Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Jim and Linda's Annual Holiday Sale!

We Invite You To Join Us Once Again At The Ceramics Studio
on the Marygrove College Campus
on Dec 4th & 5th
From 11AM to 5 PM

Pottery, Sculpture, Fiber, Jewelry, Photography

Not sure where the ceramic studio is? Ask security at the gate when you arrive for directions to the Art Annex.

Marygrove College
8425 W. McNichols
Cash or check accepted

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Holiday Sale c'mon out!

All of that creating has to show up it is, a sale and exhibition of the time honored traditions that have given character to our homes and personal expression in what we wear. Please join us for a sale Friday evening and Saturday all day (Novemeber 20th and 21st)!

Bring friends and feel the love…felted items, hand dyed yarns, photography, knitting bags and notions…lots of goodies for your holiday gift giving! Local artisans have plenty of handmade gifts for your holiday shopping or personal pleasure! Let us not forget the warmth of a gift that expresses the maker, not a factory!

We’ll also have some info about the potter’s home shows on the same weekend!

Friday 4-9pm, Saturday 10-6 Tyler Avenue, Berkley, MI (near Catalpa) Come to the side door…

Hope to see you there, let us know how you found us.....

Friday, October 9, 2009

Never too late to learn!

Maybe this is why I am a teacher. I love to learn! Ever since I saw the class listings for "Boot Camps" for weaving, spinning and knitting at Heritage Spinning and Weaving, I have been intrigued. I read constantly and love to try new techniques. But somehow, I find myself reading and learning during projects when it would have been better to get the exposure in practice first. It is like having friends over for a new recipe...sometimes it is a great outcome, sometimes an apology.

When I saw the Bridget at "...have you any wool?" was offering the Knitting Boot Camp, I was delighted! Here is a chance to take the skills, one at a time, and become familiar before using them on a garment!

Sure, there will be reading and homework (that I cannot wear) but I will be with other like-minded knitters, learning together and from each other. is held monthly at the knit shop. I can't help but "look!"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shop Hopping around Lansing

Yesterday was the long awaited Back to School Shop Hop. I was not going to go. I did not need to go, should not buy yarn, just got back to school, need rest, house is a mess, company is coming next weekend....get the picture?

I went.

I could not help it. I knit with the Black Sheep on Tuesday nights at Panera and heard the buzz. I pushed it aside for a good long time, but it kept buzzing. Then, the passports, talk of goodie bags and the plans for lunch at Threadbear. I could not take it another minute. I got the passport, ordered my lunch and spent the next couple of weeks anxiously awaiting the outing.

It did not disappoint. Each of 4 shops had sales and pattern gifts for us. Each store was mobbed with happy fiber addicts, arms filled with fluffy and colorful beginnings of projects that were no doubt started that night if not on the way home!

I do not regret going, and it was not a sign of weakness to buckle and change my original plan of bowing out. I figure this; if you are lucky enough to have a great group of friends and have the opportunity to spend a day laughing and sharing and shopping with them, why not. Life is too short to miss out on happy moments like these. I am still smiling!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ahhhh Almost Fall

Boy, the summer has been great. Interesting sights, visits, weather. But a sure sign that fall is nearing is the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan, MI. I had the great pleasure of going with some of my Black Sheep buddies for the weekend and a chance to enhance the stash. As a teacher, the mention of fall makes me feel a little tense. Sure, I am excited to get to the kids and the creative ventures of the art studio. But there is much to be said for having a choice about when and where the creativity is taking place. This past weekend, it was all about fiber and friends and that felt "just right."

I went with a different plan for shopping. First off, I need NOTHING. Next, I have so much that I am anxious to knit just waiting for me. Add the new stuff that I got while I was in Colorado and Wyoming, and I am almost uninterested in seeing new fiber. Almost.

Briar Rose is always a great temptation. I just got enough wonderful yarn from her to make the Retro Sweater, so I felt that I should put off the pleasure of more of this stash until next time. Wow. What control...I was feeling powerful!

Next stop, Rita's wonderful Yarn Hollow. Hmmm, the power was fading. I got some sock yarn. Yeah, I need about 200 pairs of socks and I better keep getting more yarn for when they all wear out. She had a lovely worsted blend of merino and silk that is in my favorite colorway, Chai, and I could not say no. 500 yards will make the Sassymetrical, I was advised by Ravelry's "Sweatershy" and it looked great on her project page, so it was a done deal. But what if I need more? What if I make something else? Should I get more? Oh man....The strength returned, I stuck with my one skein limit. Even when I went back and got MORE YARN from her! What control (but what if?????)

