Happy Fall Ya’ll! I have an aggressive schedule this month between work and family vacation so the blog will be going on hiatus until October. I expect to have all sorts of fun things to share by then – finished objects, exciting news and maybe even a few vacation pictures! I hope everyone has a great start to the fall season!
This past weekend my friend from Wisconsin came down to visit. She is an accomplished crocheter but has been learning to knit. She had a long drive down (fairly certain her GPS was smoking something) so we had crockpot fajitas and hard cider for dinner, then watched TV and knitted. Betty was immediately in love and wanted constant attention. My friend brought me some goodies, including a tribble, a magnet from Scotland and a Star Trek themed shower disc.
Saturday morning we had french toast and set off to to have some fun! We went to my local yarn shop, Nomad Yarns, where owner Dave gave my friend a detailed tour. While they were chatting I found some 100% llama yarn (Miski from Mirasol Yarns) on clearance that of course had to come home with me.
We then headed to Who North America (a retail store and museum relating to all things Dr. Who). First off, they had a giant Tardis (see first picture). We walked through the museum and I found some goodies on the retail side. Yes, there are sock below with Tardises (Tardi? What is the plural of Tardis?) on the toes.
We went to another yarn shop (Starstruck Cat in Greenwood) and headed home. Saturday night several of my friends came in for a knit/crochet/spin in with pizza, potluck dishes and adult beverages. Winston decided Heather was his best friend and was quite happy to lay on her chest for a long while. Great evening of food, drink and friends!
Unfortunately, my friend had to go home Sunday morning. Betty was sad for her to leave!
This is probably the post you’ve *really* been looking for – the yarn and other goodies that came home with me. I’ve linked to each vendor, if available, in case you’d like to check them out.
From Erin Lane Bags – A pattern keeper, sock bag and Zippity View Da in the Game of Thrones sheeple, and a dice bag in the Wonder Woman sheeple. Oooh, and a wristlet in a red stitch fabric.
(upper left) From Pawley Studios – a red yarn bowl and the custom Betty yarn bowl I talked about in my last blog post
(lower right) From MissPurl – two tins (they had so many fun patterns) – one is Dr. Who and one is black cats and wine; From Honey Girl Farms – a small pouch that has a unicorn vomiting kittens. Yes, you read that right.
So technically I didn’t buy these but here are the stitch markers I swapped for in the swap.
(upper left) From new to me dyer T’ewe Knit Wits – a sock yarn set (two 50 gram cakes) of a purple and rainbow gradient. I saw the sample knit up in a sock and it actually made me want to knit socks.
(lower left) From A Hundred Ravens – A mini skein set (Iachos base) in the colorway Rainbow. I also got a skein of Jet (same yarn base) so I can make a larger shawl.
(lower right) A kit from Three Irish Girls to make the Chalk Drawings Hat and Mittens by Paper Daisy Creations. The yarn base is Adorn Luxe and the full skein is au naturel. The mini skeins are from the Fall is Near Collection.
(upper right) From White Birch Fiber Arts – A self striping skein of sock yarn (80/20 merino/nylon) in the colorway “Does this rainbow make my black look big?”
(right) From Destination Yarns – both on the sport-weight base Trinket in the colorways Glen Coe (left) and Witching Hour (right).
I’m coming down off that Stitches high. I missed last year so this year was especially important to me. I drove up to Chicago on Thursday where I stayed with a friend in the city until Sunday. It was a wonderful trip full of friends and yarn.
After physical therapy I loaded up the car and drove from Indianapolis to Chicago, Illinois, where my friend lives. We ran a few errands, including a stop at Salvation Army, where I scored several books at $2 a piece.
Later that evening we went to Captain’s Catch, which is a Cajun Creole restaurant. We had shrimp, crab legs and lobster, in addition to some sides. After we got back home I packed up my bags for Stitches the next day! I even went to bed early!
Friday morning I took the train from near my friend’s place to a train station close to Schaumburg, where Stitches Midwest is held. Stitches was running a shuttle from that train station to the convention center, which was a real bonus. I picked up my badge and went in to get that shopping started. I bought a pair of socks from Buffalo Wool Co. before my friend Tori (check her out on Twitch at www.twitchtv.aDorned_ – she is a creative streamer) arrived. She had driven down from her home in Wisconsin and stayed the night with us on Friday. Our first stop was Pawley Studio so I could see my custom yarn bowl that the artist made to look like my cat Betty. Her attention to detail is amazing, right down to the white feathering on her throat. I’m so happy!
