Dee: Oh man…I broke my yarn fast and I was doing so well too. Shucks! I’m going to have to start all over again tomorrow. The only way I can explain it was that the pretty fibers of YarnCon got me. I would have to say that YarnCon is my favorite yarn festival each year followed very closely by the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Note to self…you need to find someone to remind you not to work the weekend of September 8-11.
I arrived at YarnCon, flanked by gal pals Terry and Celeste, where I didn’t even make it passed the check-in desk before snagging my first skein of fiber. It was a skein of a special edition fingering weight yarn from last year in a colorway of grey, blue, white and a bright green named Concrete Spring…strike one.
Strike two was KnitCircus, they were positioned just inside the door of the main room. With nowhere to escape I heard the tune of a skein of Over The Rainbow worsted wool that sang to me it’s siren’s song. It sounded a lot like “Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole on ukulele. There is so much yardage on the skein I could knit up something really pretty for my neck. I also grabbed a pretty cashmere blend in browns and roses from the sale bin, this will be a hat. I should have left at this point but as is so often the case…the deck was stacked against me…Sophie’s Toes was right next door to KnitCircus…I was in the danger zone.
At Sophie’s Toes I enabled Terry, as I so often do with friends, to purchase some delicious fibers. I took pleasure in this and it should have sufficed however it backfired on me as strike three was a skein of fingering weight yarn in Tiger, a gorgeous colorway that would be perfect for some fall fun like All Hallow’s Eve without it actually screaming Halloween. If you haven’t purchased from Emily you really should. May I suggest a Magic Ball to get you started? I should have left at this point yet there was so much more to see and feel.
Now I know there isn’t a strike four in baseball, both my boys played little league for many years and I attended many Dodger games growing up however, strike four hit me just before lunch. There was a booth that held many mini skeins in themed packages. I bought the Wizard blend (think Harry Potter) from Brew City Yarns. I bought the base yarn to go with it to make the Cathedral Glass Cowl. They also had this really fun beer koozie pattern and kit that could be a great gift for that bottled beer drinker in your life…which I didn’t buy.
When it was lunch time we headed outside to check out the options. I love food trucks and the one I ordered from did not disappoint. I ordered their special of skirt steak tacos with brown rice, black beans, red cabbage coleslaw, cotija cheese and tasty green sauce. Yummy!
I took plenty of pictures so I could share with you all of the fun that is YarnCon including a photo bomb of Emily. Enjoy!
Dee: Esther’s Place just celebrated ten years of being in business. Truth be told I’ve probably been wanting to visit there for many of those ten years. Well, thanks to glad birthday tidings from my friend Celeste, I finally made it down to Big Rock, IL for a visit.
Celeste, gal pal Terry, and I traveled down to Esther’s Place to take a needle felted bunny class. We learned tips and tricks for mastering the art of needle felting while sipping on tea in beautiful china cups. We then had a lovely luncheon at the studio all provided by the lovely ladies who work there. I had such a great time, it was so well worth the drive. I see myself going back there again some day soon. Perhaps I’ll make the Heartfelt Sheep project on my next visit.
I’m currently working on the Five Pillars Hat for my next hat of the month. I’m using larger than recommended yarn, Cascade 128 Wool and larger sized needles to create a hat that won’t squash a girl’s hairdo. Hopefully doing this will work out well. It looks like it might however the hat is still very much on my needles and not at all long enough yet to try it on for size…stay tuned and happy knitting!
Dee: Well, not exactly a cherry however I did consider making a classic red pompom to top my hat for the month of March, the Big Herringbone Hat. Instead I used a faux fur pompom from the stash of faux fur pompoms that I have apparently accumulated…you may realize that I’m a girl who rarely passes up a good deal on knitting related paraphernalia. Knit out of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted, this two color hat was a very fun knit. I had originally planned to use Green Bay Packers colors of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Sunshine Yellow and Pine to knit this one up however I recently bought a houndstooth skirt in classic black and white so I was inspired to knit likewise. Perhaps I’ll still knit a Packers version…perhaps not.
