Knitting Pipeline Retreat 2017 – The Goodies

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As I promised last week, here are the goodies from the Knitting Pipeline retreat! I have included  links to the vendors (ok, I’m enabling you) so you can check them out. Now to try to go through these in a semi organized fashion.

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Oh, bags.  People keep telling me I have a bag problem.  I can’t help it!

Upper left – teal and white circles – I bought the bag at a LYS booth (it was a retreat sponsor) but the bag was actually made by Trappings and Trinkets (available on Etsy). I actually squeeled when I unzipped the bag because the interior fabric was so cute (teal, pink and white kitties).  If you want a peak, take a look at my instagram feed!

Upper right – arctic animals on a gray background – this bag is from Fat Squirrel Fibers.  She actually made a bag specifically for the retreat but I loved the animals on this one even more (see the little narwhal?).  The bags are nicely made and she picks out fabrics that are fun but not necessarily loud and crazy.

Lower right – these two little notion pouches are from RainStorm Studios.  I toss them in my project bags that don’t have pockets.  I really like the one on the right because it has a circle base but opens up wide enough you can include a pair of small scissors in there.  Very functional for me.

Lower left – this is the gauge ruler from Ann Budd knits. KnitCircus carries them and they’re all of $5. You line up the stitch symbols on the ruler with your stitches such that the with of your stitches matches the symbols.  Whichever set of symbols it lines up with tells you your gauge (not the most elegant description).

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Oh, the yarn! If you saw my post about found patterns you know I went into the vendor market with some projects in mind.  So I can happily say I did buy most yarn with a project in mind.

Upper left green and purple skeins – The slightly variegated green skein is Strong Stock (80/20 merino/nylon) from Another Crafty Girl in the colorway Numerical Vampire.  The purple next to it is Tenacious Sock (75/15/10 merino/nylon/tencel) from Dyeabolical Yarns in the colorway Ever After. I plan to use these in a two-color shawl together.

Upper center gold and black skeins – Both of these are from Sun Valley Fibers in the merino/cashmere/nylon fingering base.  The two colors are called Golden Harvest and Onyx.  I also plan to use these in a two-color shawl (see a trend yet?).

Upper center gray variegated skeins – These are from Yarn Geek Fibers in her Rocketeer (merino/cashmere/nylon) base in the To Boldly Go colorway.  Yes, a Star Trek reference.  This yarn is super soft and squishy.  So squishy I can’t describe. This doesn’t have a project planned for it – maybe a cowl? a shawl? There’s a lot of yardage (962 yards of fingering) so maybe a shawl? Still can’t decide.

Top right dark green skeins – These are included in our Knitting Pipeline bag from Quince and Co.  100 grams (total) of fingering weight wool.  I think these are going to be boot toppers.

Lower left red and black skeins – Both of these are from Leading Men Fiber Arts in the Box Office base (100% worsted weight merino).  The colors are called Poison Apple and Darkest Hour.  These are going to be a Themisto Hat and there might be enough left over for wristers or boot toppers.

Bottom left green skein – Also from Leading Men Fiber Arts – this is the Diva base, 150 grams of 80/20 merino/silk.  The colorway is Envy.  Definitely going to be a lace shawl.  I love the extra yardage – its great for shawls!

Lower right – black and blue skeins – All three of these are Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet (90/10 merino/nylon), which is squishy soft.  One of the blacks and the blue are going together for something brioche.  I got the second black to have as an extra because I frequently pair colorful yarns with black.

That’s a wrap!

 

 

 

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Knitting Pipeline Retreat 2017 – The Weekend

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I’m back from the Knitting Pipeline retreat in central Illinois and have so many fun things to share with you.  As usual, there will be one blog post about the retreat and another about the goodies I picked up.  I went with my friend Patty and we made a four-day weekend out of it.  Yeah, we don’t pack light.