Next, we went to Erin Lane Bags to grab Tori a stitch marker swap button and then we started our shopping in earnest. New to me Black Cat Fibers had not only gorgeous yarns, but some amazing samples.
I saw many of my favorite vendors – BarMaids, CraftyFlutterBy, Destination Yarns, A Hundred Ravens, KnitBaahPurl and Pawley Studios. Also, several new to me vendors such as T’ewe Knit Wits and Stunning String Studio. Friday afternoon I took a one-hour market class called Knitting in Both Directions, which was basically to learn how to knit backwards. I figured out how to knit and purl backwards but not how to still do so continental. For it truly to be more efficient for me, I will need to figure that out.
After class Tori and I headed to my friend’s place. We ran to Michael’s and Joann’s for stitch marker supplies for Tori and then went back home to order pizza from Lou Malnati’s. We ate pizza, drank wine and root beer, and I looked through patterns on Ravelry while Tori and my friend made stitch markers for the stitch marker swap. As I mentioned in my prior post, there is a stitch marker swap at Stitches Midwest each year and the swapping is so much fun!
Saturday morning all three of us headed back to Schaumburg for some more shopping. Outside we saw a car with a knit stitch wrap, which I have since learned is from 614 Knit Studio, a yarn shop in Illinois.
I found another yarn bowl from Pawley Studios. They had a few on a clearance shelf due to small defects (so small I couldn’t find the defect on some) and I found a red one I loved. Plus I got a picture with ceramic artist Amanda!
I ran into knit designer Lisa Ross (paperdaisycreations on Instagram) in the Leading Men Fiber Arts booth. She is a local designer that I have known for a few years and love her work. We were all in red on Saturday. That is her shawl, Double Dipper, up behind us in the photo.
As we were getting ready to leave I saw Stacy Trock, a crochet amigurami instructor on Craftsy. Her class is finally what got me to the point where I could crochet a 3-d object. So, in a bit of a fan girl moment, I got a picture with her. She was very sweet and down to earth.
And with that, our Stitches experience was done. Tori headed back to Wisconsin and my friend and I headed back to her home, where we ordered Indian food and vegged out watching movies. What a nice relaxing end to the weekend! The next morning we went out for breakfast, where I had red velvet french toast and a mimosa, before I headed back home to Indiana. So long Stitches Midwest until next time!
Stitches Midwest starts in just a few days! I am beyond excited since I haven’t been in two years and so many wonderful friends are coming. I made that a priority this past weekend and have piled up most of the items to be packed on the guest bed. I will be at the event most of the day Friday and part of the day Saturday. If you see me, please say HI. I will not be at the pajama party this year as I am staying at a friend’s place closer into the city.
Step One was was to make lots’n’lots stitch markers for the Stitch Marker Swap. This annual tradition involves participants bringing stitch markers and trading with other participants. I’ve already had several people ask for one so I made an additional 28 markers, in addition to the 68 I had already made Friday night.
Step two was registering for the market class I want to take on Friday afternoon – knitting in both directions. I do still need to get together the items I need for that class.
Step Three was going through the list of vendors and noting those I am particularly interested in for various items. I also noted on my map which vendors are participating in the Stitch Marker Swap and the Scavenger Hunt. I also noted which session in The Playground I’m interested in. I like having a one page cheat sheet so that I only have one page to tuck in my purse.
Step four was getting everything together that I could. Some gifts for the friend I’m staying with, a surprise for another friend staying with us one night, wine and snacks, shawls, and more. I’ve piled up everything that can already be packed and will finish up the rest on Wednesday.
A couple weeks ago my brother stayed with me in Indianapolis while our parents went on vacation (sort of – they stayed homed t00). My brother and I enjoy our time hanging out together without the ‘rents, especially since he lives six hours away. If you’re not aware, he is five years younger than me and has special needs, specifically Down Syndrome and Autism. So here are some photos of our staycation!