Back to Briar Rose for a couple of wonderful patterns, no yarn this time either, but ideas are brewing.

The shopping continued and our bags grew full and we grew tired. Onward to Margaritas and ribs, yum. It is so rewarding to have friends that support each other and have so much in common. Plus, the thrill of the hunt and the exciting purchases are a great way to start getting into the new season.

I got home and started entering the new members of my fiber collection on my stash page in Ravelry. What a surprise... the Chai that I was agonizing over having only 500 yards...guess what? I bought the EXACT SAME THING at the last fiber show, so I actually have 100 yards. I guess that I must have really loved it. I bought it twice, imagine that.

The sky is grey, it will probably rain today. Oh well, let it rain or even snow, I have my fiber and friends to keep me happy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Coming Home and Getting My Act Together!

This has been both the most whirlwind summer while simultaneously being the most relaxing and exciting. I began June vacation with a two week trip to Spain with Smithsonian Tours. I am not usually the organized tour type, I like the planning and flexibility of doing what I want, when I want to do it. But my teaching partner and I agreed that this would be a good way to see Northern Spain and the Basque country and get the most out of the time we had available. The tour was an architectural and art based venture, both being my interests, so we went for it. The organized trip itself was not as long as we would like, so we added days to the beginning in Madrid and at the end in Barcelona. Great idea and it sure paid off. If you ever get the opportunity to tour this part of the country, do it! The food is out of this world and the variety of cities and sights will surely please anyone.

A mere 3 days back at home, and my sweet husband was ready with the camper and the kitty to begin our usual wild west days. We had an eventful trip, some good and some scary. Good was the book I bought that listed yarn shops state by state. It really helped when I was asked "which way should we go?" The answer always being, "in the direction of this shop!"

I scored sock yarns from a number of sources as my samples, got a new book for knitting toe up socks, found Addi sock needles and circulars "buy one and get one free" in Buena Vista, CO, and added a drop spindle and some roving just for the fun of it.

Having such a HUGE collection of yarn makes it easier to travel and ask for the local specialty or unusual fiber. Since we go west every year, I have noted the return visit possibilities and those that we passed while they were closed. If you are ever in Fort Collins, CO, please drop in and visit "My Sister Knits." It is a charming carriage house shop in the back yard of a wonderful house. Upstairs was a grand collection of sock yarns and a well stocked addition to the lovely store.

Tomasina, our traveling cat companion, enjoyed the trip, as usual. What was NOT usual is the way that the chipmunk caught her eye as we were closing the camper door at the TOP of a steep canyon in Yellowstone National Park. Before I could even register what happened, she flew out of the door, over the guard rail and down about 10 feet of loose gravel that ended with a sheer cliff drop off. She luckily stopped at a small grassy knob, looked up and came to her senses just before completely going over. I kept my cool long enough to alert my husband, grab her treats and start calmly talking to her. Meanwhile, my knight is shining armour hubby managed to scale the side of the wall going down a bit, coaxing her to come to him and the treat bag that he held. There went one of her nine lives, and I am sure a bit of my one and only life. We are so lucky to have her back!

Our camper gave us a little trouble this year, giving out at the top of the Colorado Monument. We needed to creep down the winding mountain side without side rails at about 5mph and into town to have a mechanic work on it for a few days. Scarrrrrryy!!!!!! We are, again, lucky and the thing was fixed many hours and dollars later without injury to its passengers.

A day home and I am getting the plans together with my friends to attend the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan this weekend, so a busy week of laundry and bill paying, phone calls and maybe a little knitting will help to acclimate me to the real life that I live when summer ends.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Time is flying, faster than the speed of light!

It is so hard to balance the many facets of our lives. Who ARE the people that claim that they have nothing to do. I don't mean teen-agers, they claim that BECAUSE they should be doing something, but long to sleep. I know, I had three of them.

I finished the cotton, "Hey Teach" and am sewing the vintage buttons on tonight. The experiment in cotton for the cardi on the cover of Interweave Knits is teetering on the edge. I have a love hate relationship with the more open gauge, even though I wanted an open and light summer sweater. About 3/4 of the way through, maybe I will finish, maybe I will restart in another pattern.