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The retreat actually started Friday afternoon but there were some optional activities before.  We drove over Thursday morning and had lunch before taking a class Thursday afternoon, which was held at a local yarn shop in Morton, IL.  The class was Beginning Brioche with Amy Detjen (you can see her patterns here). Now I’ve tried to knit brioche before via a book and YouTube but it just didn’t click.  This class made it click.  To learn Brioche we started knitting Amy’s Chromatic cowl, and I bought one of her kits of yarn (a 50 gram gradient ball and a 50 gram solid).  I almost picked a red/gray combo but ultimately decided on the rainbow and cream.  Fun, right?  I made good progress but ripped it out later that night to restart on smaller needles.

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After class we went to our hotel in Peoria and then to dinner at Granite City.  I loved that the restaurant was right down along the river and we could watch the sun set over the river.

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The next morning we went to our second class with Amy Detjen, which was essentially the “part 2.”  We learned a brioche cast on, and then did increases and decreases.  Not sure I have those nailed quite yet but I guess I will need to figure out the decreases if I want to knit a brioche hat.  After lunch the retreat started!

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I made some wonderful new friends at my table and some new friends from other tables.  There were some free break-out sessions during the retreat, although I did not attend.  Saturday afternoon there was a vendor market with a lot of indie makers (more on those goodies in the next post).  We had a little more knitting time before the retreat wrapped up and we had to say goodbye.

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After the retreat we headed down to Springfield Illinois to stay the night with my aunt.  We had dinner, some wine and some “show and tell” before wandering off to bed.  Sunday morning Patty and I went to have breakfast with Kristi of the In a sKnit podcast before heading back to Indiana.  Stay tuned for next week’s post on the amazing goodies I got, complete with links for enabling.

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Found Patterns – February 2017

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I’ve just wrapped up several wonderful days at the Knitting Pipeline retreat in Washington, Illinois.  I still need to take pictures, enter certain items in Ravelry, etc. so expect to see a recap of the retreat next weekend.  But first I want to share with you some patterns I found before I left that I specifically wanted to find yarn for.  I think you might like some of these too!

Note: All images below are linked through from Ravelry and are the property of the designer.

#1: Loop by Casapinka

Fingering weight crescent shaped shawl that uses one solid color as the base and then a variegated color for the “loops”.  I love this way of incorporating a crazy single skein and you could also use different minis for each row of loops.  Pattern is $6 on Ravelry. My shopping list: 650 yards of base color, 200 yards of loops color.

#2: Ceciliana by Lisa Hannes (Maliha Designs)

How had I never seen this one before?!? Finger weight wide/long crescent shaped shawl (almost more of a scarf) that uses mosaic knitting  (a form of colorwork).  There are a ton of different color combinations in the pictures on Ravelry.  Pattern is about $4.60 on Ravelry. My shopping list: 420 yards each of a main color and a contrasting color.  I might cheat on this one and use some Tosh Merino Light I already have in my stash.

#3: Amitola Lace Shawl by Anna Victoria (By the Lily Pond Ravelry Store)

So technically *I* didn’t find this – my friend did and sent me a link to it.  This is some serious lace, with beads.  It a crescent shape with beads that would be really nice in a gradient (no idea what color beads I would use with a gradient). There are multiple sizes per the pattern page.  Pattern is $6.50 on Ravelry.  My shopping list: The longest gradient I can find.  The pattern description doesn’t list the yardage needed by size so I might have to wing it.  Also, I’d like to knit it out of fingering weight rather than lace.

#4: Snazzy Cowl by Laura Nelkin (Nelkin Designs)

Oh look! Not a shawl! Sport weight cowl which has a “chevron mosaic stitch.” I love this design and with a few tweaks could work great for me.  One, I would want to lengthen it because I don’t like cowls that are tight going over my head.  Also, I’d like to use fingering weight yarn so that’s typically how I find mini skeins.  That said, there is a Lux Adorna Knits kit available via the Ravelry page. Pattern itself is $6 on Ravelry.  My shopping list: If I double what is stated to make it longer: 460 yards of main color and about 350 yards worth of minis.  It would take some guesswork to determine how much is needed for one color.

