Friday, May 27, 2011

Fiber Festival Friday, winners and next giveaway!

ETA:  This giveaway is now closed, check out the latest give-away here in this post.

Let's start the day off right!  Through the random magic of little man and a bowl full of strips of paper, the winners of the first festival giveaway have been revealed.  I was pretty stoked because the winners actually chose opposite yarns, and I don't have to make an administrative decision that might make someone sad.

So, name number one is Michaela who said
"Wow, this is really beautiful yarn, and the colours are prefect for summer. Suddenly I've got lemons and peaches on my mind :) I love the yellow/golden yarn- I think it would be perfect for a shawl such as "Citron"."

And here's what is shipping to you:

And winner number two is GailGodin who said:
"the orange color is one of my favorites. I would make a shawl or something lovely to show off that gorgeous shimmer!"
Here's your care package waiting to go:

Contact is about to go out, and congrats to the winners!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)

On to new business.  While I was at the fiber festival, I ran into one of my favorite fiber artists with a new name.  The artist behind Sereknity Fiber Arts has re-branded because people were having a hard time finding her with her original name.  You can now find her at Mad Color Fiber Arts.  Definitely check her out, she's going to be running contests and giveaways for a while to celebrate the rename.

While I was there, I picked up two skeins of lace-weight blue silk and linen yarn perfect for a summer weight something.  The best part about a silk/linen blend is that it will work even for folks with hair-fiber allergies.  Here's what I couldn't walk away from:

So, one for me one for the blog!

But while I was thinking about it, the prize stack seemed a little light.  To sweeten things a little, I went into my stash and pulled 2 of the artist's standard colorways.  This week, our giveaway is one skein of variegated blues in lace-weight silk and linen, one skein of superwash sock weight in colorway black pearl, and one skein of sport weight greens.  See, aren't they pretty??

As last time, one winner for each color/weight of yarn.  To enter, just leave a comment telling me what your favorite weight yarn is and why as well as a little bit on how to contact you.

Next Friday (June 3) I will announce winners on this, and put up the next batch of giveaway goodies.
Happy knitting!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Last night, I finished binding off my Dad's latest Serious Scarf.  It's got a huge cable in the center, whose pattern I was completely unable to memorize.  Made the knitting take forever.  Y'know, when I wasn't ripping it back to fix the fact that I can't count...

It's been a really long time coming, and I feel badly for that.  It was definitely not brainless knitting, but I'm excited that it's done and that I'll be blocking it today if I can find it....  I know, how could I lose it I only finished it last night?  Here's a hint:

Guess who else wants one?

Friday, May 20, 2011


Huh, apparently I'm the # 1 hit on google for "the power of wool compels you".  Husband-type let me know a moment ago.  Does this mean we need an old sheep and a new sheep!? 

Actually... I could get behind that.....

portable camera be darned, fiber festival goodies part 1

 ETA: this giveaway is now closed, congrats to Michaela and GailGodwin!
Check our next giveaway now live at this link.

Ok, I wasn't able to find the specialized cable for my point & click camera.  I realize that this doesn't bode well for what I'll be cleaning (and how many bad words I'll be taking out and examining) this weekend, but I'll keep looking.... and if I can't find that I'll order a new one.  Take that, technology!

I got a question about the hoodie, which will make an appearance or 4 in the festival post once I manage to get the photos off the point-n-click.  The yarn is Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Superwash, and I picked it up at Webs.  Color 32.  The boarder is in Plymouth Encore color 0240.  The Oatmeal contrast band is just a small band of 2 rows of garter stitching, and then 2 rows of k1, s1 with color held to RS of work, then 2 rows garter stitch.  I'm glad you like it!

I was pretty excited to see the comments on Mom's sweater!  I spent nights up knitting it, and ended up knitting it in 5.5 days over coffee and tears because our ancient cat chewed on the original yarn I'd started knitting it in the first time.  He loves alpaca, and he's ~14ish, so I have to hide my alpaca yarn if I don't want it to be suckled into non-existence.  I foolishly didn't, and ended up buying the Vintage on May 7th for a sweater I had planned to finish for May 5th.

This was Mom's anniversary present, Dad's was supposed to be a gift certificate for Audible but Audible closed down their gift center.  But that's a tale for another blog post.

Anyway, folks are really here for yarn!

So let me introduce you to today's Friday Yarny Goodness:

Okay, so as the tag shows, today's yarn feast was purchased at the End of the World Farm booth.  There were a few vendors at this year's Fiber Festival that I was hoping to see.  This wasn't one that I had planned on, but their display was so visually stunning that I ended up running back and buying the above.

