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Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2017

Second fiber festival of the year is in the books! I spent most of my time teaching, a little socializing, and a little shopping.  I was slowed down, just a bit, by my broken foot and made an effort to keep it elevated as much as possible.

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I had three wonderful classes with some smart and fantastic (and returning!) students.   Unfortunately, I was so focused on the classes I didn’t take any pictures. So here’s a sheep from the day.

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On Friday I taught Beaded Wire Bracelet and DIY Stitchmarkers and on Saturday I taught Cables 101.  One of my Cables class students from April took the Beaded Wire Bracelet class and I got to see two cabled handbands (a pattern exclusive to the Cables 101 class) she made. Saturday morning I got to Franklin early so I picked up my mini-rug hooking kit and sat at the edge of a friend’s booth working on that.

Of course, I did a little shopping. Yarny goodness:

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  • (Upper left) This actually just came – I loved the colorway but requested it on a different base (superwash merino rather than a merino bamboo mix) and they dyed it up this week.  It is a “shawl ball” from Brenda and Heather Yarns (aka BAH Yarns), a local dyer. This is 645 yards of fingering weight in a single gradient colorway called Sunset. 
  • (Upper right) Yet another large gradient, this time Arial Evolution (100% merino) from Twisted Fiber Art.  This is a new to me dyer so I’m excited to start on this soon.  Colorway is Downten.
  • (Lower left) This was a dyer I specifically wanted to buy something from this year as I’ve never tried her yarns.  This is sportweight 100% merino (superwash) in the Plum Drum Weekend colorway from Oink Pigments.  It’s actually not the softest merino but it feels like a very sturdy merino that won’t fuzz or felt so I’m planning to use it for socks.
  • (Lower right) Another yarn from Brenda and Heather Yarns but this is a self striping DK yarn.  I love self-striping for socks but given I’m a crazy slow sock knitter, DK weight yarn is perfect for me.  Colorway is Sunshine on a Cloudy Day (or as I call it, Grellow).

 

 

 

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Photo Blog Post: Staycation 2016

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Week before last my brother stayed with me in Indianapolis while our parents went on vacation (although we got to spend both weekends together as a family).  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!

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Our first outing was to a local SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) event (in garb) with my friend.  We enjoyed watching sword fighting, seeing some baby bunnies and attending court.

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Our second outing, a couple days later, was 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.

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We needed some quiet time, and it was crazy hot out, so we had a movie day at home.  We watched several superhero movies, and the next day follow up with watching Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.  The nerd runs strong in our family.

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The cat decided she loves my brother, mostly because he pets her and lavishes her with attention.

And a final photo from the zoo . . .

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July 26, 2016 · 11:00 am

Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2016

Second fiber festival of the year is in the books! I spent most of my time teaching, a little socializing, and some shopping.

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I had three wonderful classes with some smart and fantastic students.   Unfortunately, I only got pictures of my raw fleeces class because I had a bit more time.  It’s so rewarding to see the moment a new skill “clicks” with a student.

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On Friday I taught Lace Knitting 101 and after talking about yarn and needle selection we worked through a couple swatches to learn some common lace stitches and how to read lace charts.  Saturday morning I taught raw fleeces and I talked about selecting a fleece before we hand processed some samples of wool and alpaca.  Lastly, I taught Bead Knitting Rockstar Saturday afternoon.  We talked about bead selection and worked through different ways of adding beads to knitting.  If you took one of my classes I’d love to see what you’ve done!

Around teaching I did a little shopping. I also ordered two skeins from Copper Centaur, which Lucy is dying up for me this week.

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Non-Yarn/Fiber Goodies

Combing Spray – Something new to try!  I’ve seen recipes/formulas for combing spray but didn’t have easy access to all the supplies.  When I saw this I wanted to give it a shot. The idea is it will decrease the fly-aways when combing.  I bought the lavender scent.  The seller is Twistery Fiber here.

Soap – I’m a sucker for natural soaps since they are a lot less likely to make my skin itch (and I can recognize all the ingredients).  I bought lavender scented goat milk soap.  The soap is made by Gina’s Essentials here.

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Two 3oz DK weight skeins of merino from Knitted to a T.  The deep blue color is called Sapphire.  I think I might knit another Curl shawl with it.

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Hand-dyed self-striping yarn from a new company – BaH Yarns (Brenda and Heather Yarns).  This is the Mr. Sparkle Base, a blend of superwash merino wool, silk, nylon and glitz.  The colorway is Winter Sunset, stripes of yellow, orange, coral and purple.

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Lastly, from A Good Yarn, is handpainted 100% superwash merino.  The first skein is a gray with spots of teal.  The second skein is dark gray, nearly black.  I plant to use these together in the form of stripes.

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Roving Indiana Yarn Crawl 2016

I finished the Roving Indiana Yarn Crawl for 2016 and went to all fourteen stores!