We spent our first couple days at home and I got up on some housework and house projects with his help. I have nicely organized pantries now! At home time means lots of Star Trek and Disney for us, and Chris’ new favorite, watching me play Horizon Zero Dawn. The cat decided she loves my brother, mostly because he pets her and lavishes her with attention.
On Tuesday we went to the Indianapolis Zoo. My brother loves animals and we visited the elephants multiple times. I think if I’d had my knitting we could have sat there and just watched the elephants for hours. He also loves the dolphin show, and the bears. I liked the baby warthogs.
Wednesday was FOURTH OF JULY and we had a cookout at my house with my friend and her husband. Some grilling, shooting off Chris’ little rocket in the backyard and generally goofing off. We played some more Horizon until it got dark and then sat in the driveway watching fireworks around us (with Chris directing to the patriotic music I had playing). I set off some smoke bombs too.
We needed some quiet time, and it was crazy hot out, so Thursday was a movie day at home. More Star Trek, Disney and Horizon Zero Dawn. The nerd runs strong in our family.
And a final photo from the zoo . . .
On my way to pick up my brother (more on that later this week) I stopped at a local yarn store in Casey, Illinois. This is where I bought my Kromski spinning wheel many years ago.
They are known for having the world’s largest knitting needles and crochet hook. It’s a thing ya’ll. Owner Jannette also has funny sayings up on the wall such as “You have made 7,482 stitches correctly. But let’s focus on that ONE stitch you twisted. – your OCD” and “Going on a trip. Need about 4 skeins of yarn. I’ve packed 152 just to be safe.” We can all relate to those, right?
I did some time sitting and knitting but I also did a little bit of shopping. This is Three Irish Girls Adorn Luxe (an 85/15 merino/nylon blend) in the colorway Purple Rain.
Second fiber festival of the year is in the books! I spent most of my time teaching, a little socializing, and a little shopping. It was hot and sticky (the sticky was worse than the heat) so I was motivated to get done what I needed or wanted to and go home to the air conditioning.
I had three wonderful classes with some smart and fantastic students. Unfortunately, I was so focused on the classes I didn’t take any pictures aside from one before the shawl shapes class.
On Friday I taught Knitting From Charts and on Saturday I taught Continental Knitting and Shawl Shapes. If you didn’t make it to either Hoosier Hills or the Fiber Event and you’re interested in one of my classes, please contact me to see about a private or semi-private lesson. I had someone take my bead class as a private lesson and she loved being able to focus on what she needed to learn!
Of course, I did a little shopping too.
Yaaarn & Goodies
I bought some beautiful DK weight yarn at The Fiber Event from Bumblebee Acres Farm and found some fingering weight yarn this time I loved. Colorway is King in the North (nod to Game of Thrones) and the base is their Bubble Sock, which is an 80/20 merino/silk blend. It’s probably going to be a shawl, rather than socks though!
There was a new-to-me indie dyer at Hoosier Hills this year – Youghiogheny Yarns and they have some truly gorgeous yarns. I loved the subtle speckle dye on the gray base and paired it with a solid red. I was also intrigued with the inclusion of yak fiber in the yarn. The colorways are Naiad (which is the speckle) and Cherry Red and the base is Woolly Yak (a 70/20/10 merino/yak/nylon blend).
I was so excited when I saw that CraftyFlutterby would be at the festival this year since usually I only see her at Stitches Midwest. She had so many beautiful pins of different styles. I settled on one of the round ones called a Twirl Shawl Pin and the idea is you twirl (or twist) it around to secure the ends of your shawl. She also had to awesome kits (shawl pattern, yarn, pin) and some included beads!
A DK weight self-striping yarn from Brenda and Heather Yarns. I’m going to use this for an entrelac cowl (because I’ve decided I want to learn entrelac). Colorway is Cowabunga (in reference to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
So I’d seen these rulers in some of the knitting magazines before and decided to give it a try. The bracelets are made out of leather and have inch and centimeter markings up to 16 inches (you wrap it around your wrist twice). The rulers are made by Ilovehandles and I bought mine from SpryWhimsy at the festival. He also sells a lot of the fun sheep wine glasses, Ply magazine and other fun items.