This yarn is 100% Tencel.  It drapes and knits like a tightly spun silk, but it is machine wash and dryable.  It's also nigh-unto-impossible to snap.  I don't recommend trying it, it will leave serious dents in your fingers.  On the other hand, the lovely folks at the booth said that tencel yarn wears like steel.  It's tough as nails.  And soft and cuddly, and LOOK at those colors!!

So, although I hadn't planned on them being a highlight of my trip... well, they were.  And a wonderful one to boot.

This is a heavy-lace weight yarn in my book.  And it ladders just like silk if you drop a stitch.  But the drape!  The coolness... it will make perfect warm weather things.

So without further ado, the first of the free yarn!  The lovely gold and orange yarn are in need of owners, and I know there are people who are in need of some really awesome yarn.  I am ashamed to admit, I've already knit up the red... one skein makes a perfect Joie shawl... and I've been arguing with myself about giving away those gorgeous sunny colors.  But I'm going to do it!  Captain Alpaca says it must be done:

If I fight with Captain Alpaca, he might wake me up again in the morning.  And as lovely as he is, he's a bit unnerving full in the face at 5 AM.

So, to enter just leave a comment about what you'd like to try in Tencel and a method to reach you.  One winner for yellow and one for orange will be announced next Friday, and when they're announced the next batch of festival goodies will go up.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The sweater

So I'm sure everyone remembers this, it was only one post ago:
I love texture
Here it is on its recipient:

it almost matches the lilacs!
Front action!
So, this is a free pattern from Berroco that I knit up for my Mom.  It uses their Vintage yarn line (info available from pattern link) in the color used for their photo shoot.  I almost never use the color/yarn from a pattern, but this time the color just said it needed to go to Mom... and so it has.

The buttons are from JHB, and they are imitation pua shell in pretty neutrals with a little bit of blue.

As to the craziness:  This was knit for a petite woman of about 5 ft 2.  I had to change the way the increase and decrease rows were knit.  So, to make sure they matched, I knit the 2 fronts and the back at the same time so that the increases were in the same place on all pieces.  Then, because I needed to make the sleeves for someone who doesn't have orangutan arms, I knit the 2 sleeves at the same time.  The big trick is to have a really long needle to do both of the fronts, and a separate ball of yarn for each thing that's cast on.  So, the fronts & back were knit on 2 needles, as though I was doing 2 at a time socks or something.  The sleeves were also knit on the same 60 inch needle so that I knew that they were knit at the same increase/decrease rate and that they were definitely the same length.

The pattern called for 8 skeins of yarn, I used about 6.5 total.  I have some left-overs and I'm not sure where they'll go.

We did go to the wool and fiber festival this weekend and as soon as I find my smaller cable I will pull the pictures and do a full post about it.  I was hoping to get this up on Sunday, but ended up working on Sunday plus late hours the last 2 days....

But shortly, you will hear the story of this handsome beast :

and I will be giving away some yarn as well.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

secret knitting

The person this secret project is for reads this blog, so I cannot post much of this without spoiling the surprise until Saturday....  but this is what I've been working on

I did this the 100% insane knitter way, and will have a post about this knit in particular.  I'm excited, and hope to have buttons on by Friday night.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


We hijack this blog post to wish a very happy anniversary to the 2 people who taught me what I really want and need in a marriage.

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!!
and here's to many more

Love you both very much. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

what have you been up to lady?

So, last week, I knit a red sweater.  This week, I'm blocking it.

I took 35 pictures of the darn thing, and this is the only decent shot.
At least they don't look fuchsia today.
This is a scarlet knit, and believe it or not those are the same size.  I totally measured them and everything.  The blocking looks wonky, but the knitting is solid enough.

Let's see, what else?

Ah, I figured out how to make window box leaves accessible to people other than myself.  Here's the test knit that let me use the new directions:

photobox prototype in madelinetosh greens
After that, I wrote a spring version of the pattern and am now test knitting it in the pale green that I dyed myself the other week

I enjoy this color, although it's cooler than I usually like to knit with.
And finally, someone came up with a use for left over peeps
it's melting.... meeeelting....
not every crazy idea here is mine...

The NH Sheep & Wool festival is coming up shortly, which is why I've focused on knitting these sweaters.  I want to get them done before the next one, because they're made with some of the yarn that I bought at last year's show....  and with them done I'll have turned over all of the wool purchased by this time last year.  This is a good feeling for sure.