrote it?

We walked around the market until it closed that night. Kelly bought this really cool lint roller system, she can get cat hair off of her ceiling now. I got more compliments on my Han Shot First shirt than ever, which was the comfy shirt I picked out for the ride up.

We made our way back towards the parking lot, only to find a nice little staircase between where we had been parked and the hotel.

Outside of Stitches

We came down the hill on the left side, completely missing the staircase to the right. It doesn't look so scary there.

Anyways, we headed to the hotel, managed to get lost looking for a restaurant for dinner (Google maps fail!) then gave up and ate at one we passed.

We headed back to the Waverly for the pajama party. Since the Star Wars tshirt had been so popular, I decided to wear that instead of the nice plain shirt I had planned under my Swallowtail shawl.

Star Wars + Knitting = Love

I look awful in that picture. That's what I get for trying to be funny and pose.

At the pajama party, we met up with the awesome trio of PicnicKnits, ContinentalKim, and KBelle. The party was riot. They started the trivia with a Princess Bride quote, and the yarn fumes must have gotten to me, because I got way too excited, and think I shouted something like "I will own this!" If you've spent more than 2 seconds with me, you know this is completely out of character. Then, I didn't own it, but Corrina did, which made me proud.

There were some other contests, too. There was one for knitted slippers, which had some really cute felted flip flops. I see a KAL in the future. The wackiest pajamas contest was fun, too. The Ravelry crew was called upon to judge. Well, poor Casey was called on to judge a pajama contest of mostly middle aged and older women, and he wisely called the rest of his crew up to assist. That should be a Sam Adams commercial. Always a good choice.

I was slightly dazzled by the knit-celebrities from Ravelry. Not as dazzled as some. There were some Wayne's World style "We're not worthy" tributes, but I'm sure that happens a lot. They were very nice.

After a fun night, of swatching to find the perfect pattern for my Hanks yarn, and chatting, with candy bars but absolutely no smartfood popcorn despite the rumors, we called it a night, because Saturday was the big day.

On the ride home, I only got us on the freeway when we weren't supposed to be once. There was an Orlando style trick of putting up a concrete barrier between lanes with no warning. Kelly and I laughed so hard we cried at all the funny things that had happed so far.

That's where I'll leave it for now. Tomorrow, more on Stitches.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Presents Galore

There has been a ton of present crafting around here as of late. I am only posting two, because they're the only ones that have been gifted and I have taken pictures of.

Two ladies in the knitting circle had birthdays this weekend.

Christine plays tennis and knits, so I found a cute tennis charm and made some stitch markers.

Christine's Stitch Markers

It's hard to tell, but the beads in the middle have little flowers on them.

Jen is a chemical engineer who loves her coffee, so the Hypercaffeinated Coffee Cozy by Chemknits is pretty much perfect.

BadJen's Caffeine Cozy

I think they both liked their gifts, hopefully they'll be useful. Dinner was fun, except there are now pictures floating around of me trying to stick my tongue in Brenda's ear.

I have to get some decent pictures of the Arrrgyle socks, but Nerdy Husband and I have been so busy, it's hard to get us in the same place while it's daylight, and I really want to get the pictures done right. He has been wearing them though!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Join the Club

Just a quick post to share two club shipments that I've gotten recently and am absolutely in love with.

The February shipment of Hank's in Gainesville is this lovely green/brown varigated, in a cashmere blend base.

Hanks Yarn - February Club

As Rachel Ray would say, Yum-O. These will probably become a pair of Charades for me, or maybe Aquaphobias, because I am not giving this yarn up.

And goodies! The tag on the stitchmarkers is only ripped because I got a little excited trying to open them.

Then, there is theSlipped Stitch Studios Knitmare on Elm Street Bag club.

Slipped Stitch Studios Knitmare Club

Isn't it so cool! If it was green it would be perfect. The middle button cracks me up.

Slipped Stitch Studios Knitmare Club

Also, I forgot to photograph it, but there was a matching key fob too. I forgot it because it's been on my keys since I got it. I love it, but my hubby isn't so thrilled when we switch cars. At least it has skulls and not unicorns.

1 Up, Version 2

Meanwhile, in other podcast-y news, Jackie from the Kiping It Real podcast recently asked for test knitters for a pattern for a 1 up mushroom from Mario. I immediately volunteered because:

1). Her pink version was incredibly cute.
2). I already have the yarn, leftover from the a previous Mario mushroom.
3). There is always room for more video game decor in our house.

The pattern was deceptively simple and very quick. It is held up on the inside with some plastic canvas (handy stuff). And the results? Well, I think this picture says it better than I could:

Itty Bitty Mushroom

This little guy has personality. Looking at my photos, it looks like he has moods, too. Now, he lives in our office, hanging out with a PS2 and our old gaming PC. It's the land of obsolete games. I think he looks happy though.

Itty Bitty Mushroom

In the next week: clubs, a trip to stitches, and somehow I'm training for a triathlon.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spinning From a Batt a la Chrissy the Great

Do you listen to podcasts? Well, I do. In fact, the next two posts relate to podcast-related projects.

The first has been in the works for a very long time. Last year, Chrissy the Great, host of the Manic Purl podcast published a really great spinning tutorial showing the process she used to make some absolutely beautiful yarn. Since I had the same batt (from a Sugarbee studios fiber club), I decided to try the tutorial, and take pictures of the process. I talked with Chrissy, and asked if she'd be interested in a photo version of her tutorial. This was in April, of last year.

Spinning the yarn was not what has taken so long. What did is taking the pictures, downloading and learning GIMP, an open-source image manipulation program.

Here are the results: Spinning from a Batt Tutorial



Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mini Post for a Mini Project

A small post for a small project.

Olympic Mittens

I had heard of the mittens worn by the Canadian Olympic team. There are even knitting patterns. Then, I heard about knitting patterns for mini mittens. Even cuter. And realistic to knit before the games. So I thought of Brenda, who is a big fan of the Olympics, and who was hosting our Ravelympics Cast On party, because she is awesome! (All of the ladies in our group are awesome!)

Anyways, I looked at patterns on Ravelry, and finally picked Pink Argyle's Mini Mittens pattern. Then I embroidered the Olympic rings. I skipped the Maple Leaf, because Brenda supports Team USA. Attached with some icord and viola!

The result is a very cute and very versatile little ornament.

It can hang on a purse or knitting bag

Olympic Mittens

or dangle from your rearview mirror.

Olympic Mittens

I then promptly forgot to give them to Brenda at the party. And the next three times we saw each other. She got them just a few days before the Olympics ended.