Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kansas City Here I Come!

Heading out soon for some business (and pleasure) in the western part of our fair state and into Kansas.  I'm  planning a visit to the Yarn Barn in Lawrence for some spinning, weaving and knitting therapy.  Of course I'll share what I see here.

Happy trails!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Place For Everything

I've been working on my spaces.  Perhaps it is a heavy dose of spring cleaning or the possible move in our future.  Whatever it is, I've been cleaning sorting, rearranging and trying to get my craft and office space into alignment.  It all started with trying to get a multi-purpose table set up in my office (photo right - art journaling in progress).  I achieved that, but then the years of accumulated stuff started calling me names.  I've gathered quite a donation stockpile and I still have to go through the closets and other rooms upstairs.  

Which brings me to yarn stash.  I am always amazed when I encounter people with lots of stuff.  I've not been in the stuff hoarding mood.  Call it experience with hoarders - not a pretty thing.  When I get to a certain level of stuff - in this case yarn - I begin to feel stressed.  Not judging other, but large quantities just don't work for me.  My stash is small - Ravelry (social network for yarn people with inventory capabilities) tells me that my stash contains 36 items -fiber and yarn together.  I keep Ravelry updated so I'm sure that is accurate.  Separate from my stash, I have my destash tab - which contains  24 items that I'm looking to sell or trade.  My regular yarn fits into these tubs and is nicely organized.  My destash yarn is in another bin, which I keep in the closet.

When you have some spare time try image Goggling: craft studio, yarn stash

I've finally gotten my spinning space to rights.  I have a rocking chair that I currently use - not an ideal spinning chair, but for now it stays.  Space is at a premium, and I don't want to put the chair into storage in the basement.  After the sewer backup, I don't want to put anything in the basement anymore.  Either use it, store it on a shelf or get rid of it.  I keep my spinning supplies in a basket - oil, scissors, fiber, etc.  This set up works for me.  I also keep a crocheted shawl in my office for when it gets chilly.
In other news, I've been working on spinning the singles for Mister's sock yarn.  I finished the first bobbin last night.  Hopefully I'll finish the other today or tomorrow (or next week....) so I can ply them for April socks.

Happy Spring!  Now back to cleaning and getting rid of things!  Recycling center, here I come!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Art Journals

So a friend got me started on art journaling.  I spent the afternoon a few weeks ago creating a journal with really nice watercolor paper.  Next I painted backgrounds in my book with watercolors.  Since making it, I've kept it blank and enjoyed flipping through it.  Looking at a blank book, admiring the watercolor washed pages - now isn't that something?  This weekend I've started journaling in it with words and more art.  I'm loving it.  Never heard of art journals?

Here is some inspiration:

Friday, March 18, 2011

One Sock

I bring you this late blog to announce that I've finished my first of my March Socks!  Now to cast on for the second sock.
Dyeabolical Strong Arm Sock Yarn
Color: Butternut Squish
Pattern: The Yarn Harlot's Sock Recipe
2 x 2 rib for the cuff & 3x1 ribbing for the rest

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't Miss the Spring Coupon!

The special coupon for my Etsy store lasts until March 31st.  To receive 15% off purchases type in the following code: nunuspring



I finished my Coquille shawl and I love it.  Apparently everyone at the knitters' meeting loved it too.  I got compliments on before I even made it through the doorway.  Then when I was sitting, a woman behind me actually lifted my hair out of the way, began petting the shawl - THEN she proceeded to unwrap it.  So much for personal space.  I love the yarn, Mini Mochi (304 colorway) it is super soft and I adore the color.  

I also did some sewing.  I made another needle case for my sock size metal DPNs.  I also made jewelry pouches for my Etsy store jewelry.  Now when folks purchase my jewelry, I will tuck the item into a beautiful handmade cloth bag.  This will protect the item - especially easy to scratch pearls.  I used mostly luscious batik fabric for the bags, you can see the small army here.  I adore the circle cloth - I wish I had more of it.

Still spinning away on Mister's sock yarn, casted on for a shawl out of handspun and working away on my March socks.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Clicking away with updates

So last Thursday I posted about my Coquille Shawl which I was over the moon about.  Well I'm about 3/4 of the way through it and I'm still over the moon.  This would make a fabulous shawl to knit with handspun.  I've had a stick poking at me to get this shawl finished.  I'm chopping to get started on a shawl with my handspun and I'm narrowing down pattern choices.  This will be with the alpaca fiber and the lovely BFL yarn that I posted last week.  My two top choices for shawls are:  Citron or Lingonberry.  I have both patterns printed out, so of course there is a wild card chance that I'll pick something else to knit.