#5: Lamina Wrap by Ambah O’Brien

Fingering weight rectangular wrap that uses two colors to create a generous size wrap.  I think this one would be great for mini skeins as well, or for a gradient as one of the colors.  Given all the ones for minis above, I’m leaning towards a gradient, possibly one from KnitCircus yarns. Pattern is $6 on Ravelry.  My shopping list: Main color 420 yards and contrasting color 840 yards.

 

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Finished Objects – Kittens

A little finished project – knitted knittens!

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Tell me those aren’t the cutest? My boss in Colorado is a cat person but they don’t have any cats at the present time (multitude of reasons).  So, I knit these kittens with the rationale that they don’t require feeding or litterboxes, don’t shed, are soft to pet, and don’t require care when she’s out of town.  I sent them off to her with some brownies and muffins.  The gray and white kitten is intended to resemble a cat named Jasper she had as a child.  The pattern is for a solid colored cat so I knit the black cat first, then did some experimenting to get the white on the feet, belly (can’t see in the pictures) and face.

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Moving on to the details.

Needle – US 2 or 3 straight needles

Pattern – Kitten Knit Pattern (Ravelry pattern here) from Amy Gaines (AmyGaines on Ravelry). I looked at a couple different knitted cat patterns and liked this one the best.  There are a fair number of pieces (six) – I think the seaming and assembly takes more time than the knitting.  However, it does sit up on its own and the knitting itself is pretty easy.  Pattern is $3.00 US on Ravelry.

Yarn – I knit the black one out of Knit Picks Swish Worsted (merino wool), using the serrano color for the collar.  I knit the gray one out of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted (blend of corriedale and merino wool), I think in the Lace Ice Heather color, but I’m not positive.  Personally, I don’t think the Wool of the Andes very soft and wouldn’t use it for next to the skin, although the Swish was amazingly soft.  A 50 gram ball of either yarn is 110 yards. I used the following colors: Cloud, Brass Heather, Chestnut, Bittersweet Heather, Firecracker Heather, Pink Posy Heather and Rouge .

I stuffed the kittens with poly-fil and attached the safety eyes and bell.  My project page on Rav is here.

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2017 Goals

Yarn Crawl Shop - Sheep Street

I spent some time in December thinking about my goals from last year and my goals for this year.  I felt last year like my time for fiber arts was being ruled by my goals.  Finish x many designs, knit x many yards, and so on.  In some ways, it sucked the fun out of it.  I think it was a combination of too many goals and being too optimistic.  So this year I’ve dialed back and instead of focusing on quantity, I’m focusing on learning new things.  That sounds way more fun, right?

A couple notes about the blog – I’ll be staying with the blog posts every other week, with a focus on them being shorter.  They’ll also be published on Sunday going forward.

Review of last year:

I knit 3,500 yards across nine projects.  Six of those were my own designs, with one not yet released.  Four were shawls, two were cowls.  I finished one spinning project but have several more on the wheels and bobbins.  I released five new patterns, the most recent being the Sybil Ludington shawl, which may be my favorite. I taught two new classes (Lace Knitting 101 & Bead Knitting) plus one old one (raw fleeces) at two different fiber events.

About setting goals:

I posted year before last about setting SMART goals, particularly as they rely to fiber artists.  That post is here.  SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time relevant. While I think its a valid method, its not what I used this year.

2017 goals:

FloofyMoose Fibers

  1. Write and submit one article
  2. Develop and teach two new classes
  3. Design and publish two new patterns

Knitting

  1. Learn how to knit entrelac
  2. Learn how to knit brioche

Spinning

  1. Learn to spin with beads
  2. Spin a consistent worsted weight yarn

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Holidays Wrap Up and Goodies

Welcome to 2017! Before jumping in my 2017 fiber arts goals I under to recap the holiday, and some new goodies!

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I know I went quiet in December – work was just crazy! I barely did any knitting, except for two small stuffies I’ll talk about in another posts.  I’m excited to say I’m going to the Knitting Pipeline retreat in February.  Is anyone else going?!?