Since the last posting, our guild had their annual retreat. Wow. It is so much fun and so rejuvenating to spend a whole weekend devoted to friends and fiber. We laughed until we cried, we ate too much, we got caught in the rain, bought yarn, took workshops, and made friendships grow. An impromptu concert by some visiting musicians became a sing along and we could not have had a better night! For those of you who were there...yes, we do have the body of a goddess (don't let anyone tell you otherwise!).

The school year is quickly coming to the end, my planning for a two week tour of Spain is drawing near and I have so much knitting to do!

The other night was our annual dinner and swap with the guild. What fun to see what treasures others are ready to part with and how exciting to go home with someone else's stuff and less of our own! Members are getting more savvy about this swap and displays are showing up. Just wait until next year! People will be joining the guild just to get in on the swap, not to mention the retreat!

Lucky we are, indeed, to belong to such an active and caring group. Knit on!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A sign of the times

I am busy making summer sweaters since I have recently fallen in love with cotton and linen for spring knitting! Whilst I am busy with my pursuit, the rest of the world is focusing on other issues. I have been washing my hands like the rest of them, but like this knitter's solution to the Swine Flu mania

Anyone in on this project??

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Loving the summer knitting!

It is early, I know, but I have the Spring/Summer fever. Using cotton and linen for weaving was a natural thing to do, but for some reason, knitting them was not on my agenda. All of that has changed. I started with Elsbeth Lavold's Hempathy, great yarn and great colors! I finished my "Marilyn's not so fitted cardi" from Knit and Tonic. Love it. I am just waiting for it to dry to get the photos posted. On the needles right now is "Hey Teach" of fame. I am making it in exactly what it calls for, Knit One Crochet Too 2nd time cotton. This is not my usual method for selecting yarns and patterns. It was one of those things...I will tell you.

I was shopping at one of my favorite knit shops and saw the yarn. The color is a great linen color and I was thinking of making some kind of sweater...maybe the cover of the Interweave Knits? But the guage was not great. In the store was a cute little sweater that I recognized...Hey Teach! Guess what it was made in??? That is right...guess what size....MINE! So I tried the sample, loved the fit, the look and the yarn, bought it an knit the back right away. I did notice that my usual method of marking lace sections was not working out about the 7th repeat in the lace pattern. Good old Ravelry...I looked up the forum comments and found that others had the same issue. So, don't marked the sections, 7th row messes it up and you will go out of your mind wondering what is going on! At least, I was.

The first evening of knitting on this, with friends and chatting, found me repairing a little stitch that slipped away about 3" down. I picked them up and worked them in, but my neurotic side couldn't deal with it. I went home frogged to the "good" part and started back up. So far, I am loving it and the yarn is great.

This little beauty is short sleeved and could be layered, but I am holding out for the 80 degree weather that is promised for this weekend. All I need is a little tank or tee and the sunshine and my summer has begun...all that from the excitement of summer yarns!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Yeah for Casting On!!!

This is the time of year that I refer to as "Neatening the Nest." It is a form of spring fever that makes me open the windows, air my fleece and yarn and cast on for summer projects. Part of the neatening this year was my desire to start adding magazine issues to Ravelry. It never fails that I will find a great pattern, see it available for a purchaseable download and realize (later) that I actually have the magazine where the pattern first appeared when I PAID for the issue!

So, now with everyone in a necessary phase of being green for the environment and not wasting paper, and being conservative with their cash, not wasting dollars, this seemed a sensible thing to do.

I must say, it was not as bad as I was anticipating! Less than an hour allowed me to enter about 65 magazines and find about 40 that were not on Ravelry's database yet. Now I have magazine cases that are Ravelry checked and those that are not....

Maybe this will help ease my pattern purchasing a bit. I know enough to alter a pattern to update the look using yarn, details or shaping. I have enough yarn and patterns to keep my entire guild busy and clothed for all eternity.

Which brings me to the next neatening adventure...adding those cases of yarn that have not made it onto my stash yet! I was feeling the guilt and slowed down a bit, until I noticed another member's stash WELL over mine! She knows who she is, she reads my blog. I will not name names, but am sure that she does not know enough feet for the skeins of sock yarn to warm. Or maybe she does....I hope she puts me on her list, I could use a pair of hand-dyed hand knit socks.

