Tag Archives: Events

Stitches Midwest 2015 Part 3 – Yarn Goodies

YarnThe post you’ve probably been looking for since last week is here.  Or you’re so bored at this point you’ve nodded off and are busy snoring at your screen.  Either way, just don’t drool on your knitting.

Hundred Ravens CollageFrom A Hundred Ravens (Owner Kate is amazingly friendly and cheerful, they also have a cool yarn club)

  • (left) Iachos, a 100% superwash merino, in colorway Rivendell (a soft olive green and grey)
  • (center) Iachos in colorway Hecate (light to dark purple and grey/black)
  • (right) Iachos mini skeins in colorway Into the Darkness (catch the Star Trek reference?) which is a light to dark teal


Grinning Gargoyle CollageFrom Grinning Gargoyle

  • (left) Lux Lace (laceweight alpaca/cashmere/silk) in the colorway Shiny Penny
  • (center) Primo (DK weight merino/cashmere/nylon) in the colorway Signature Red
  • (right) Shimmer (fingering weight merino/nylon/metallic) in the colorway Black Spruce


Buffalo and Wandering CollageThree More

  • (left) From Wandering Wool: Udaipur (50/50 merino/silk in a fingering weight) in Emerald Isle
  • (center) From Buffalo Wool Company: Buffalo Skies DK (50/50 merino/bison in DK weight) in Indian Paintbrush.  I actually sort of won this yarn from a grab bag.
  • (right) From Buffalo Wool Company: Sexy (50/50 bison/silk in lace weight) in Night Shade.


Remaining CollageAnd the Final Four

  • (left) Valley Yarns Sunderland (DK weight 100% alpaca) in colorways Charcoal Gray and Brilliant Blue
  • (center) Lost City Knits Oak Barn Merino (laceweight 100% merino) in colorway Spring Valley VFD
  • (right) White Birch Fiber Arts long sock gradient (80/20 merino/nylon gradient) in colorway Shake Your Tailfeathers

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Stitches Midwest 2015 Part 2 – Goodies Except for Yarn

Bag - DrinkingAm I torturing ya’ll by not posting the yarn? Next post, I promise.  To whet your appetite, here are the non-yarn goodies.  Spoiler: I have an obsession with bags.  Specifically, pretty and fun bags that are well made.  So lets start there. Bags

  • (top right) Owl Project Bag from Front Range Bags.  Two exterior pockets and one interior pockets.  There are also two yarn guide clips on the inside.  This is quality made and has a flat bottom so it stands up independently.
  • (far right) Project bag set from Erin Lane Bags.  It was an on-sale grab bag with three sizes (sock, small and large) in my favorite color combo of purple and teal.  The stock may be my favorite right now.
  • (bottom) Small drawstring bag from Knerd.  I actually was hoping to find this in a t-shirt but since I love bags, this was perfect too.
  • (left) A two-fer from Erin Lane Bags.  It has a divider up the center designed to support two balls of yarn being used for colorwork.
  • (top left)  A drawstring bag from Stash-Ems being sold at the Grinning Gargoyle booth.  It came with matching stitch markers.  Obviously the draw on this was the print.


  • A t-shirt that says “Sheep Wreck” from Knit Bah Purl.
  • A mug from Gnome Acres.  Because what is better than a gnome on a tractor? Microwave and dishwasher safe.
  • Beads to go with my Elixir purple yarn from Plucky Knitter.
  • My first (and only) set of signature needles.  It’s a US 5 circular with stiletto tips.  I don’t foresee buying very many of these due to price but want to try a pair.


Stitch Marker Swap

This isn’t really a bought goody but I wanted to show the results of our initial stitch marker swaps.  This was an amazing part of Stitches – I met and talked to so many people.  There’s an intricate clay owl hand-made by the swapper and a couple glass ones.  Since I love anything handmade, all of them are special to me.  Some had a story behind them (the flattened penny).

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Stitches Midwest 2015 Part 1 – Everything But the Goodies

Entire Haul

I’m baaaaack.  Well, actually I was back last week but needed some time to catch up, take pictures of the pretties and so on.  We had an awesome time, met many new people and came home with loot.  In order to not have an epic long post I’ll post the yarn and other purchases next post(s).  But, if you follow me on Instagram/Twitter you’ll see them pop up a couple times a day.