I also posted about my Stripes Alive KAL socks.  Well a could of more rows in and I jumped ship.  I hated the pattern so far and why knit something you hate?  I frogged the yarn and will use it to make equally fun socks in another pattern.

I did cast on for socks in Dyeabolical yarn, Butternut Squish colorway.  They are so bright and cheerful.  I've been neglecting them in my purse in favor of finishing up my shawl.  I never really committed to a sock month, but I do want to try for it.  I'll get cranking on these soon.  

The peals that I posted last time have been finished and delivered.  They were so lovely to work on and their owner is delighted to have them good as new.  I love this process of enjoying the item and then enjoying seeing the reaction of the person receiving it.  

In spinning news, I've begun spinning up some superwash wool (superwash means the item is machine washable and will not felt or shrink) for socks for Mister.  Mister really enjoyed his first hand knit socks so I decided to really go all out for him.  I'm hoping that my spinning will result in yarn for socks, so hopefully the spinning spirits and my efforts will cooperate.

The colors are very dark so far, blues, browns, purples, and black.  I'm planning on picking out a companion commercially spun yarn for the cuffs, heels and toes.  I'm going to challenge myself to learn a new technique for the heel as well.  Always learning, always trying to stretch myself.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Perfect Fit

Ever since Mister received his hand knit socks, he has kept them on top of the dresser.  Why?  He was saving them for Fat Tuesday, which is today.  Happy Mardi Gras everyone!  Don't do anything too nuts, okay?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Knitting to Last

This weekend I bring you a great little short of a knitter, no I mean a Knitter. Have a safe weekend everyone.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring Fever and Project Galore

My dear green curmudgeon of a parrot, Nunu has informed me that Spring Fever is soon to take over.  He has been especially active and loud today.  He is usually the strong silent, introverted type, but not today!

Because Nunu has declared it time for spring, I've set up a special coupon code for my Etsy store.  To receive 15% off purchases type in the following code: nunuspring

You'll find handspun yarn, beads, a shawl, necklaces, bracelet and earrings waiting for you.

We've had a rough few weeks around the place.  Mister is feeling better, but on Saturday night we were alerted to a family member being in a serious car accident.  I won't sort you with all the details, but Thursday brings us to a funeral.  Perhaps it is my stress reaction to this upsetting event, but I've had a major case of startitis.

On the needles:

This shawl is pure pleasure to knit.  I've been knitting on it quite a bit with the stress and all.  The yarn is smooshy soft, the color is soothing - thinking beach with lovely fruit drink, and the pattern just ebbs and flows.  If I wasn't a knitter this combination of pattern and yarn would make me learn.  The pattern is quite simple, but changes enough to keep me awake.  The perfect combination of mindless/soothing/with-it-ness knit.  Love it.  You will too.  It's a free pattern!

Stripes Alive - March KAL (Knit Along) from Knit Purl Hunter
Honestly, I'm not sure about this one.  The colors are very very bright.  The pattern is a surprise.  This week the main tube of the sock pattern was posted & next week the heel will be posted.  I don't know if I'm strong enough to knit this garish sock with the pattern as an unknown.  The needles for this one are super big too.  Hmm.  I cheated and took a peak at others of this socks on Raverly.  It seems to be going in a chevron pattern - sorta like a crocheted afghan.  Should I stick with it?

Cold Rain Fiber into Cold Rain Fingering Yarn

This took me FOREVER to spin up.  Now that it is done, I'm so very excited.  I think I'll pair it up with the alpaca fiber that I showed you before and make a shawl.  The colors go very well together.  I cheated and photographed this will it was still slightly damp.  It is hard to get the true colors of this lovely fiber.  Now I just need to find the perfect shawl pattern for his fiber.  I'm really trying hard not to cast on for this project with so many else pending now.

A friend of mine commissioned me to re-string her two pearl necklaces.  I love hand knotting pearls.  It is such a meditative thing to do.  Plus I get the added bonus of handling such lovely natural items; touching pearls is one of my favorite sensation.  

Other projects -

STILL working on a scarf for my niece (no picture because I want the surprise element); slow going with other projects coming and going.  This past weekend I learned to make books and spent hours water coloring my pages with a group of really fun gals.  I loved the process and I'll soon be making books, journals and whatnots to add to my store.  I'm trying to resist the urge to casts on two other socks.  Why would anyone need to knit three socks at a time?  I ask you.  Startitis is a nasty thing sometimes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Laissez les bon temps rouler

Finished!  Mardi Gras socks for Mister!
Pattern: Sock Recipe from the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules!

I'm so proud of these socks - no ladders!  Perfect fit and custom made for Mister.  Cast on 72 stitches - k2 p2 ribbing for an inch, then switched to k3 p1 for the body of the sock.  Super stretchy, fun, loud and so fun to knit.  Knitting victory!