Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Look who came to town! On a recent beautiful spring day, Stephen West and Ragga Eiriksdotter visited the D.C. area. I had just met Ragga at Vogue Knitting Live and Stephen West had me at Clockwork! Lol. So, I just couldn't miss the opportunity to learn from such amazing designers. It was super fun sharing the day with Kate of Gourmet Stash. We learned new techniques as well as improving on old ones. We also translated inspiration into design. So fun. Lots of one on one, too, which makes for a good class. These two are a lot of fun! Not sure why Blogger cut Stephen off in the posting of this picture...just click on it or head on over to Flickr for all the cuteness! Translating all I learned into real life has been a little trickier. 'Cuz you know, my real life is oh so full. I've been fiddling with my design that I took away from that class in between knitting thousands of yards of lace on my Albers Shawl and poking along on my Central Park Hoodie. Even knitting has taken a back seat to what is front and center right now... this little guy and his baseball obsession. Here he is on Opening Day. Look at that ball go right into the square on the net!!! Here they are lining up for the parade- This one makes me smile (hey, batter batter!). Look at him all baseball ready! I will never, ever tire of seeing life through the eyes of a 5 year old. Everything is so new and magical. Life is beautiful! Ok, friends, see you on the other side of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Can you believe it's next week?
Sunday, March 31, 2013
What a wonderful month this has been, this month of March! I spent the first Sunday of the month at the Dragonfly Fibers studio acquiring yarn and learning new techniques. I picked up the last of the Blue Face Worsted in Dragonberry and cast on for a Central Park Hoodie. I'm questioning the sizing I selected. I've been studying up and trying to translate these mad skilz into customizing the fit of this sweater. I'm usually a bit more of a rule follower, so this is some uncharted territory for me! Wish me luck! I adore the color and feel of this yarn. I have also cast on The Albers Shawl for my grab and go mindless knitting. This WILL take forever, this more than 3,000 yards of lace weight. Garter stitch, no less. The good news is that somewhere along the way I have become a process person. This is huge for me, as I have always been so very goal oriented. I guess I've just surrendered to the inevitable -this mama o'seven doesn't have too many real claims on her time. Also at the studio that day, I practiced making punis with the talented Kate of Gourmet Stash. Those I bought from Gourmet Stash. These I made: I was even lucky enough to win a set from the Gourmet Stash Blog giveaway. I won the green punis and nail polish. That is some ahhmazing polish. Gonna have to look into that for some more. Very decadent. You know you want those bright little fibery tribbles. Fun, right? I couldn't resist buying them and you can get some right here! This month I've also designed and knit a handspun laceweight shawl, worked on some hexipuffs, did some swatching, and spindled to my heart's content. Ok, friends... I'll leave you with some images of other things that have brought me joy this month. Have you ever tried an Earl Grey latte? Do eeet. Seriously. Oh, and this little corner of my home... The mirror is a Christmas gift that one of my little guys made a few years ago. The curly willow I just couldn't resist. It's from the Terminal Market in Philly. Ahh, Spring!
Thursday, February 14, 2013
I had an inspiration. My neighbor recently celebrated the birth of her very first grandchild. I wanted to make her a very special baby gift. You see, we lived next door to each other when she had her babies over 20 years ago. We've been through a lot together...births, deaths, life... The most significant event of our long time friendship has been the sudden death of her husband when he was just in his 30's. My lovely friend has raised her daughters beautifully all these years, yet nothing could ever possible erase the scars left by this sudden death. I wanted to honor that and somehow bring that amazing husband and father into the gift that would embrace his first grandchild. I asked God to please bless the work of my hands. I asked for some shirts that had belonged to their beloved, and used the fabric to spin into a yarn. I spun three complimentary yarns. I caked the yarn and cast on with a pattern of my own design. (my favorite part of the blankie are the bits with the shirt fabric spun in) I photo-documented the whole project and then had a picture book made to explain my process and who knows, maybe even read to the baby! This little project kept me busy for quite some time. It has been a privilege to accompany my friend on her healing journey all these years. I know firsthand that grief can be a very lonely place. I hope to replace some of that sorrow with joy this afternoon when I present this special gift. Ironically, it's Valentine's Day. What better day than today to make someone feel how much they are loved.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
