Sunday, October 23, 2011

Feeling Good!

Hello everyone! I am fully recovered from my surgery (at least to me anyway) and I am even back at work! I feel so much better.

I went to my first Mocha Knits meet up! We met at Panera Bread at Canal and Roosevelt in Chicago, and had a blast. The meet up was centered around a gift swap. I go such a nice treat from my swap partner Nicole and my other swap partner Analisa was happy with her treats too. It was fun all around.



What am I knitting and what have I finished you ask? Well, I am working on
the Love It, Leaf It beret from Knit1 Magazine. I also finished a sweater! Look:




It's my version of the Greenfield Cardigan from New England Knits. Of course, I love the leaves. I knit the sweater in super bulky weight yarn! Quick and beautiful!

My latest reads? Have you checked out the new book by Alana Dakos and Hannah Fettig? If not, go and order a copy of Coastal Knits! It is a beautiful book with beautiful photography as well as patterns. I want to knit the whole book. Alana has the book for sale on her blog: nevernotknitting.blogspot.com. Get one!!!

There you are: quick and to the point! Keep knitting!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Updates!!!!!

Here are a few updates for ya!

1. I won 2nd and 3rd place at the Will County Fair for my hat and beaded clutch!

2. I am working on two sweaters at one time. Lots of fun.

Sweater #1: February Lady Sweater





Sweater #2: Greenfield Sweater from New England Knits




I just had to have these!!!!

3. The school year is going well. The kids are good (so far) and they are anxious to learn.

4. Finally, last but not least, I am scheduled for a hysterectomy on Sept. 21st. Can you believe it? 4-6 weeks of knitting time while I recover! I am happy for both the operation (good-bye pain and other unpleasant things to gross to mention on my blog) and the knitting time. I just may finish those sweaters!!!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back to School

I am both happy and sad to say that school will start very soon. I must therefore return to work. But, before I end my summer of fiber fun, I must share some updates on my knitting and spinning!

Here is a photo of the tam that I will enter into the county fair at the end of the month. The pattern is Flower Love, Fair Isle Tam. I used a skein of varigated acrylic yarn to do the fair isle. So, it is really faux isle, but, I love how it came out.




I also will enter this lovely beaded purse. The pattern was Beaded Bags by Valerie Bracegirdle. I used a gift skein of medium weight Socks that Rock in the Cockeyed color way. And yes, I had to string all of those beads. But, it was worth it, right?




I have also started an Etsy shop! Stop by the shop and graze. I hope you like it! Go to http//www.etsy.com/shop/thenappyewe to check it out!

Spinning you say? Well, I have finished the last of my Cicero fleece! I am just letting the plied skein rest before I set the twist. I have also finished a skein of BFL that I named Crown Jewels. This skein, and my first skein of Cicero are on display in my shop.


Here is a peak at the Crown Jewels!

I have also done some fiber swapping with Sherrill of the Belle of the Ball Podcast. She sent me som BFL fleece, and I sent her some Cicero (leicester longwool fleece). That was my first time trading, and I truly enjoyed it!

Finally, to finish off my summer of fiber and knitting, I will attend Stitches Midwest on Aug. 26th-27th. I will take 2 classes this time, along with attacking the market place. I've made plans to have dinner with friends too! Shear joy!

Well, until the next time, God Bless and keep knitting.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cicero

Hey everyone. Remember that lovely Leicester Longwool fleece that I scored? Well, as you know it is all clean and has been spun into a lovely skein of yarn. Now, I gave some away (I had sooooooooo much), and I still have 3.25 ounces left to spin! But, here is the first skein:




A hat? Mitts? A nice scarf? I will have to let all possibilities marinate.

I am Marianne Dashwood!


Take the Quiz here!



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summertime, Fiber Time!!!

Hello!!!! Yes, I know, long time, right? Well as soon as school was out, I went into hermit phase. I slept, knit, spun, and just relaxed after a long school year. Whew, I needed that. Now that July is here, I must get on the band wagon, and get to fiber work. This is the month in which I do the bulk of my fiber work, and also enjoy all that the Chicagoland area has to offer for summer fun!