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I went to my aunt’s in Illinois in Springfield for Thanksgiving, where I got her started on her first knitting project.  She bought a kit at Stitches Midwest so I wound the yarn and got the stole started.  She remembered how to knit from 4-H so we jumped right into purling, which she did great at.  We also went to a local yarn shop (and I bought yarn, duh).

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Then I went back home to Missouri for Christmas and my brother came back to Indiana with me for a week.  Our big outing was to the Indianapolis Zoo.  My parents came up for the New Years holiday weekend.   I’m ready for another vacation already!

On to the goodies (related websites are linked – check them out!):

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A holiday set of stitch markers by local glass artist Ann Tudor.  She has a ton of different stitch markers, which you can see here.

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Three skeins of Knitted Wit Victory Sock from the local yarn shop in Springfield, Illinois, called Nanncy’s Knitworks.  The colors are yellow, Orange you Glad and Turks & Caicos.  These are for Stephen West’s Doodler shawl.

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I received this beauty in black and lime green from my friend Patty.  It’s already decided it wants to be a hat.  The fiber is 50/50 Alpaca/Silk from Woolgatherings.  She also got me some llama socks.

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Knit a Turkey for Thanksgiving

Ready for something different? Since I don’t fix turkey for thanksgiving, I’m about knitting one.  I wanted to share my four favorite found patterns from Ravelry.  Disclaimer: I haven’t knit any of these (yet) so all photo credits go to the original designers.

Turkey Toy by Rainebo A new pattern from Lorraine Pistoria that is so cute.  He is knit in the round and uses approximately 330 yards of worsted weight yarn.  Pattern is $4 US through Craftsy (link to the Craftsy page is on the Ravelry page).  If the pattern doesn’t specify to I would likely add a little bit of weight (rice, etc.) in the bottom so he keeps his balance when sitting.

 

Tiny Turkey by Susan B. Anderson. A free pattern available on Ravlery that has been knit nearly 200 times.  He is also knit in the round using worsted weight yarn. It doesn’t appear the pattern states how much is yardage is used in total.  Susan B. Anderson is known for her exception toy patterns and this is no different.

 

Turkey Feather Hat by Abigail Polzin. Adorable!! This is a basic baby hat that the waddle, feathers and beak are then stitched onto.  The pattern is free but may require knowledge of of a separate baby hat pattern. It uses up to 150 yards of worsted weight yarn.

Happy Turkey Day Dishcloth by One Crafty Mama.  If you want something more practical, here’s a cute dishcloth.  The pattern is free and uses cotton worsted weight yarn.  A link to the pattern is available from Ravelry to the One Craft Mama blog.

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New Yarn and Fiber Arts Goodies

Several recent acquisitions!

ErinLane Collage

Erin Lane Bags.  I got two new project bags from Erin Lane Bags in two of her new Sheeple prints.  The one on the left is a sock size bag in the Harry Potter print and the one on the right is a Zippity-Do-Da in the Dr. Who print.  I had to wait to show it off because I got a matching Dr. Who bag for a friend for her birthday.  What can be more fun than nerdy sheep?

 

Ann Tudor Collage

Ann Tudor Stitch Markers.  I got these lovelies from local glass artist Ann Tudor.  She makes amazing stitch markers.  The set on the left is Christmas lights with a poinsetta as my round marker.  The set on the right are sheep with a black sheep (haha) as the round marker. I still plan to order her other Christmas set too.

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Knitting Pouch.  A cute little find at JoAnn’s (it was in an aisle cap if you’re thinking of looking).  Didn’t really need it, per se, but thought the definition was pretty epic.

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Chicago Yarn #1.  Bought this gradient cake from the LYS Nina in Chicago, Illinois.  It’s Apple Tree Knits Plush in the Tahoe Gradient.  560 yards of fingering weight merino squishy goodness.

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Chicago Yarn #2. This one is kind of unique so I’m going to take the time to share about it.  I bought it at Knit 1 in Chicago and its 100% handspun cashgora.  The picture appears black but its really a very deep, dark purple.  There isn’t really a brand, other than “Cashmere People.” Their website is here and tells their story in detail. I love that I can go and read about the woman who spun the yarn I bought.  Her profile is here.