096This is my shopping bag.  It has all the required items – buttons and stitch markers for the swap, my business cards and a swatch I was looking for yarn for.  I put my Rav button on my Stitches badge.  Inside the bag I had my purchases, my wallet, my phone and a shopping list.  I did have the opportunity to meet Danie of the Prairie Girls Knit and Spin Podcast (which I highly, highly recommend – it’s like sitting down with your knitting friends) and got some swag buttons to add to my bag.  099

I enjoyed learning new techniques for adding beads to knitting.  I’m not a huge pre-stringer of beads but the comparison of stringing onto the bar between stitches versus onto the stitch itself was interesting.  I also liked weaving the beads into the finished ribbing sample.  The cable with the beads was just cool.

UntitledMy friend Patty and I ran into Adrienne Ku of Mushroom Knits.  At Stitches three years ago Patty and I both bought the pattern for the Learning Curve shawl and then managed to separately buy the exact same colorway of yarn.  So we have twinsy shawls (here’s the post for mine).  Patty was wearing her’s when we met Adrienne, who is super nice (and funny!).  We (Patty, Heather and myself) also bought another of her shawl patterns, 20 Days, to knit together.  Just not out of identical yarns. Untitled

Last time best meal award went to Ram Brewery.  This time our experience wasn’t as nearly as fantastic (poor service).  But, we more than made up for it Saturday morning at Wildberry Cafe.  They had a great breakfast and I got some yummy crepes.  Pro tip: Get there early or you will be waiting for a loooong time.  Appears its pretty popular.

UntitledOne of my favorite aspects of a Stitches Events is seeing all the samples knit up.  I already mentioned the pattern we bought – the 20 Days Shawl but I’ll list it proper, along with my other favorites.

  • 20 Days Shawl from Mushroom Knits.  Half circle shawl using 900 yards of laceweight.
  • There be Dragonflies by Rosi Garmendia. Beaded shawl using 1260 yards of laceweight.
  • Through the Loops Mystery Shawl by Kristen Kapur.  Two color half-pi shawl in fingering weight.
  • Cypri by Amanda B Collins.  Two color crescent shawl in fingering weight.
  • Mansion House from the London Underground ebook. DK weight shawl that is kind of a boxy crescent.

And finally, thank you Signature Needles for the warning. I hadn’t really contemplated sticking my needles into my ear. Or nose. Untitled

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Stitches Midwest Prep

Stitches Midwest starts in just a few days! I am beyond excited but so much has been going on I’ve barely had time to prepare.  I made that a priority this past weekend (after a long afternoon working on my mysterious project).


Step One was knitting the swatches for the beading class.  I’m taking Be a Bead-knitting ‘Show Off’ with Betsy Hershberg which I think will be an awesome class on beading.  I wavered a lot on whether to take a 3-hour class (rather than a market class) but after emailing with the teacher, I felt it would be perfect and advance my design skills. 


Step Two was doing some Ravelry surfing.  I looked through my favorited patterns and those I had queued with0ut yarn matched up.  They’re not patterns I’m absolutely committed to finding yarn for, just thoughts.  I find it helps me focus on what I’m interested in knitting right now.  I also decided on some yarn I already have in stash that I’d like to find beads for.  That would be the picture above – although its a more silverly blue in person.  It’s laceweight alpaca and I’d like to knit a cowl from it.

UntitledStep Three was lists.  You know me, I like my lists.  Very important – list of food options.  I also highlighted the vendor map with those that are participating in the stitch marker swap.  Then some packing lists so I (hopefully) don’t forget anything.  Lastly, a list of prompts for our car game of ‘Would You Rather’ based on a thread from the PraireGirls Podcast Rav group last year.  I also have a list of what I still want to get done this week. 


Step. . .just kidding.  I already had these done.  I spent a Saturday a couple weeks ago with friends making stitch markers for the swap.  I will most definitely post what stitch markers I come back with!


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Tour de Fleece Week One

I got off to a good start. And then it ended.

UntitledDays 1 through 4: I spun on my miniSpinner the Deep Thoughts fiber from Fiber Fancy, finishing up the first two ounces and starting the second two ounces.  Saturday and Sunday I spun quite a bit, and then it started falling off Monday and Tuesday as I worked late most nights.