So, as you know, I bought a fleece in May. I am done washing it, and I am now flick carding and spinning it. This Leicester fleece is my goal for Tour de Fleece. I want to have it carded and spun by the end of the Tour. Wish me luck! Here's a photo of what is spun so far, and the nice, clean locks:




I have also been reading. I got the Interweave Knits Weekend issue. You know, me and magazines are just lovers. I get them, read them, drool over the patterns, and then I do not knit anything from them. I just LOVE TO LOOK AT THE PICTURES AND READ THE TECH ARTICLES!!!! Weird, right? But, I am now waiting for my issue of KnitScene Fall 2011, and also my copy of Piecework. Now, my love for Piecework is truly a love of my "old soul". I love antiques and historical knitting is just lovely. I love to read about it and study it. One day, I will knit something historic and lacey!

Well, I also just picked up my pre-ordered copy of Little Red in the City by Ysolda!!!! What a wonderful book. I am actually taking my time, and reading it. I never have time to read tech books cover to cover, but, this one! It is so helpful. I might actually be able to knit a full sweater without fear now. Every time I try, it is either too big, too long, to tight somewhere. But, Ysolda's book breaks down sizing, how to get it right, and it all starts with the right measurements. So, I will have my mom, who sews, take my measurements, and I will use them from now on to make sure that my sweaters will be masterpieces; not master disasters!

Finally, I got a copy of Knit One, Knit All by Elizabeth Zimmermann. What can I say? This book is great. I love the garter stitch inspired patterns. They are simple enough for me to work on, and they are just plain beautiful.




I am sure that you can see all of the post its marking important stuff!

I also went to the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair on June 24th. I took a spinning class with.... are you ready? Abby Franquemont!!!! YES! I know right? She is wonderful, and such a regular person. Also, she is great with the wheel. Guess whom else I also met, and got him to sign my copy of It Itches? YES, Franklin Habit. I told him I hoped that I was not bothering him and that it was cheesy to ask for an autograph. He said, no it wasn't and that he was honored!!! Such nice folks and they are celebrities too. Well, in the knitting world anyway. I got some stash also. I bought some teeswater locks that are lime green! Ha! I also got two ounces of covered cormo wool combed top. That is a mouth full!

Okay, knitting. I have finished a hat, the Flower Love, Fair Isle Tam. I finally took the full plunge and tackled fair isle. It was fun, and not too hard. I am glad that I did it. Here are a few photos of the hat:




Also, I finished the Skipping Stones Simple Shawlette. I always, ALWAYS have trouble with those damn center yarn overs and stuff. So, my center is, well, off center. But, I don't care! I still love my shawlette. Here it is:




Other than that, the Ladybug is still wonderful, I have lots of spinning to do, and well, I am chillin' like a villain on my vacation. Yeah me!!!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Fine Fleeece for Me!

Okay! I know; it is a slippery slope this knitting/spinning/fiber craft. You slide down the knitting slope to fall into the spinning crevice. You dig your way through to spinning success only to find that you are at the summit of another slope: buy and cleaning fleeces. What more can I say? Nothing! Here are the photos:



Here you see the fleece in bags AFTER the skirting and picking that I did. Now mind you, this is my first fleece. I was not sure about what parts to keep and such, so I hope I did okay. I got this lovely fleece from Three Fates Farm in Crete, IL. I was so happy to find a sheep farm with fleeces for sale so close to home. 11 miles away! Thank you to Dr. Karen for her kindness and for allowing me and my two short people into her home to view fleeces. The good doctor has a menagerie of animals including a handsome tom turkey and lamas too! I got a 6 lb. leicester longwool fleece! You know that fleece from the Golden Fleece stories? Well, it is curly like that!!! As you can see, I am using a dog rake and comb for the flick carding. So far, they work pretty well.



Here is my team of cleaning power: Ivory dish liquid, some Borax to soften our water, vinegar to cut the suds down a notch, and Dove Condition to soften the locks. The conditioner and borax ideas I got from a post on the Spinning Daily forums. It makes the carding a bit easier.



Wash and rinse 3 times, with the final rinse being with the conditioner. I let each wash/soak period last for 20 minutes. Finally, they are ready to dry!

I flick card the locks. I do this outside because all of the left over veggie matter comes falling off. The final product looks like this:



Pretty, huh? And soooooooooooooo soft!