So you may have heard that I’ve put a kibosh on buying yarn for the remainder of the 2016 calendar. However, it’s only March and I am now beginning to feel the pull, the allure of the stash enhancement. If I make it until YarnCon in April that would really be something!
What’s next on my needles? I’m still thinking about that. A shawl for my mom? Another hat? Definitely! Or perhaps something with one of my KnitCircus gradients? Stay tuned…until then, happy knitting!
Dee: I love requests, especially when they come from either of my sons. So when son #2 asked for a business casual hat I got right to work. Knowing that this guy craves comfort I knew I’d be using some of that fabulously soft and warm Sweater by Spud & Chloe, that I happen to have on hand in both black and grey to knit up this very casual yet business like beanie for him. It’s a slightly modified version of the Pittsburgh Steelers Hat by Lorna Miser. You can read my notes here for the slight changes that I made.
For those keeping count this is hat number two for the month of February. I’m almost done with my March hat, so you can expect a post about that one soon. Happy knitting y’all!
Dee: Once in a while I like to follow a month’s theme for my “hat of the month” as I have chosen to do here with my February hat the Flower Love Fair Isle Tam. I saw a store sample of this pattern when I was on vacation in California at the Alamitos Bay Yarn Company. They had used a skein of Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool as the contrast color paired with a natural off white as the main color. I wasn’t sold on their pick of yarn for the main color, the texture was wrong, so I went with my own choice Malabrigo Yarn Rios, which just happens to be one of my friend Kathryn’s favorite yarns. As for the pattern, I wasn’t enamored with the way Chart B was presented however once I wrapped my mind around it I sailed through and finished quickly.
I love tams and I love blocking tams. I have a certain plate that just seems to be the perfect size for blocking a tam to fit my head.
I’m already on to a second hat for this month for my son which I will hopefully complete this weekend. Then I will pick another hat project for March. Hats are just so fun to knit!
Dee: I cannot believe I forgot to mention my hat for January 2016 in my last post. I designed this hat for Emily, a Rams fan, God bless her. I was able to get the colors right thanks to Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted yarn. however, I ran into many problems with designing her hat. First the two-color braid I wanted looked horrible, then the rolled bottom wasn’t quite right, and finally the stitch count was wrong for the size of her noggin and my chart. Thankfully I’m no quitter, a calculator helped with that, so I was able to adjust my chart to suit the stitch count that would eventually fit my dear sweet Emily.
Next up…my February hat inspired by a sample at Alamitos Bay Yarn Company. Stay tuned and happy knitting!
Dee: I have a wonderful husband. I just thought I would throw that out there. Due to his many years on the road my husband is also my excellent travel agent. I did benefit from his skills during my recent trip home to California where I visited family and got together with my childhood friends for fun times. And of course…those fun times included some fiber fun.
On my second night there Kathryn, Cyndee and I made the trek to the Monrovia Street Fair where we encountered the Yarnover Truck. This was my third time visiting said truck and now it has become a destination point for me whenever I visit. There I bought six skeins of red discounted Spud and Chloe Sweater. I see some red hats forthcoming.
Meet Little Debbie!
I spent my Sunday watching the Seahawks get trounced by the Panthers with my dear gal pal Susan. The game’s outcome was not what Susan was hoping for however, misery loves company since I was still smarting slightly because my Packers lost the day before after a very exciting Wildcard game against the Cardinals, so I was in good company. It was Susan’s birthday so I finally made good on my promise to make her one of my leather and bead wrap bracelets. Susan joked that I waited until we saw one another on her birthday to finally get said bracelet. She’s right of course….she knows me all too well.
On my way back to “The Valley” I stopped by Yarn del Sol in Mission Viejo. It always tickles me that there is an ATM just a few steps from the entrance. I bought some Rhichard Devrieze Peppino yarn to knit the shawlette pictured below. Local ladies can snag from of this great stippled yarn at Wool & Co.
During my the final yarn quest in California I was accompanied by Cyndee and Kathryn (my frequent partners in yarn acquisitions) as we made our way to Alamitos Bay Yarn Company. This is probably one of my favorite yarn shop stops of all time. I love the staff, the location, the inspiration, and the selection. I am totally knitting that blue ribbed cowl with some stash yarn. I bought a discount skein of Liberty Wool in one of their gradient colors and a skein of Malabrigo Rios in natural to knit the Flower Love Fair Isle Tam. Yeah, I am apparently not over my hat obsession so I’ll continue to knit a hat a month in 2016.