My most recent cast on is "Marilyn's not so fitted cardigan," a Ravelry download purchase (I know, I have plenty of patterns, could have modified one for this, blah blah blah, but I was in mental distress. I broke down on a spring day in Michigan that was grey and beginning to snow amid a growing pile of personal concerns.). I am using Elsbeth Lavold's Hempathy (love it) and it is moving at a great pace...I just hope I did not make it too big. Pictures and reviews coming since I am on the second sleeve waiting to decide 3/4 length or long. Always a little turmoil at this point in the project, but I hope to be past that this weekend.

Neaten your nest and get started on the Spring projects! It feels so good!!!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Knitting with Purpose

The Renaissance of Latvia's ethnographic mittens (reprinted and translated from the "Iberian point of View") Be sure to check out the links at the bottom for the examples of the many patterns! Amazing.

What will 9.000 hands have in common during the NATO Summit in Riga this November? 4,500 pairs of traditional hand-made Latvians mittens!That's what the NATO Summit Latvia for Task force there are prewall Summit guests. The mittens were specially knitted by hundreds of women and men around the country ranging in age from 30 to 86. Each to pair features to unique design, utilizing to wide variety of traditional colors, patterns and symbols. For Latvians, mittens plows much dwells than to way to warm your hands. Every ethnographic Latvian mitten tells to story, marks an anniversary and represents to specific region in Latvia (Vidzeme, Zemgale, Latgale and Kurzeme.) Some intended mitten designs plows specially for weddings or to other special events. There is of even to rich tradition folkloric etiquette associated with the wearing, storing and displaying of mittens. (Story Dwells about The of to thousand to year old Latvian mitten)All, mittens for men and women plows different in size. Men's mittens in general plows to bigger. In addition, and dwells dramatic reserved colours plows characteristic for men's mittens. The colours in women's gloves plows to brighter and dwells cheerful.
The ornamentation elements plows “blended in” from one neighbouring region into to another; therefore the identification of to mitten to particular region dog sees characterized dwells precisely by the composition of its colours and shades. Latgale is to land of linen; therefore linen-congregation light colourings predominate in gloves of this region. Similarly, bright and joyful colours plows characteristic for Latgale and also Kurzeme. Also the Word “rakstaini” dwells precisely characterizes mittens from Kurzeme, because to their ornamentation is to brighter than in other regions. Calm and vibrant earthy colours plows the basis of mittens from Zemgale. However, light and beige colourings plows for typical Vidzeme.
For most Latvians, this project is to national special source of pride, because it you combine tradition, culture and history with something of lasting practical VALUE that will sees enjoyed around the world.
Please, enjoy it!
Galleries of the mittens.
Download all mittens here (200 MB to.rar case out) NEW
Latvian mittens men `s from the Zemgale region of Latvia (they men `s/women `s)
Latvian mittens from the Kurzeme region of Latvia (they men `s/women `s)
Latvian mittens from the Latgale region of Latvia (they men `s/women `s)
Latvian mittens from the Vidzeme region of Latvia

February Ladies Sweater, but it is April!

Well, I am nearly there. I am in the home stretch on my February Ladies Sweater. You saw the pictures I posted, it is in handspun that I got at the Chelsea Fiber Fair. Since there was just barely enough yarn (and I discovered an orphan yarn that I THOUGHT was the same stuff when I bought it) I knit the yoke and sleeves and am finishing the length to fit the yarn. Almost done. It was not actually started in February, so it is no great crime to finish in April. In fact, it was my pre-Lenten cast-on in keeping with the Black Sheep tradition of no new cast-ons during the 40 days before Easter. It has nothing to do with religion or the holiday, but is a way to see if we can limit ourselves or finish the UFO's during this time. So far, so good.

I finished my Sneaky Sheep Swap one skein item for a member of the guild. I have a sock mostly done from my trip to San Miguel de Allende and a second from a pair of socks from a previous project in the home stretch.

School is winding down (or up, depends on how you look at it) and conferences are the last big hurdle of the year. That and writing final report cards. But the end is near and I am ready for the summer break. We always go west to Colorado and opted for the Korean ceramic adventure last summer, so we are longing for our own mountains to hike. Plus, the cat, our adored Tomasina misses travel in the camper. But before we go, I have one last adventure of my own.
I will be traveling to Spain! The Smithsonian Adventure tours was offering an art and architecture tour that starts in Madrid and moves in a horseshoe to the border of France and ends in Barcelona. We will take a couple extra days there for our own little adventure and head home in time to pack the camper. Yippee! My next step in preparation is to check Ravelry for yarn stores in Spain. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Here they are: the Mexican Monkey Socks! I decided to bring this yarn since it felt like Mexico and I love knitting this pattern. Thanks CookieA! I preordered her sock book, so that treat should be in my mailbox any minute now.