Can you believe that I had the nerve to say that I would NEVER do this? Kinda like the I will NEVER spin comment! Ha! God sure loves pulling fast ones on me! Oh, by the way, school ends in 9 days!!!!! Really 8 days and 1 hour! I cannot wait for that uninterrupted knitting/spinning/fiber processing time! C'mon June 10th!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Met Ysolda!!!!!

Hello! Just a quick little note. I went down to Loopy Yarns located at Polk and Dearborn in downtown Chicago, and guess who I met? Ysolda Teague! She is soooooo nice, and, well, normal. She talked with us, and discussed her new book, Little Red in the City. If you buy a book this year, get Little Red! This book is part technique/knitting manual, part pattern book. Wonderful. I was very excited and nervous about meeting her. But, she was so sweet. She also got a hair cut. It is a little pixie cut. She looks like Tinkerbell in retro glasses! I pre-ordered the book, and I cannot wait to have it in my hot little chocolate brown hands! I am working on an Icing Swirl Hat from Whimsical Little Knits 1, so that I can have some Ysolda under my belt.

Also, spinning on my Ladybug is still wonderful. I have spun and plied two skeins so far. It is amazing to me how nice these skeins look. I know that with practice, they will look even better. Here they are:



Not too shabby, huh? Let me know what you think. I am taking a spinning class at Midwest Fiber and Folk Art in June. So, things can only get better! Talk with ya soon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gone Buggy!

Hello. I know it has been a long time. BUT, a lot has been going on!

#1. I have begun knitting socks! I know...I said that I would never knit socks. But, using worsted weight yarn makes it easy. See.....






#2. I am still working on 2 sweaters. Yes, I am crazy!

Now, #3, the big reason why I have been slack in blogging. I have been on a quest to get a new spinning wheel. I was torn. I was not sure of what kind, or brand, yadda, yadda, yadda! Well, I made a choice and it was.......




A SCHACHT LADYBUG!!!! LOOK AT HER! ISN'T SHE CUTE AS A.......BUG?
She spins wonderfully, and treadles like butta! OMG it is like driving a car....but a good one! Her little ladybug birthmark is near the back in between the treadles.

So, as you can see,making these life altering decisions and knitting wonderful garments have taken up my time! Hey, these short blogs are great. Maybe doing them short will encourage more blogging? We shall see!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oh Baby! Suprise Jacket of course!

Hello! Look at what I did! My first official Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket. It really is a surprise too. I mean, you are knitting along, increasing along, and wondering to your self: "What is this going to look like?" You finally finish your last 3 ridges and look at it. You do what Meg says (because of course, you are watching the DVD as you knit), and poof! It really is a sweater! This cute little sweater embellished with football buttons is for my daughter's teacher. His wife is pregnant, and the man LOVES Notre Dame. So, here is a little sweater for their little Notre Dame fan to be. It is just too cute, I almost wanted to keep it. But then, I heard my good angel say no, no and this, it will be delivered on Tuesday morning (no school on Monday). Well, here it is:




I know, I know! Just wonderful. I love Elizabeth Zimmerman. What a mastermind! What's next you ask? I am going to work on a sweater for me, and I want to try and get yarn (bulky) so that I can do another MeMe Sweater for my MIL. She deserves it. I also have a few accessories on the needles, which includes a tam for my Claudi-Boo (my daughter). So, I will keep you posted! Be blessed and knit on!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

STRANDED!

Yes, I have done it. I took the leap. I have made my first stranded color knitting swatch. And........



I love it! I know. I will start out slow with simple patterns and then, if brave enough, I will move on to the big guns. Just had to share! Yeah me!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snowed In! Time to Knit!



Hello from snowy Park Forest. I have been snowed in for two days with two kids, one husband, and a dog. Whew! Believe it or not, they have left me alone to knit. Well, I have gotten a lot done since my last post, so, lets get to the show and tell:



I knit the fingerless mitts Fetching from Knitty.com. However, if you look closely, I had to name these two differently. The one on top is "Throwing", and the one on the bottom is "Fetching". Why you ask? Well, on "Throwing", I did a K2, P2 from the cable needle instead of a K2, K2. The result was not horrible, but, a shorter cable group....I think.

My handspun coopworth yarn went from this lovely ball....



To this lovely cowl! Yeah me!