While on vacation I finished the baby blanket for Mya.
I see many fiber adventures ahead for me in 2016 most notably a knit a long with Jodee and “Amy Detjen” as we follow her Craftsy class for Sipsey’s Folly. I’ll continue on with my hat a month challenge, make my annual pilgrimage to Meg Swansen’s fall knitting workshop, a YarnCon visit, a Stitches Midwest trip, and probably another NaKniSweMo project. Stay tuned and happy knitting y’all.
Dee: The end of 2015 signals an end to my yearlong knit-a-hat a month challenge. I surpassed my goal early on since hats are my absolute favorite thing to knit. I knit a total of seventeen hats as well as many other items in 2015. Many of the chapeaux (that’s French for hats) provided for handy gift giving opportunities when the holidays came around which I really appreciated. I may focus on another small project each month so I will end the year with another supply of gifts ready for gifting…or perhaps I’ll just keep knitting hats.
My final hat of the year was a repeat of the Violet Waffles pattern which was such a fun knit and great hat. I chose to use my favorite hat yarn Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted once again however using one of their multi-colored yarns. I began the hat with the two by two ribbing only to discover an unfortunate pooling that I knew I’d never be happy with so I frogged and began again with a coordinating solid switching to the multi-colored after the ribbing. The resulting hat is gorgeous!
Two-Color Violet Waffles
I bought myself a couple of after Christmas gifts this year. Since I loved knitting my NaKniSweMo sweater so much, I bought two sweater kits. And since my Sipsey’s Folly kit arrived first…I’ll be knitting that along with Jodee who, like me, purchased the kit and the Amy Detjen Custom Yoke Sweater class on Craftsy. We can wear our finished sweaters when we show up at camp in the fall. Stay tuned and happy knitting!
Dee: After my month long knit-a-thon for NaKniSweMo, which I totally plan to participate in next year, I’ve started in with crafting Christmas gifts. Well, I did switch out the bear buttons on my sweater first for ones that had Nordic design and just look better overall.
So, then I got to business and tried my hand at some crochet…not my strong suit…at all. I wanted a sunny side up egg cotton washcloth to gift with a bar of bacon soap that I found at a craft show. I had to watch an online video frame by frame to learn how to crochet a flat circle. After that I had to adapt my stitches to keep the thing flat and a bit free form to mimic the egg. It turned out pretty well and made me smile so all’s good.
Next I got to work on some wooden sheep ornaments. I placed a custom order back in July with a guy on Etsy and then added my own felt ears before wrapping them up in colorful fleece. I have an entire flock to outfit however they need to have their ears added first. Cute huh?!
More to come…happy knitting!
Dee: I did it! From start to finish I knit an entire sweater in a single month! On November 1st, I cast on and I finished the button band on November 22nd. I owe a big THANK YOU to whomever started the NaKniSweMo challenge. I found it completely inspiring and I now have a beautiful and warm sweater to carry me through the cold winter weather.
Knitting with the Peace Fleece was a joy except for a few knots within the skein. Once I smoothed those over and I knit away happily. The great thing about knitting with woolens is that there are not so many ends to weave in. Those who know me understand that I rarely weave in my ends when I knit multicolored stranded hats. All those multiple color changes….please! Wool doesn’t really worm it’s way out so I trim up the inside and forget about it. It should be noted that I did weave in my sweater ends though.
What I enjoyed about this knit was that I had all of the ingredients on hand right down to the buttons. I highly recommend Knitting Pure and Simple patterns for a challenge like this as it just kept the process moving so smoothly.
I also finished my Noro Veil Stitch Cowl this month. It was my take along project with no end date in mind. I just knit on it when I was left waiting for appointments, oil changes, lunch times, etc.
So what’s next? Lots of hats, that’s for sure and a little surprise I’ll show you later. Until that time…Happy Knitting y’all!