The little (or not so little, it holds a whole sweater and a couple balls of yarn) black bag that I was able to snag after losing my self control. No regrets this time...I got it.

Imaginary Alpaca Farm was my first stop at the Black Swamp Spinners sale. She had not even priced this beauty yet and had two skeins of 305+ yards available. MINE MINE MINE!

My Briar Rose 4th of July yarn for the Retro Cardi that I have been dreaming of for 2 YEARS!

February Ladies Sweater in the handspun and handdyed yarn from the Chelsea Spinner's Flock Fiber show and sale last month...almost done. Still praying that I have enough yarn to make it longer than a cropped sweater since I cut it pretty close. We will see....soon.

One of the most lovely sock yarns of recent purchase (yesterday's jaunt to Ohio for the Black Swamp Spinners sale). I needed to guard this one, others had their eyes and even their hands on it, the nerve!

More River's Edge sock yarn. I happened to choose her two most recent colors for this year. This one is more grey than Good and Plenty candy and some matches my hot pink Converse tennis shoes!

Bernal is a wool specialty area in central Mexico. These little slippers are alpaca and handknit from the town, a nice addition to my collection of knitting around the world! Plus, an easy pattern to make if I want more!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I am freshly back in the states after a bit of sunshine in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This is my second time in this colonial paradise of central Mexico. The vibrant colors of the buildings and the sights, sounds and sunshine make me reallllllly happpy!!! I went with my mom and had a great time. We toured some wonderful houses and their fabulous gardens, saw a flamenco show, walked for miles and miles each day on the cobbled streets and narrow walks to discover each adventure. A couple of side tours to neighboring states revealed Diego Rivera's birthplace, a mummy museum, a Jurassic period mini-mountain that holds all kinds of lore and tons of history and beauty. Purple trees in bloom dotted the landscape and we shopped the galleries of a retired muslin mill. Ole! I even found a pair of hand knit alpaca socks in one of the wool capitals, Bernal, to add to my multicultural knit collection.

One week back on American soil and I found myself traveling with friends from the Black Sheep to the Black Swamp Spinners fiber show in Ohio. Of course, I added to my mega stash on Ravelry and cannot wait to get knitting. Briar Rose was there with the ingredients for the much coveted retro cardigan in 4th of July yarn dyed with greens and blues...something new for me and soooooo lovely! We found a new yarn shop in Sylvania, thanks to our driver and pal, Suzanne and will be returning for more goodies soon, I hope!

While in Mexico, I decided to bring socks as the knit along project for the trip. I used the original Noro sock yarn in multi colors that reminded me of the colors in San Miguel. I call them my Mexican Monkeys, since they are the Monkey Sock pattern with a theme. Unfortunately, I missed my daylight opportunity, once again, to photograph the new stuff (tax season requires daylight or I make mistakes). Just you wait, pictures will be here and there will be no room for words!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I scored the little black bag!

I went, I saw, I left it behind. I thought about it, dreamt about it and talked about it. I even blogged about it. I emailed, I called, I paid and I recieved my little black bag! It arrived yesterday and I can't wait to put a special project in my new knitting bag and show it off! In the meantime, I have taken the Black Sheep lenten challenge (non-religiously speaking) as a way to curb my new project jones. This has put me well on my way to completing a pair of socks that I thought I lost, but alas, had just not finished. It has also pushed me to get moving on the February ladies sweater in denim blue handspun from the Chelsea fleece fair. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can make it on the skimpy yardage that was way too close for comfort. When I got home with the wonderful blue loot, I realized that in my frenzy, I had picked up one skein that was missing a tone that the others possessed! So, I alternated the oddball (literally, odd ball) with the others for the garter yoke and moved into the common blue for all the rest. So far, it is a fun knit!!! Pictures to come, I know, I always say that...but they eventually do, don't they?

Monday, February 23, 2009

I must be crazy

Do you have those moments of trying to be practical, trying to be reasonable, and making what you think is the most logical and responsible decision. Do you, after trying this, and achieving success, find yourself longing to have made a different choice?

I do and I have. I am really good about the BIG stuff, marriage, kids, school, work, ethics. But fiber puts a real wrench in the works. Not just fiber, but the necessary accouterments that go along with the fiber!