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For the uninitiated, I will briefly explain the basics of our local yarn crawl, now in its third year and including 14 local yarn stores (LYSs).  You
buy a passport from one of the participating LYSs and go around to each LYS (by the way, this a fun day trip with friends) over the course of two and a half weeks.  At each LYS you get your passport stamped and get entered for a store drawing. If you make a purchase at the store, you get 10% off.  At the last shop they certify your passport and are entered into the large prize drawings. In addition, there is a yarn dyed specifically for the yarn crawl.

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Sidenote: Its fun to show off your handknits when visiting the yarn shops.

I went to eight of the fifteen stores the first Saturday with a group of friends.  It was a crazy day – we left at 9am and got back around 6pm.  I visited the store near my office one day over lunch and hit the remainder on my own.  I turned in my passport at my last stop, Knitter’s Nook in Columbus.  I won’t talk about everything I purchased in detail (at the risk of this post taking half an hour to read) but will highlight my top items.  There’s a list at the bottom of the yarns, colorways and where I bought them in case you’re interested.  Also, I’ll be tweeting/posting photos on Instagram of the specific purchases.

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  • New to me yarns: Araucania’s dk merino kettle dyed (the cream, blue and purple in upper right) and Twizzlefoot (third skein from left on top)
  • An old favorite: Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere (blue in center) and Malabrigo Silkpaca Lace (blue-green in middle right)
  • Some Anzula from a trunk show at The Black Sheep.  This is also where they have a “room of Malabrigo.” Seriously – the whole room is Malabrigo.
  • My favorite purchase: the red handmade mug with a quote on the front.  This is the same place I got the purple angora mug last year.
  • Ready to cast on now: A shawl using the solid red and the yarn designed for the yarn crawl (just right of top center).
  • Fun non-yarn accessories: pins from yarn shops (I collect them), the mug and two small notions bags.
  • Something to try: HiyaHiya Sharps needle tips and cord.  I’m interested to see how these compare to my Chiaogoos.

The master list:

  • (top row left to right) Denim luster (merino/silk) by Anzula from The Black Sheep in Noblesville
  • Summit multi-color Twizzlefoot by Mountain Colors Yarn from Broad Ripple Knits in Broad Ripple
  • Messenger Kit (teal and purple) in Mad Hatter from Wonderland Yarns (Frabjous Fibers) from The Clay Purl in Nashville
  • Colorway Global Mix in Smooshy with Cashmere by Dream in Color Yarns from Shabby Sheep and Ewe in Columbus
  • Bright red Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock and the crawl yarn by Knitted Wit from Always in Stitches in Noblesville
  • Three colors of Araucania Huasco DK from Knitters Nook in Columbus
  • (second row left to right) Deep aqua Fyberspates Vivacious from Mass Ave Knit Shop in Indianapolis
  • Angora Lace by Wisdom Yarns in colorway Back to Nature from In a Yarn Basket in Bloomington.
  • A few Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails in jewel tones from Village Yarn Shop in Zionsville.
  • Malabrigo yarn silkpaca lace in the Solis colorway from Yarn on the Square in Shelbyville
  • (bottom row left to right) Sewn notion bag from Willowe’s Basketry in Greenfield
  • Red mug, lotion and HiyaHiya interchangeable tips and cord from Starstruck Cat Studio in Greenwood
  • Gray felted notion pouch from Frabjous Fibers bought at Yarns Unlimited in Bloomington.

 

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Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2015

Another fiber festival is in the books! I had a wonderful class with two fantastic students.   I did some shopping, some socializing, some teaching and then some more shopping and socializing.
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Non-Yarn/Fiber Goodies

Happy Hands Lotion – This stuff is great for knitters and spinners because it dries quickly and isn’t greasy.  Today I bought the Clover scent.  I also like Mandarin Clove and Sweet Dreams.  Our local yarn shop, Starstruck Cat, carries the lotion and it is available directly from the Etsy site here.

Yarn Bowl – This is the second year I’ve bought a yarn bowl from this vendor, Beech Grove Clay Works.  The glaze jobs on their work is amazing, as well as patterning in the clay.  And, they are reasonably priced.

Project Bag – Another project bag from Unique Petites.  These have a flat bottom so they stand up.

Yarn Ball Pin – This was actually a gift from a vendor (Froebe Fibers) Patty and I both bought the same yarn from.  And she will be at Stitches (as a participant, not a vendor) – we hope to see her there!

Yarn and Fiber

021An alpaca/merino/tussah silk braid from Knitted to a T.  The electric/denim blue colors are deeply saturated.  The colorway name is Janie’s Got a Gun.

014Hand-dyed yarn from Froebe Fibers.  This is the Shady Leprechaun Lace, a blend of 70% superwash merino and 30% silk.  There are 1090 yards in the 100 gram skein.  The colorway is a silvery gray with bits of teal blue/green over it and she dyes using food-safe dyes.  Her online store is here.

019Lastly, and from a new to me dyer, is yarn from Copper Centaur Studios.  The dye on her yarns is a deeply saturated tonal, nearly solid.  The base for the yarn I bought is Slightly Silky – a very squishy fingering weight blend of 80% superwash merino and 20% silk. The colorway is “Intentional Tardis” and is destined to be a Dr. Who shawl.

