Dee: So every year I say I need to destash some yarn. Today I did! I selected four different yarns from my stash that brought me zero joy and I bagged them up and brought them over to String Theory in Glen Ellyn. There they will hopefully be purchased by someone who will love them in the String Theory Garage Sale netting me a bit of store credit for yarn that will actually bring me joy. Yay for joy! My fingers are crossed that my stuff will sell however one thing is certain, that joyless yarn is never coming back to live with me. I should add that I am talking about forty skeins of yarn so this is no small stash reduction. Okay, yeah, it’s just a dent, a tip of the iceberg but it’s a start.
In other news… I have joined three knit alongs. String Theory has a mystery KAL in June, Drea Renee Knits is having a Harlow brioche hat to knit in four days over the Memorial Day weekend and Marie Greene of Olive Knits is having a KAL of the Beekeeper Cardigan in June to be knit in four days. Yes, you heard that right, a brioche hat in four days, totes doable, and then a cardigan in four days, totes laughable, but I am going to try. Wish me luck on all accounts. Happy knitting!
Dee: I’m having such a great fiber filled September!!! I went to both the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival and a Susan B. Anderson workshop in Madison via KnitCircus, also in Madison.
Next to YarnCon, which is in the spring, the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival is my favorite yarn event. It’s small, rustic and oh so interesting. Local vendors carry a wide variety of items for sale. There are basket makers, yarn dyers, soap makers, cheese makers, broom makers, angora rabbit proprietors and more! I really tried to behave myself yet I succumbed to temptation and opportunity when I happened upon Yarns By Design in Neenah WI. They were having a retirement sale. Let’s just say I did okay. My arms were full, then empty, finally with a clear head I made it to the register with only a few specialty skeins for holiday knitting.
It’s safe to say I love sheep. So when I saw the Susan B. Anderson sheep knitting workshop I jumped at the chance, grabbed Jodee and headed to Madison. This little fella is so adorable that I have considered knitting him some attire. The workshop was part of the KnitCircus weekend retreat. Friday night, the ladies of KnitCircus held an evening of wine, cheese and shopping in their shop. You could also just hang out and chat while knitting away on a project as we chose to do for a good part of the evening. I love seeing all the gradient cakes of yarn that KnitCircus offers. I finished a project that the KnitCircus crew were kind enough to dye up additional yarn for me so I could finish my Pyropa shawl. I ran out of yarn shy of enough to complete the final one and a half repeats. The colorway is called Sexy Like A Labradoodle. The pattern includes placement for optional beads which I chose to incorporate. They are clear with a silver lining. So pretty, I don’t think the picture does the finished shawl justice.
Lastly I volunteered to test knit a pattern. It’s the PokeHat by Mrs. Luedeke. My son is on Team Mystic so I agreed to test that version. I always enjoy color work. It’s so satisfying to knit.
Next up on my fall knitting schedule is traveling through Wisconsin to the fall Schoolhouse Press Workshop with Meg and Amy. I look forward to this weekend all year long. It’s literally the best time a knitter can have communing with their fellow fiber brethren. I love it!
Dee: Along with gal pal Terry, I headed to Stitches Midwest last week to partake in “The Market” and the stitch marker swap. We grabbed our Sammy Snail buttons and set off. I didn’t get very far before making my first purchase. This is always the case with me I am so excited about the event that I have the crazed buying impulse that overtakes my brain. As soon as I saw the Cowgirl Bandana Shawl from Buffalo Wool Company, I bought it. Mind you, I am very happy with the purchase it’s just that I always plan to survey, contemplate and return thoughtfully. Yeah, that never happened.
Another vendor that caught my eye was Pawley Studios, I instantly fell in love with her designs. The artist uses a two step process in creating her knit ware pieces.
First the vessel is made and then the knitted sweater design in applied on top. The result is beautiful and full of rich texture. I tend to appreciate pottery pieces a lot because I spent a couple of semesters learning to throw ceramics in college. I was never this talented. Her glazing is amazing as well. According to her husband the red glazed pieces sold out early on Thursday evening. I would have loved to see those. Although I didn’t purchase anything from Pawley Studios they are definitely on my radar for the future.
As we wound our way up and down the aisles we paused to swap markers with others wearing the telltale snail button. I really enjoyed the markers I got in this year’s swap. I don’t think I came home with as many as last year however I pretty much love all the markers I took home. Here take a look.
Well I am a Ravellenic competitor so I better sign off and get busy with my event. I have already reached the podium once for WIP Wrestling by finishing my Fir Trees Cowl. It’s blocking so pictures to follow until then, happy knitting!
Dee: With an abundance of windshield time ahead of me, I decided to pack up some knitting projects for my vacation trip out west. I finished up casting off on the shawl for my mother-in-law. This was paramount since it was her birthday celebration we would be attending in Montana. I think it turned out nicely… She cannot wear anything with wool in it and she loves fancy things so this yarn sprinkled with sequins was the perfect choice for her.