Days 5 and 6: I got home late or worked late both nights again and was zapped.  I also started to notice a tightness in my arm.  Figuring that switching it up my help (and because I only had time to spin 10-20 minutes) I picked up a Phat Fiber sample and my Kundert drop spindle.  The fiber is also from Fiber Fancy – some locks I carded.

Day 7 (Friday, June 10): I fell off the wagon train folks.  Didn’t even make it a complete week.  To be fair, there are lots of things going on (work, Stitches Midwest, another exciting bit I can’t tell you about yet, etc.) but as my friend likes to point out, a few minutes would be doable.

In all honesty, I have this problem every year.  And this year its exacerbated by trying to do more than I could possibly have time for.  Maybe I’ll learn. . .


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Tour de Fleece 2015 Prep

027I’ve been a bit delinquent in blog posts lately due to a work trip and then family vacation.  It was five days gone, four days home, five days gone and now I’m catching up.  But, anyways, it’s the time of year for Tour de Fleece!

So what is TdF? It’s really just a spinning challenge.  Tour de Fleece runs at the same time as its better known sister, the Tour de France. From July 4 through 26 you spin, setting your own goal and then do your best to meet that goal.  Most people spin with a team. Our rest days coincide with the rest days of the Tour de France.

I am co-captain of Team Clan Kromski on Ravelry (you can sign up here).  We have prizes for participation and an active group.  My personal challenge is to finish my three spinning projects in progress (see my upcoming On the Wheel Post).  I don’t actually think I’ll get all three done but its a good push goal.

353Are you ready to participate?!? Here’s how to prepare.

  1. Decide on how you will challenge yourself.  Spin 15 minutes a day? Spin a sweater’s quantity? Spin a whole fleece?
  2. Decide what you will spin and make sure its ready.  You don’t want to spend the Tour trying to decide and prep your fiber.
  3. Make sure your wheel and supplies are in good order.  This might be a good time to clean your wheel, clear off your bobbins and make sure you have oil for your wheel.

I hope you will join us on Team Clan Kromski!


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August Odds n’ Ends

The end of August is quickly approaching so I thought I’d take the chance to write a post with some odds n’ ends – quick updates, future blog posts and things to look forward to.


  • I’m hard at work on my spinning for the Ply article.  Actually, I should finish plying tonight and try the different finishing techniques sometime later this week.  I hope.  After that I need to knit samples, write the articles and some of the other sundry items (a bio, a picture, etc.).   I should add – spinning undyed fiber is incredibly boring for me.
  • Fiber swap time! I co-moderate the Kromski Spinning Wheel Owners group on Ravelry – if you have (or just like) Kromski products you should join us for a fiber swap.  Signups will start this weekend and run for one week.  More details over here.  They’re always a lot of fun if you like trying something new.
  • The kitty’s stitches were removed today and the cone of shame came off.  We’re all happy about that – especially since she’d taken to licking the cone.
  • Upcoming blog posts – anything else you’d like to see?
    • Yet this week, a fun tutorial on making some wall art using a clock, knitting needles, icord and a power drill.
    • A finish project – knitted cupcakes!
    • Some reviews on a couple products (needle set, a trindle and a couple books).  Is there anything in particular you’d like me to review?
    • Events – Spinzilla, The Wool Gathering in Ohio and demonstrating at a living history museum.
    • Farm feature – in the next couple months I’ll be going out to the alpaca farm of one of my favorite indie-dyers.  Find out what all she does (a LOT) and what products she offers.
    • A couple posts on traveling with your spinning or knitting. By car, by plane, by boat, we’re gonna cover it.


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Tour de Fleece 2014: Days 8-End

tdf2014.jg(note, one of our team members made this ravatar for us.  I can’t claim it but thought it was awesome.)

I fell off the bandwagon.  Mostly because, well, LIFE, got in the way.  I made it about 17 days of the 22 days.  Part of that was work (at a client’s office then a fun but crazy work project) and part was personal stuff (kitty is sick – biopsy later this week and my grandmother was in the hospital and now in skilled care).  I sorta hit my max and was barely doing any knitting.

As you might recall my goal was to spin every day.  So yeah, not so much. I am going to pick up where I left off though.  Lot of fiber prep stuff.

Day Eight
Day 8

Today was more about the fleece than the spinning. I bought part of a Cormo Border cross fleece in April (Alice) and really needed to get this puppy washed. So today I skirted and washed 21 ounces of raw fiber.