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Yarn Crawl 2014 (Part 2 of 3)

passportEight local yarn shops are holding an inaugural yarn crawl called Roving Indiana from February 21 – March 2.  I’m breaking this up into three blog posts. The first trip was about the trip, this post will be about the shops and the last post will be about my “haul.”

On Saturday we started with the shop just south of Indianapolis, looped around to three of the southern shops and then headed west to Bloomington and Martinsville.  On Sunday we went to downtown Indianapolis and our LYS in Plainfield (just west of Indianapolis).  I’m going to give a quick run-down of the shops (location and website) and the one thing I liked best about the shop. Granted, the winery wasn’t part of the yarn crawl but I’ve included it because it was awesome.

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1. Starstruck Cat Design (Greendwood, Indiana) (http://www.starstruckcatdesign.com/)

This was my first visit to the shop although I’ve bought from them before at a local fiber festival.  I had two favorites here – lotion they sell that isn’t greasy and the other is some sheep yarn bowls.

2. Scotland Yarn (Shelbyville, Indiana) (317.398.YARN)

This shop is located on the circle in Shelbyville in an old area of town.  I liked the different selection of yarn lines they had at this shop.  I had never heard of Yarn Hollow before, which is the yarn I purchased.

3. Shabby Sheep & Ewe (Columbus, Indiana) (www.shabbysheepandewe.com)

One of the larger shops with wide open space.  A large selection of yarns including several luxury lines.  They also had the new issue of my favorite magazine – KnitScene.

4. The Clay Purl (Nashville, Indiana) (www.claypurl.com)

So apparently going to Nashville is a “thing” in Indiana – small, village like atmosphere with a lot of shops designed for tourists.  Clay Purl was right in the heart of this.  While a tiny shop the owner has made great use of the space available.  My favorite part though is all the local items in the shop. The owner dyes her own yarns, a local woman sews awesome project bags and there is locally made soaps and pottery.  This one might be the favorite of the new shops I visited.

5. In A Yarn Basket (Bloomington, Indiana) (www.inayarnbasket.com)

This shop is where I finally found yarn for the yarn crawl shawl.  They boast a wide selection of popular yarns in many colorways (including multiples of most colorways) and a very friendly staff.  There was also some *very* fluorescent yarn. Wow.

6. Sheep Street (Martinsville, Indiana) (www.sheepstreet.com)

I’ve been to Sheep Street (which is on an actual sheep farm) several times for fiber and spinning supplies.  In addition, I’ve taken a class from one of the owners at a fiber event. They are very knowledgeable about fiber prep, spinning and weaving. Large selection of spinning wheels to test out and lots of different fiber – this is the place for spinning and fiber prep.

7. Mass Ave (Indianapolis, Indiana) (www.massaveknitshoponline.com)

I’ve also been to Mass Ave several times since it is near my work.  Very large shop with a lot of different yarns.  My favorite thing is their large selection of Chiaogoo needles and tips.

8. Nomad Yarns (Plainfield, Indiana) (www.nomadyarnshop.com)

I’m a little biased on this one since its my LYS.  They have a lot of classes and a knowledgeable staff.  A lot of different lines of yarn as well as spinning supplies.  And now they carry all the Jacquard Dyes colors which has me very excited.

9. Cedar Creek Winery (Martinsville, Indiana)  (www.cedarcreekwinery.com)

We had planned on going to another winery but saw the sign for this one on our way to Sheep Street.  On the way back we decided to stop and give it a try.  Their wine list has the common wines but some different twists.  Like a Gewurtztraminer with a cinnamon-ish spiciness.

Next post: A summary of my haul!

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Yarn Crawl 2014 (Part 1 of 3)

passportEight local yarn shops are holding an inaugural yarn crawl called Roving Indiana from February 21 – March 2.  I’m going to break this up into three blog posts. This post will be about the trip, the second about the shops and the last post about my “haul.”

Here’s the basics of the yarn crawl.  You buy a passport from one of the participating LYSs and go around to each LYS.  At each LYS you get your passport stamped, receive one-eighth of a shawl pattern and, if you make a purchase at that LYS, an entry in that shop’s raffle drawing.  At the last shop they certify your passport, take out the last page and it enters you into drawings for larger prizes.  Oh, and you get 10% off your purchase! If you’re local and interested, here’s the link: http://nomadyarnshop.com/roving-indiana-explore-the-wool-trail/

To say I was excited about this event might have been an understatement.  I made plans with a couple friends to visit several of the shops on Saturday and mapped out a route. We left around 9am for the first shop and hit six shops throughout the day.  We took turns driving, which happily gave me some time to knit.  Nothing says yarn crawl like knitting in the dashboard.

car dash

We capped off our Saturday trip with a visit to a local winery and then dinner with some friends who own our LYS.   Here’s our Saturday haul:

trunk haul

We visited the remaining two shops, including our LYS, on Sunday and turned in our passports. Woohoo! We are done! It was fun to visit the different shops (I had only been to 3 of the 8 before) and spend the day with friends.

Next post: A summary of the yarn shops!

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