As soon as I finished the shawl I cast on for the New Directions Cowl that I had bought the kit for at last year’s Wisconsin Sheep and Fiber Fest. The cowl was fun to knit without a lot of directions or details to following making it a perfect project for the road and for sightseeing. I love the way that by switching yarns every nine rows that it kept the project interesting. This cowl is earmarked as a Christmas gift.
I then began with a repeat knit of the Timber Bay Hat. I had given the last one I knit away as a birthday gift and knew at the time that I wanted one for myself. This time I used some berry hued yarn from my stash and named the hat the Huckleberry Hat in honor of Montana’s State fruit. I really think you should knit one for yourself the fold over brim in a one by one twisted rib is so fantastically satisfying and beautiful.
I wanted enough knitting to last the entire trip and I brought exactly that, enough knitting to last me until I reached my driveway. The final item was my take along project that I started months ago and only work on when I have time to kill in a waiting room or during my lunch break. It’s also a favorite repeat knit of mine, the Veil Stitch Cowl that I knit last winter. Light, airy and perfect to wear indoors as part of an outfit this cowl features only one stitch that you repeat again and again even on the cast off row…the Veil Stitch. It looks impressive and knit up in Noro it’s a stunner.
My trip to Montana would not have been complete without a stop at the Dupuyer Cache where there is a room stocked with Beaverslide Dry Goods yarn. This yarn is minimally processed leaving it butter soft. The colors are phenomenal by the way and I had an especially hard time choosing which colors to bring home with me. I wanted to buy one skein in every color, however I did not do that. That would have been a lot of yarn…even for me. I took pictures of the shop to share…enjoy! Happy knitting y’all!
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: 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: Sometimes when I have a moment to myself, I discover wondrous things. I’ve just discovered NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater Month). So along with No Shave November, and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) there is now a November challenge that I can enjoy! Anyone with me? It’s only 50,000 stitches. Please wish me luck as I turn this pile of Peace Fleece into the lovely Neckdown Cardigan by Diane Soucy. I’m knitting it big to wrap myself up in to keep me warm this winter. I also just really wanted an “outside” sweater. Let’s be honest, Peace Fleece is not known as a next to your skin yarn so this has got to be outerwear. I’m so happy I have this extra hour today to figure out which needle size I need to use. Happy knitting!
Dee: Autumn is the season when a frost first hits in the air, when the leaves begin to change and knitters everywhere begin nesting and knitting with one another more than any other time of the year. Every fall I make the pilgrimage to Marshfield, Wisconsin. Two of the reasons I do, are to knit with these two women Meg Swansen and Amy Detjen.
This year the workshop focused on woolen sweaters knit in the Guernsey way. The fishermen of Guernsey wear traditional Guernsey sweaters knit in off white and a dark navy, yet they are not wearing knit hats. Many of the historical pictures show the men wearing a traditional fisherman’s cap atop their heads. Since I wanted to knit a hat, I had to adapt. By combining ideas and charts from multiple sources I came up with this lovely little knit hat and my October entry for hat of the month.
The trek to Marshfield was extra special fun this year with Desiree flying into Chicago and traveling with Jodee and I up to Wisconsin. Along the way, we hooked up with Sylvia, Ruth, and Amy at KnitCircus in Madison.
We all stopped for lunch at La Baguette in Madison where I ordered my usual fare, tuna on ciabatta…and a pumpkin tart of course!
There are so many delightful sights in Marshfield, Wisconsin…this is just one of them.
Dee: I’ve just returned from a trip home to California where much fun was had with friends and family. Although the main focus was to spend time with my mom for Mother’s Day I did squeeze in some quality time with my girlfriends. Even as the time passes the friendships never change…I love that. One of my favorite evenings was spent decorating cupcakes and brownie bites for Cyndee’s daughter’s college graduation party. Since Jenessa earned her degree in biology with an emphasis on botany we decorated the brownie bites with icing cactus and succulents. Pretty impressive huh?
The day after I arrived there was a special fiber event at Alamitos Bay Yarn Company. I had been corresponding with one of the owners, Cindy and she told me that Norah Gaughan was in town for a visit. I adore Norah’s designs so I attended the book signing as well as the meet and greet. Norah is every bit as lovely as her designs, so my friend Kathryn and I stayed for the better part of the day enjoying this fantastic shop and the wonderful company of knitters. I purchased an exclusive colorway of Anzula Squishy in Safe Harbour.
A visit to California would not be complete if I didn’t make a trek over to Claremont. I love to visit that college town and stop by Phebie’s Needle Art in the historic Packing House building. There I grabbed another skein of fiber, Llama Sparkle, from local dyer Red Barn Yarn. There is a bit of a shiny sparkle thread running through this skein of her African Violet colorway.
When in California do as the Californians do and relax by the pool and enjoy a trip to In-N-Out.
I haven’t knit a hat yet this month so I need to get on that. I know I did knit two hats last month…however I consider that second hat a bonus and not my entry for the month of May. Hmmm… I need to decide quickly, stay tuned and happy knitting!