Here is what happened. It was a lovely Saturday morning. The weather station was predicting some pretty bad snow...maybe. Our guild had planned a field trip to visit the Spinner's Flock fiber sale in Chelsea. So, maybe I was not thinking totally reasonably or logically, but regardless of the guild not sponsoring the trip due to weather, I found the other die-hards and joined them for the trip. Going out was fine. Then it started snowing and blowing. But we were inside with the warm fuzzies and trying to be reasonable with our purchases.

We left with our bags of fiber loot and stopped for some lunch. It was snowing a bit more, but did not seem TOO bad. We ate near the Knit-Around in Ann Arbor, and stopped for yet more temptation. I was pretty good. I bought a couple things and stopped. Then I got interested in a couple more things and stopped again. All the while, I was thinking about a knitting bag (yeah, I need another one :-)) that they had. My reasoning senses won and I left the store without it. Even having that one last twinge in the car did not send me back. That night, I barely slept. I thought about the bag and the projects that would fit in it. I thought about making one, I thought about why I did not get it and how proud I was with my decision. Then I thought about the possibility of someone returning to the area and maybe picking it up. My last thought, after pleading on Ravelry for a carrier, was to contact the store. As I write this, I am hoping for a response that will allow me to have it sent out. This IS crazy. I have bags, many. I have cloth to make bags, much. But I really loved THAT bag. Wish me luck, I will let you know what happens!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Yeah for new Tools!

My sweet husband got me a large blocking board for Christmas this year. I could hardly wait to make a sweater to get the chance to use it! No more pinning to towels, the bed, styro boards, etc.... and hoping that the measurements stayed put.

The sweater is in the final moments of sleeves, sewing and collar. The pattern is the Button Cardi in KnitSimple Fall 2008 and only caught my eye when I saw one knit up. This is a real plus with our local yarn shops, seeing and feeling yarn and projects is much different than dreaming about them online! I was worried about the vent in the back being too short, but looked at a sample sweater at The Knitting Room in Birmingham and it is a match. I even did the finishing edge on the back to sample the finished size and look, then ripped it to finish the fronts.

I am really excited to be using this yarn, since I dyed it a couple of years ago at Heritage Spinning and Weaving during a dye play day. The yarn is Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb natural grey. The grey was NOT a good color for me to wear, but a great base to subdue color in dyeing. Each skein was wound end to end for a continuous large skein on her giant skein winder. This helped to prevent pooling of color for a larger garment like a sweater. So far, so good, not a pool in sight and the color is lovely. Now to head out for some great buttons!

What a great Valentine's Day project... one red sweater, almost complete!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Saturday was the annual Knit Michigan cancer fundraising effort in Bloomfield Hills, MI. It is always exciting to see so many knitter's gathered, especially for a good cause. There was an informal fashion show for the public that were not involved as marathoners. The featured knits were inspiring and had many flocking to the sales booths to get started on their own version of what was being modeled. I helped arrange the show, and even got to model. This was good, since the things that I tried on gave me ideas for what I should knit and own! It was equally fun to see the knitted creations being passively modeled by their owners who wore their goods to the event.

My big scores were a wonderful knitting bag for walking and knitting that is bright red and features sushi images and TWO sample sweaters that were auctioned off. These samples were hand knit in Ireland, one is made from Kimono Angora (soooo soft) and the other is Knitting Fever's brown chunky wool with bits of color shot through. Pictures will help and will follow soon.

If you have not attended this event, keep this time of year in mind and check out the website. Go for the day or for a few hours, the vendors, contests and camaraderie make it worth it. And to think that all this fun benefits so many through our support of local cancer treatment and research centers! Yeah Knitters!!!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Pleasures of Winter

Yeah, right! I am looking out of my window, the snow gently falling and it doesn't seem so bad until I get into my car and join the masses.

But on the bright side....the cool weather provides the perfect opportunity to get into those wooly projects that just would not feel right in the heat of the summer! I almost look forward to some of these days to lock myself in with my hubby, cat and snacks to accompany my project.

I get so much done on these days. No, not housework, not taxes. I pull past issues of knitting magazines and create project matches between my yarn and my patterns to create kits of great new knits!