I had no business going out of town two weekends in a row, according to my five year old. I had been on enough vacations already this year, he wailed. Well, in all honesty, he was sorta right. Out of the four weekends of the new year, I had been out of town for two of them. He had every right to be a little miffed! It was a pre-planned weekend with my weaving friends at the beach that stole my heart last weekend. I had the best intentions of weaving with handspun, but at the last minute, I stopped in my LYS and bought some yarn for spa cloths. You see, I have a friend with whom I exchange my favorite things of the year every holiday season. Very Oprah's Favorite Things episode. It has morphed over the years into this fun get together we've dubbed Happy Christmastine's Day to celebrate birthdays and Christmas on or around Valentine's Day. 'Cuz that's how we roll, busy mamas that we are. I just had to include a little handwoven gift because weaving has become one of my loves this past year. Close your eyes if you are reading this, Paula! You'll be getting one of these with your goodies! So excited. Speaking of being so excited, can you believe I have no wips at the moment? Seriously, I have finished all the works in progress on my needles. Last night I wound some handspun to cast on and knit a special scarf for my dear great aunt. Then it's a toss up between socks or the Albers Shawl. I haven't knit a single pair of socks this season. Feeling obligated. Can someone out there just whip me up a pair? pretty please? I'll be your best friend. lol. I finished the Alber's Cowl just in time for Vogue Knitting Live. These here are my favorite colors. I'll be wearing this to death. Fun, right? I also finished my square shawl. You know the one. I kept having to get more yarn to bind off. So, it just kept growing. It's huge and colorful. My superhero cape. I pretended to be a fast knitter to turn out a Clockwork. I worked on this non-stop and it still took a week! I feel like I should've been able to produce this in a couple of days, but whatevs. There is that issue of real life happening in between my knitting! I knew I had to knit one of these after wearing the Travelling Clockwork . The fit and drape of this design is perfect for me. I knit it in Dragonfly Fibers "Save the Ta Ta(s)" colorway and an older skein of Montauk Monster gifted to me by Gryphon of The Verdant Gryphon. Very special indeed, this scarf. Let me leave you with one more handwoven goody. Slow Fade scarf from a Spunky Weaving Club kit. I wove this one on our last beach weekend. I had intended this for a Christmas gift, but the timing didn't work out. Turns out it's a keeper! Yay! So, it's back to the grind for me. No trips on the horizon, just lots and lots of mama love. I learned my lesson well. They showed me by planning a Superbowl party in my absence. Now THEY are all at the beach while I am home cleaning and getting our house party ready. Hrumph. Go Ravens!
Thursday, January 24, 2013
We know each other by our hand knits; we, the citizens of this yarniverse. There is a really special feeling being among the yarnies of the world. From the moment we arrived in New York, we were greeted with smiles and waves and cheers when people saw the yarns being unloaded. It's a happy place, this yarniverse. We are all on a mission to create beautiful things. From the vendors, to the teachers, to the knitters and crocheters and weavers present, there is an energy of positivity. So very special. We loaded. We unloaded. We wined. We dined. We sold yarn. We made friends... ...and celebrated friendships. We even enjoyed a visit from a celebrity or two. The pull of Kate's yarn is irresistible. I must say, my favorite part of shows is the wonderful people I meet and connect with. We met so many warm and wonderful souls this weekend. It was truly an honor.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Monday, September 17, 2012
So babylove is definitely not a baby anymore. We've closed that chapter and embarked on an exciting new one. But, I just know you'll understand why he'll forever be my babylove. Look who started Kindergarten!! Yup, I cried buckets when that big ol' bus carried off my sweet #7. I'm so not good with endings and this definitely felt like the end of our special time at home so I just kept focusing on what a great new beginning this is and I keep imagining all of the wonderful and exciting new opportunities he has. He has adjusted beautifully,(as have I, lol). His wonderful teacher posts pictures daily for the parents and it really is a joy to see how much fun he is having. It's all good. Sooo good. Whatever am I doing with all this new free time, you ask? Why, I'm deep in the fiberlove of course! My first goal is to stash down by 10 before buying anything new. First up, Inspira Cowl with a combo of hand dyed I made with Kate one afternoon and a Loop self striping batt spun in a rustic single. That textured knobby single totally changes the look of the Inspira. Next, it's back to my square shawl. I'm totally just making this up as I go along in the same hand dyed as Inspira as well as Ode to Sock Summit in Dragonfly Djinni. The inspiration for this came from Ann Weaver's Square Shawls workshop. My third project is to finish my Alber's Cowl Here's my first square: I'm diggin' these colors. Can't wait to wear this one! I also need to make the Ioanna cowl from The Container Ships Club. Haven't decided on a yarn yet for this one. OOOh, and lookie! Not sure I'll include these in my stash down but these are battling their way to the top of the queue: Picked up this pattern and one of the yarns(Velvet Underground in Djinni) at Michigan FiberFest. The other yarn is a gift from Gryphon. Love this pattern, what do you think of the yarn combo? These three in Squishy lace are begging me to drop everything and knit for the rest of my life in Squishy. The problem is, they don't know what they want to be yet. Speaking of Michigan Fiber Fest and Squishy Lace...I finished my Chittagong in Squishy just in time for a little designer photo shoot. Fun times! Really great show! The peeps in Michigan are the best! Some of my favorite people from the BohoknitterChic group on Ravelry stopped by to say hi. How cute are they ? So sweet, too. I met the most extraordinary knitters that weekend. I can't wait for next year! So, that's the round-up. But, before I close, I just wanted to mention that I'm an affiliate for my friend, Tara Wagner! See that little badge up there in the corner? Her brand new Organic Parenting Course starts today! Even if you are not a parent, I hope you will check her out. Tara is the most amazing wise woman. She is an incredible life coach and the author of Digging Deep. Check out her website! I hope you find her to be as wonderful as I do. Thanks for looking! I love this here blogosphere community we have all created. Friends supporting friends. As always, thank you for supporting me, friend! I'm so glad you stopped by to see what's up in my little corner of the world.