Day Nine
Day 9

Not a lot of spinning time as I went to the fair with friends. But, I sat down for two episodes of Merlin to spin. Since I finished my blue/purple yarn (more about that in another post) I started on something new, sort of. The next fiber is something I started many months ago. It’s a 50/50 merino/silk blend from wooliebullie in a rich burgundy color. I bought 4.0 ounces of it and had previously spun 0.5 ounces of it. I’m spinning it superfine so its sloooow going. I only managed 0.1 ounce tonight – no joke.

Day Ten
Day 10

Spun another 0.1 ounces. Added a penny to give you some idea of the yarn weight of the singles. At this rate I might be done by Christmas?

Day Eleven
Day 11

I spent about an hour flicking tips on the fleece I washed the Saturday before. I did not open up the tips enough first time around and now there is dirt trapped in the tips. At the time I thought a rewash might be in order but I actually think it may be ok now.

Day Twelve – Ooops

No spinning or fiber prep work but I did finish the border of my shawl and was excited to move on to the body of it.

Days Thirteen and Fourteen

Both days I did fiber prep. I’m (still) in the process of flicking the tips of the fleece I washed the weekend before. Putting an isolated amount in the plastic tub to work on helped.

Day Fifteen
Tons of fiber prep! A friend came over to help in exchange for a part of the fleece. We skirted that fleece like crazy and unfortunately had a lot of large pieces that, due to tons tiny imbedded VM, had to be trashed. But here’s what we did get!  I’ve played with it a bit more since then and the little bits still aren’t coming out.  Note to self – don’t every buy a fine fleece with this much VM.

Days Sixteen and Seventeen
Day 17
I saw someone destashing a trindle and arm sets on Rav and snatched it up.  It came and so I spent a couple days playing on it.

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County Fair – Open Class Show

Last Saturday morning I set off for Danville to pick up my entries for the Hendricks County Fair.  If you’ve never checked out your county fair before you should – some have open class shows where you can enter your crafts.  I entered once a couple years ago and now again this year.


So here are the results:

  • Champion  – Shamrock Cardigan


  • Reserve Champion – Alluvia Felted Tote


  • Reserve Champion – Learning Curve Shawl (since I never blogged about this one I will in the near future)


Everything all together:

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Tour de Fleece 2014: Days 1-7

Collage TdF2014 Days 1-7

In an effort not to bore the living daylights out of everyone I decided to only post my Tour de Fleece (TdF) progress every week or so.

So what is TdF? It’s really just a spinning challenge.  Tour de Fleece runs at the same time as its better known sister, the Tour de France. From July 5 through 27 you spin on a regular basis.  You set your own goal and then do your best to meet that goal.  Most people spin with a team. Our rest days coincide with the rest days of the Tour de France.

My goal is to spin every day.  Can be five minutes or two hours but I have to spin.  I’m spinning with two teams – Team Kromski and Team Phat Fiber.  The Kromski group on Ravelry is the one I moderate on Ravelry.  Many of our team members have donated prizes, as has Kromski North America, the north American distributor of Kromski Products.

Day One


Spun just under 1 ounce of lace (singles weight) of purple merino from LunaBud knits.

Day Two
TdF 2014 Day 2
Spun 0.6 ounces and am now ready to ply the purple with the blue.

Day Three
TdF 2014 Day 3

Plied 3 ounces on my Sonata. I had quite a bit left over of the solid purple both in the single and in unspun fiber.

Day Four
Day 4

Not a lot of spinning but I did wind and wash what I finished yesterday. After plying I had a good amount of the solid purple left. I’m going to finish spinning the remaining 0.4 ounces of that and then ply it with itself.

Day Five

Not a great day. Bad headache by the time I got home from work and super tired. So my fiber work only consisted of reskeining my blue/purple handspun and tagging it. I did get several pretty pictures done.

Day Six
Day 6

Took my wheel to knitting group tonight to get back on track. I finished the remaining 0.4oz ish of the purple fiber and I’ll ply it with itself starting tomorrow.

Day Seven
Day 7

Plied 0.9 ounces of the solid purple to go with the blue/purple and wound it off on the skein winder. Total I have 3.5 ounces and about 300 yards. Somewhere between sport and DK weight. Not sure what I’ll make with it since there’s not a ton of yardage.

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