My latest stash acquisition is a teal Kimono Angora, enough to make a cardigan! Follow the link and see the Knitter's Review of the yarn, YUMMMY!!! I am still adhering to my rule, knit one old and one new. For each new yarn project, I follow with a project using stash. It has been a good way to encourage shopping the stash. Believe it or not, it is as exciting rediscovering what I have as it is seeing what the stores do. Actually, much of what I find out there is already in my collection or not on my radar for a project that I am itching to do.
This is a GOOD thing. Especially since I am heading out to Skeins on Main in Rochester on Sunday for the Grand Re-Opening with the new owners. I wonder what they will have that I "need"............

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Bunny Mittens!

Last night was a wonderful community event at Artisan Knits. Knitters enthusiastically joined together and were hosted to pizza and snacks while preparing to knit samples. We are trying out lace patterns and hand dyed yarns, wowweee! Of course, there was the usual socializing, learning, and, I snagged some lovely handspun alpaca and a skein of handspun merino/angora. I am working on my scarf sample for the shop, but could not help myself from making mittens from some of my new stash....Here they are, the bunny mittens!

I can't wait to wear them! Soooo soft and the colors are delightful...much better in person!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A new year old and new projects

I briefly began a sweater last year, because I saw a friend wearing one and LOVED it! Life took hold and took me away from my beloved Hild (Elsbeth Lavold). Determined to make this beauty (and after discovering it in a bag among the mess in my fiber room, I checked it out on Ravelry. Yikes...many comments, not all good, about the making of this gem. Still, I am determined... Here is my progress

I have had a few problems, mostly due to reading subtitles on a movie while knitting dark yarn with a 25 row repeat of varied cables in a not so well lit room. Yes, I love a challenge.

On an easier and wonderful note, I made a couple of preemie caps to donate with our Black Sheep Knitting Guild. What a pleasure to know that a teeny tiny head will be kept warm with these!

For the new year, I have started Pilates at the community center in my town, started cleaning my studio/fiber room, joined my husband in the clay studio and threw pots (clay pots, not actually "throwing" as in breaking, but as in "making") for the first time in about 12 years. I am still aching from the workout. I am doing a little for me and a little for others and trying not to get overburdened while enjoying each day. Whew. I hope that you all can do the same!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

It already feels like a fresh start! I have been relaxing in front of my spinning wheel, whirling away at some of that luscious fiber stash that has been patiently waiting. To my excitement and amazement, the navajo plying lesson that I got in the fall has actually stayed with me and I am practicing like crazy on what is now my second pound of fiber! What is even better, is that the yarn takes up much less space than my balls of roving, so it seems that there is less in that particular closet, I love the illusion.

I lucked out twice in scoring some anticipated books, Pluckyfluff, Handspun Revolution is now mine after seeking it out and having orders canceled on me when the stock ran out. I have Lexi's newer book, but really wanted to possess this original. Now I do. The new book score is "The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques" by Margaret Radcliffe. It is a beauty, great ideas, colorwork in many ways and with great reference and even some patterns. Happy New Year to me!

After peeking at the forums on Ravelry, I saw a recent post from a guild member regarding how many projects we knit this past year. Boy, I wish I kept better track since I knit like a fiend particularly for the holidays. Maybe after looking at the projects that I have posted and some of the things stashed or noted, I can get a rough estimate. It scares me a little to look at numbers. I fear counting stash, dollars spent, hours spent and actual objects, not to mention skeins spun or dyed!

Just before the end of the year I made:
1 afghan (for my newly married daughter)
3 pair mittens
2 pair fingerless gloves
4 handspun hats
2 lace and cable hats
12 scarves of various lengths and complexity by special request for the holidays
1 grasshopper scarf
2 cable shrug capelets
3 wraps
1 handpun scarf for my hubby
2 baby hats

November and earlier

6 Fletching scarves in various yarns and guages
1 Clapotis
1 Lopi Maria sweater
1 Noro short sweater
1 Monkey socks
5 pair misc. socks
1 Suess like sock yarn scarf
3 piece felted hat, scarf and mitts
1 felted bag
2 market bags
10+ sampler scarves misc patterns and yarns

That is 65 items. I am not looking anymore. I can't even think of it. I have sweaters and socks and mittens to knit, more scarves to try, more shawls and wraps and tons of roving itching to become yarn to become things to wear or share.

I will try to keep track this year and see what 2009 brings for a grand total!
I will also try to keep better pictures and postings to represent my activities.
Isn't it amazing that there is so much to knit? So many patterns and ideas to explore and plenty of fiber to keep our interest, year after year. What a great life!