Two skeins of Malabrigo Sock in the colorway Martes I picked up from my local yarn shop, Nomad Yarns. I fell in love with this colorway and am going to use it for a design I’m going to self-publish.
What’s on my needles right now!
With a couple things done, some more have been added.
- Weirwood Shawl – I finished the first garter stitch section and originally planned to use a gray in the same yarn as the varigated yarn. But the gray just didn’t work. Then I tried bright blue, then electric purple and last night I wound up some black yarn to try. I feel pretty sure it will work and not detract from the beautiful varigated yarn. IThe pattern is Weirwood of Winterfell by Sarah Bench and costs $6 on Ravelry. The pattern uses two colors of yarn, both fingering weight. I’ve used Destination Yarns Note Yarn (100% merino single ply) in the colorway MiraCLE for the garter stitch sections and Madelintosh Tosh Merino Light in the colorway Onyx for the lace. Game of Thrones bag made by me with fabric from Joanns.
- Super Top Secret Project – I’m working on a super top secret project that I can’t talk about because it’s a gift for someone special. I’m not working on it exclusively so it might be a while but I am enjoying the knitting.
- Wicked Mormorio – One of my social-knitting (aka don’t have to pay attention to) projects. I work on this every now and then but it isn’t an “exciting” knit for me. Pattern is Mormorio by Heather Zoppetti and costs $6 on Ravelry. The pattern uses two colors of yarn, both fingering weight. The first I’ve used is Another Crafty Girl‘s Strong Sock in the colorway Numerical Vampire and the second I’ve used is Dyeabolical Yarns Tenacious Sock int the colorway Ever After. Beauty and the Beast bag made by me with fabric from Joanns.
- Golden Rapunzel – This is very much NOT brain-dead knitting. Lace (both right and wrong side) with beads. The other fun part of this pattern is its knit bottom up (so from the large edge of the shawl up to the neck). Pattern is Rapunzel Let Down Your Hair by Lily Go and costs $5 on Ravelry. Heads up – it is not a beginner friendly pattern. Yarn is Iachos from A Hundred Ravens in the colorway Apollo. I’m a bit worried about running out beads at this point. Forget yarn chicken – I’m going for bead chicken!
- Lambton Panes – This is also not a brain-dead project. I think it will be gorgeous when its done but I’m a bit worried my gauge is too loose and I may need to start over. Pattern is Lambton Panes by Cowtownknits and costs about $5.43 on Ravelry. The gradient yarn is 50 shades of gradient from The Fibre Studio at Yarns to Dye For in the colorway United and the gray is superwash merino in the colorway Noir.
- Starry Whovian Socks – I am still loving knitting on this tiny circular needle. I’ve made just a bit of progress since the last time I posted, mostly because I don’t work on it very often. It’s become my current “brainless knitting” project that I can do anywhere, anytime. These are plain socks with ribbing across the top, knit toe-up with an after-thought heel. I’m using Quaere Fibre Sparkle Sock in the colorway Dr. Who Vincent and the Doctor. Bag is from Erin Lane Bags.
- Sock Yarn Blanket – I am still loving knitting on this tiny circular needle. I’m still on track to meet my goal to hit 100 squares by the end of the year. Bag is from Erin Lane Bags.
I’ve done a lot of sewing this month and even made some stitch markers. All of the bags were a wedge style but one was lined with vinyl to be a make up bag. The make up bag and the kitty flower bag were gifts for friends. The fabrics are from Joann’s and the stitch marker charms are from fandom chart bracelets on Amazon. I’ve gone to using snaps on many of the project bags to eliminate yarn snagging on zippers.
Kitty project bag and notion pouch for a friend who was leaving to visit her significant other across the pond.
Vinyl lined make up bag – gift for a friend. I told her almost six years ago I would figure out how to make a vinyl lined make up bag and finally did. I applied the iron on vinyl to the lining fabric.
I found some more of the beautiful stained glass type Beauty and the Beast fabric. So many of the Disney fabrics are pink, pastels and downright girly. I previously made two bags out of this fabric as gifts but wanted one for myself.
Another not girly Disney fabric
Game of Thrones fabric
This might be fabric more aimed at little children but I fell in love with the pirate sea creatures
Space cats – enough said
And now some stitch markers – in order – Star Trek, Supernatural, Game of Thrones