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Knitting Pattern Release: Sybil Ludington Shawl

I’m pleased to announce that I just released my a cozy new shawl for fall, The Sybil Ludington Shawl!  It features a crescent shape with long wings, perfect to wrap around you., and uses just under two 100 gram skeins of fingering weight yarn.  Each row of the shawl is worked across different sections: mesh, a cable panel, lace, another cable panel and then mesh again.   I’m sure you’ll enjoy curling up to knit, and wear, this shawl.

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You can buy it and read more about it on Ravelry (you don’t have to be a member!).  Click here!

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The stitch patterns for the cable and the lace are provided in a chart, as well as written out, and percentages of yarn used are also provided if you wish to modify the size of your shawl.  The pattern has been test knitted and tech edited.

Who is Sybil Ludington? While Paul Revere is most commonly credited with riding to alert militia of approaching British forces, so did the young Sybil Ludington.  Her father headed the local militia during the American Revolution.  On April 26, 1777, at the age of 16, she left on a forty mile ride to warn her father’s militiamen that British troops were planning to attack Danbury, Connecticut.  Her ride lasted from 9 p.m. to dawn the next morning and one of her stops was to warn the people of Danbury.  While the British troops destroyed several buildings and homes in Danbury, there were few people killed, due in large part to Sybil’s warning.

02a Detail

  • Yarn
    • Approximately 720 yards fingering weight yarn. Shown in Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 (70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon, 400 yards, 3.53oz) in the colorway Black Cherry.   Other suggested yarns include Cascade Heritage Silk, Dream in Color Smooshy, or Plucky Primo Fingering.
  • Needle
    • Size US 4 (3.5mm) circular needle in a length of 32″/81 cm, or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Other Materials
    • 4 stitch markers
    •  Tapestry needle
    •  Cable needle
    •  Blocking pins
    •  Optional: additional stitch markers for marking lace repeats

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  • Finished Measurements
    • After Blocking
      • 35.5″ wide
      • 38.5″ height (or depth)

The shawl is blocked aggressively width-wise. Meeting exact gauge is not crucial but may affect the final dimensions. 

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Fibery Fun in Chicago

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I feel like I haven’t posted in forever.  This past weekend was my first weekend at home without any major commitments since the middle of September so I’m finally starting to catch up.  Most notable of the last few weeks was a quick girl’s weekend in Chicago visiting a friend.  It was a great, and crafty, weekend.  I’ll include my yarn purchases soon (waiting so I don’t inadvertently disclose a friend’s birthday present).

Now anytime I’m traveling and know I’ll have some shopping time I always look up the closest yarn shop(s) to where I’m staying. I found two fairly close to my friend’s place in Chicago.  Saturday morning we went to the first one, Knit 1.  I loved the clean, sleek lines and the variety of yarn they carried.

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Also at the yarn shop I found a pattern that looks fun to knit.  This is how I take note of patterns I’m interested in prior to saving them to my favorites in Ravelry.  Just a quick snap  of the tag with the pattern name!

Next we ventured out to Ikea, because every crafter needs Ikea.  Important to crafters were two things.  One, a Raskog Cart.  This cart is reasonably priced, very sturdy and is great for keeping your knitting, spinning, or other craft supplies nearby.  Second, is the Fintrop system.  Long story short, this is a metal bar on which you hang metal baskets.  It’s actually designed for the kitchen but I’m repurposing it for above my desk in the fiber studio.  Putting straight knitting needles in it would look equally smashing.

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On the way home, we stopped at the second yarn shop, Nina.  This was a narrow but very deep yarn shop located in the city’s Wicker Park neighborhood.  This shop was equally well organized but a more eclectic variety of yarns.  I found a couple goodies and noticed some stitch markers from a local to me glass artist, Ann Tudor.

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After relaxing a bit, we went back out for dinner to a new for me taste – Ethiopian.  Simply amazing and now I’m hooked. It was so flavorful and yummy – if you’ve never had it, and you like ethnic foods, you should try.  The food is served atop a spongey bread called Injera, which is used to pick up and eat the food.

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