Monday, October 20, 2014

North Country Fiber Fair 2014 - Day 1

 Sorry that it took me so long to write up this post, I've really got to get better about posting things on here more!

This was the first year that I was able to get off work so that I could travel up to Watertown, SD for North Country Fiber Fair. I've heard all sorts of wonderful things from the ladies in my knitting group about NCFF, but I never remembered to ask for the time off so that I could attend. I was able to go with 2 other girls that I work with at Barnes & Noble who are just as smitten with a good alpaca roving as I am so we car-pooled up and stayed with one of their relatives. (Don't start thinking that that saved us any money, though. The funds were just put to MUCH better use buying yarn instead of paying for a hotel room.)

The lovely view as we drove North to Watertown and what seemed like all the spinning wheels in South Dakota.
It took us a bit longer to leave town than we originally thought that it would so we ended up getting to NCFF right as Katie and Sara's class (Book Binding) was starting. They quickly signed in and ran off to class and I joined in the fiber circle. I had brought a crochet project in to work on instead of my drop spindle, so I kind of felt like the odd man out because everyone else was either setting up their spinning wheel or was already busily filling bobbins. (Someday I'll have one of my own!!)

The lady that I was sitting next to was spinning up some lovely brown roving from her own alpaca and I about died from excitement when I was talking with her. She has a small farm with a few animals that keep her well supplied with spinning fiber. I would absolutely love to have my own alpaca, but I don't think the alpaca would love my yard. (And I don't think the neighbors would love the alpaca...)

Delicious, smooshy Corny Goodness DK Yarn for my Hediye by Ysolda.
After the Book Binding class ended, we had supper and by the time we got back to NCFF most of the vendors were almost done setting up so we decided to snoop around the marketplace. Corny Goodness, a Minnesota-based yarn company that plys and hand-dyes yarns made from corn fiber and corn/wool blends, had a booth set up that I was super excited to poke around in. My LYS carries the fingering weight of their yarn, but one of my goals at the fiber fair was to find the perfect DK yarn to knit Hediye by Ysolda Teague because she had released it the Monday before we left town.

I looked at the yardage requirements for the pattern and assumed that the longer yardage would be for the striped center section of the shawl, so I decided on yellow for the cable border, and planned to alternate between the blues for the stripes on the center. The owners at Corny Goodness were so nice, they didn't want me to miss out on getting the yarns that I needed for my project so they let me buy before the market even opened! I was so super excited about how lovely the shawl was going to be that I didn't even think about the fact that the cable border was going to need way more yarn than the center would. Thankfully, when we went back to their booth on Saturday morning, they still had 1 skein left in the same dye lot as my yellow that I already purchased. Project saved!

Katie (left) and Sara (right) attempting to make sense of what was Sara's ball of yarn.
After the high of buying my delicious corn yarn (I absolutely love alternative fibers!!) and getting to pet multiple other lovelies in the marketplace, we decided to re-join the fiber circle and work on the projects we had with us. I don't remember how exactly it happened, but at one point Sara's ball of cotton exploded and was basically yarn puke all over her and Katie. They valiantly attempted to untangle all the knots and wind it back up, but eventually we decided that the only way to make it through a yarn mess that big was to add alcohol, so we ducked out of NCFF about 30 min before it closed Friday night and went in search of a liquor store.

My favorite South Dakota winery released this amazingness!!
After getting lost multiple times and finding all the cowboys in Watertown (there are 3) we finally ended up at Sara's step-sister's house where we watched anime, knit and drank wine out of water glasses. We're a classy group, let me tell you!

(PS: The wine did help to untangle the yarn vomit and I was able to teach Sara how to make a center-pull ball with the yarn afterwards. Hooray! Success!!)

Eventually, we passed out wherever we happened to be sitting. I started out in the chair and eventually ended up sleeping on the living room floor with my sweatshirt hood pulled over my face because I managed to bring 5 separate knitting/crochet/spinning projects, but forgot pajamas, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. You gotta have priorities when packing. My focus this weekend was apparently on yarn, not hygiene or sleepwear. (What was I supposed to do with myself if I finished that blanket AND sweater by the middle of Saturday afternoon? Not knit?!?)

So ends Day One at NCFF 2014. I didn't realize just how much happened over the weekend, so I'm gonna post Day 2 next week because it's 1:00 AM and Mr. Little Man will be up in about 4 hours for a bottle. Off to bed with me for now, but I promise that I'll have another post next week! I'm really going to make an effort to do one post on here each week so keep checking back! Have a great week and enjoy the beginning of Fall, it's perfect knitting weather right now.  ^_^

Friday, August 29, 2014

Stash Clean-Up

Schachenmayr Regia Fluormania Color - Neon Rainbow

I've been going through my stash the last few weeks and have come to the realization that my yarn has outgrown my current method of organization. (Basicly, I bring it home, it sits on the kitchen counter for a few weeks so I can admire and pet it from time to time. Then, once Dan has complained about it's presence enough, I move it to one of the bags in the basement.)