I also finished a bear for the Mother Bear Project. It is being organized by Dr. Gemma of the CogKnitive Podcast. The bears are sent to children in Africa and Haiti who have lost parents to AIDS or are infected with the disease themselves. I hope my bear makes a child very happy! Here he is!




Don't get excited. I did all of this over a number of days, including Holiday Break. I just had not posted them yet.

Now, the big news... I am working on my first pair of socks. This has been the big "snow day" knitting project. Yes, I said it, a pair of socks. Now, I did not EVER want to knit socks. I like sock yarn, but it is toooooooooooo thin! I am a bulky yarn gal myself. Every blog that I visit boasts of lovely handknit socks so wonderful and better than store bought. So, I decided to try it. I tried it with sock yarn. Those socks are in the trash. Really, I threw them out! They made me nuts! That skinny yarn, and tiny needles. Ugh! What to do? Knit house socks in worsted yarn! Much better, and going much faster. I am already on the decreases for the second sock! I started these on Tuesday night. It is now Thursday afternoon. I can now join the ranks of sock knitters all around the world. Ha!



Well, I cannot think of anything else. I have to go back to work tomorrow, so, I must sign off. I will write again next month. Until then, Happy Valentine's Day, Happy President's Day, and Happy Black History Month!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Knit Year

Hello and Happy Knit Year! I have been blessed enough to make it to 2011 and I have some yarn to follow me too.

Knitting?
Where do I start? Well, the holidays were BUSY around here. I hosted Christmas Eve for my side of the family, and it was great. The food, decorations, everything was great. I also gave some knitted goodness for gifts. Look and see:



Here is my mom with her Rasta Cowl made from Malabrigo Rasta. She was thrilled to get some knitted goodness. She is now shopping for things to go with it! Holla!



Here is my mother-in-law with her MeMe Sweater 2.0. She was happy with her gift. Is the first MeMe Sweater gone forever? Hmmmmm, I don't know. I will work on it here and there and see what happens. Anywho, doesn't she look good in it? I told her to wear it with long sleeves to give her added warmth. Yeah Me!



Here is Bo! She is my father-in-law's wife and she was so not expecting a wrap for her gift. I will call this wrap The Leaf Wrap. It was an accident actually. My Modern Garden Cardi was too long, and so I cut it. I still don't like how it turned out, but, I had this long strip of knitting left over. What to do with it? A wrap of course. Wow, see what happens from mistakes in knitting? Creation people, creation. Bo was also happy with her knitted goodness. She said that the wrap was perfect for the lab/office where she works. It will keep her warm.




Finally, here is my big sister Barbara. She hounded a sista ALL YEAR LONG for a pair of slippers. Constantly nagging, "Where are my slippers? You have enough yarn, so get to knitting!" Well, needless to say, she was satisfied, and magically, the nagging has stopped. Are those angels I hear?

Okay, so all that knitting for the holidays is over. What am I working on now? Not much. I am working on some dish cloths from a Barbara Walker stitch pattern from Piecework Mag, hopefully a sweater for me, and who knows what else. My knitting resolution for the new year was to just knit and have fun. Not to worry if 20 rows later, I find out that I made a yarnover when I didn't want to, or if there is a knit where a purl should be. I am knitting for me...for fun. Not for perfection...just for me. Just for fun! The knitting police are not coming to my house to drag me off to federal prison where I will be forced to knit perfect rows as punishment. No knitted house arrest bracelets for me just because I knitted what made me happy with a mistake in it!

I will also try to hit a few new fiber festivals if I can, along with the usual ones too. As for stash. Well, I will try to be as good as I can and not overwhelm the house with yarn, or to break our bank. I am usually pretty good with this yarn control thing. Really!

Reading?
I just got the Winter 2011 issue of Vogue Knitting. It is like a throwback to vintage styles and the designs are beautiful. As usual, I am unsure if I will knit any of these patterns. However, I love to look at them and be inspired.

HO, HO, HO!!!!! Under the tree!
Well, Santa left me a few goodies. I got a leather lighted case for my Kindle, a new LG Optimus T Android phone, and I also got a Namaste Monroe bag too. In Peacock no less. Oh, I also got the best gift of all time....time with my family. Priceless!

Well, I guess that is it. I will be back at work on Monday, and I will write a new entry before the end of the month as usual. Thank you for reading and Happy Knit Year!