Zwerger Garn Opal Regenwald / Rainforest - 7470 Fiona Die Geigerin

So, I'm going to be working on photographing my yarn collection and updating my stash on Ravelry. Hopefully, this will make it easy to actually use my beauties before I fall out of love with them.

Cascade Yarns Forest Hills (Solid Colors) - 11 Bijou Blue

These are some of my more recent acquisitions and I'm still itching to cast on with them, but I've got a ton of WIPs right now. I think that once I finish my poncho for North Counrty, I'm gonna cast-on a vanilla ankle sock in my Opal because it's been far too long since I made myself some new socks and I just love the colors in that one!

What projects/yarns are you just bursting to knit or crochet right now? Why haven't you cast-on yet?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Even More Washcloths...

Apparently, washcloths are the big thing in my life right now. A friend had told me how much she loved the hand-knit washcloth that her grandma made for her. I decided that she needed more than just one so I told her to pick a couple colors and I would make her some washcloths as her birthday present.

She picked Knitpicks Cotlin in Canary (left) and Clementine (right) and didn't care what pattern I used. 

I ended up just designing patterns for 2 of them and altering the pattern for Swifty from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside The Lines since I didn't have the pattern for the Ballband Dishcloth handy when I was casting-on.

The first washcloth is just a slip-stitch pattern that creates vertical lines with a garter-stitch border in Canary.

The slip-stitch colorwork also gave the cloth a nice backside. I'm not a fan of single-sided projects when both sides are visible, so that was a great surprise bonus to the pattern.

Washcloth number 2 was my favorite of the bunch. It's a slightly more complicated slip-stitch colorwork pattern. Even with that, though, it looks way more complex than it is.

And again, I was pleasantly surprised with the way the back turned out. This pattern had great drape to it, too, so I'm thinking that I'm going to play around with it for a garment of some sort.

Finally, the Ballband Dishcloth. Once it was knit up in these colors, we all decided that it was very reminiscent of the walls in a certain beloved video game detailing the adventures of  a not-so-average plumber. My friend was super happy to get this one.

I'm not as pleased with the back, but the front's nerd factor makes up for it.

I'm pretty happy with this group of washcloths and Sara loved them so that equals a win. Plus, it's really fun to make up stitch patterns and I've got some great garment ideas that I'm gonna be working on. I'll post about the status of those patterns once I have something worthwhile to show you, but I'm pretty excited about them.  ^_^

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Plethora of Washcloths

Happy 4th of July! I have been in such a washcloth /holiday mood over the last couple of weeks thanks to an e-mail that Lion Brand Yarn sent out showcasing some Independence Day pot holder patterns. I'm not much of a fan of Lion Brand's actual yarns, but their website is amazing for free easy patterns. So, I crocheted up my two favorite designs from the pattern collection as washcloths and made up the other 3 designs to go with them. So, now I have a 5 cloth set that will be going up on my etsy shop for sale for $25.

One of the patterns that I used from the lion brand website.

I love the stitch pattern used to make this cloth and I've got an idea for using it again in a different project. This is such a fun stitch and it's almost like magic when you're crocheting it.

This is the other Lion Brand pattern.

This one is more straight forward and is less fun/interesting than the other square but I felt that it really tied the set together and brought home that Americana theme.

Basic granny square washcloth.

Oh, granny squares, how I love you. This is actually the first granny square that I've ever made, but it really seemed to fit with the theme and I've always wanted to learn how to make one. I can totally see why people use them to make entire afghans, they are quick and super addictive! I'm already ploting ways to need more of them.

The Primrose granny square.

Again, this pattern was picked entirely because I felt that it just belonged with an Americana grouping of washcloths. It was definately more challenging to make than the basic granny square, but completely worth it! I love the way that it turned out and the naturaly curvey shape that the sides took. It feels very retro and modern all at once and I just love it. This is probably my favorite cloth in the collection.

The Never-Ending Chevron washcloth.

This one was a doozy. I started it over and ripped it out so many times before I got it right. It probably was so difficult because I was trying to convert a chevron stitch pattern for a floor cushion that I found to a washcloth appropriate size. (The magic number is 36.) I finally got the math right for the stitch pattern only to discover that there were no instructions for how to make it a complete square. The pattern for the floor cushion assumed that you would be sewing the crocheted chevron fabric to actual sewing fabric around a pillow, so you could just sew the corners on the chevrons into the pillow and everything would be just fine. Since I wasn't going to be sewing anything to anything, I had to figure out how to fill in all of the dips along the edges. This was a fun challenge, bug I'm glad thst it 's done. I'll be writing out the pattern and will post it soon.

I hope that everyone is having a fun and safe 4th of July today! See you soon.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


"I'm starting this great new project!" Is a phrase that my husband hears all the time at our house. It seems that I'm great at starting lots of new projects, but I don't always get them finished before I have the urge to start again on something else. My goal with this blog is to be able to focus more on finishing what I start before diving head first into the next wonderful thing that I find.

What project are you wanting to finish before you jump into the next big thing?