Thursday, June 27, 2013

I Remember Me (Sort Of...)


Yes, I’m aware I’ve been absent for far too long on here and I’m also aware that most of you probably have forgotten who I am.  That puts us in the same club because I’ve been so busy, I’m not sure who I am either.  But it’s totally okay because I still have lots of yarn…

At this point, I am actually too tired to even try and explain what’s been going on, but it involved some domestic travel and it’s all been good, or at least mostly good, and some of it involved adding yarn to my stash, which of course, is radically awesome (WOOT!).

So I basically just popped in here to say, “I’LL BE BACK!” (insert really bad Arnold Schwarzenegger accent here).  In order to distract you from the complete lack of anything substantial in this post, here is a random photo of one of my really adorable Dachshunds that will make you go, "Aaawww!"

Trixie helping me knit!

Aaaaaand, I’m outta here…for now.  Er…yeah.

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Friday, June 7, 2013

FO Friday

I’ve avoided blogging the last several days because I didn’t feel like I had anything to say.  I think it was because I’m still coming down from the excitement of the fiber festival last weekend, kind of like a sugar crash.  So today I'm forcing myself to post because I do have some things to show you.

First, I finished my RegattaTee by Olga Casey and I absolutely LOVE it!  It was an easy knit, even with the side seaming.  I really don’t mind seaming; it just seems to take me for-EVER to get it done.  I didn’t know if I’d like the “rough” looking seams with the selvage edge exposed that the pattern calls for, but once I got it done and looked at it, I think it makes the garment more interesting than if the seams were smooth (even though my daughter asked me if I had it on inside out). 

I used more of my stash of Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo for this project and while I like the yarn overall, there are a couple of things that concern me.  First, I’m afraid it will “grow” since I’ve heard from a couple of you that bamboo tends to.  I’m seeing this already on my Aurelia.  Time will tell how bad it will get.  The other thing is, this stuff is horrible for sewing.  One or two passes through the garment and my strand looked like this:

It just kind of unwinds and gets tangled easily.  I do have another summer shirt in my queue that I will likely use what I have left of this yarn in the white, but I doubt I’ll buy any more to use.

Next, I never managed to get a final picture up of the two baby cardis I made for the twins my friends are expecting, so here they are:

I think when it comes to baby clothes I need to start with size 3 mos. or bigger.  These two little ones aren’t even here yet and I am afraid they’ll barely be able to wear these.  Lesson learned.

I also have some goodies I got a while ago through Etsy that I’ve wanted to show off.  First, I got this cute little project bag from Julie at Lavender Hill Knits.  I wanted a bag for sock projects and this fits the bill perfectly.  It is extremely well made and as you can see, is reversible.  Julie has lots of other fabrics to choose from for these and I love the handle design.  It closes easily by slipping the long handle through the short one. 

Finally, when I got home from the fiber festival last Saturday, this was waiting for me:

It’s a beautiful handmade, thrown pottery yarn bowl.  I got it from Marietta at Blue Room Pottery.  I fell in love with this bowl months and months ago and finally ordered it in May.  Most of Marietta’s pottery is made to order, so it took a few weeks but wow, I am so pleased with this.  It is way larger than I anticipated and looks and works much better than the small Pyrex bowl I’d been using from my kitchen cupboard.  Blue Room has many, many lovely yarn bowls as well as other types of pottery.  Just looking at this piece makes me happy…and who couldn’t use more happiness? 

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Heaven On Earth

This past Friday and Saturday, I actually located a genuine piece of heaven on earth.  Yes, that’s right – HEAVEN. ON. FREAKING. EARTH.  Where, you ask?  At the first annual Magnolia State Fiber Festival, that’s where!  I have not had that much fun in literally years.  I am SO hooked (as if my obsession wasn’t complete enough).  I really think I may need a 12 step program.

“Hi, my name is Lisa, and I’m a yarn-a-holic…”

The events of the weekend are still swirling rapidly in my mind, so if my account is a bit disjointed, please forgive me.

First, the company on the trip was stellar.  I rode up with knitting pals Lorelei and Melissa (thanks for driving, Lorelei!) and once we arrived in Vicksburg, the three of us enjoyed some really good Greek food.  Then after lunch, we located our B & B and it was amazing.  We stayed at Anchuca Mansion on the recommendation of one of Melissa’s friends and enjoyed our surroundings tremendously.  This place is stunning:

Then we hit the festival and I nearly cried, looking at all of the fiber-y goodness.  I get emotional just thinking about it again. *sniff*

Melissa taking a picture of her dream yarn.
She bought every skein of the red they had!

Lorelei exercised remarkable restraint, taking her time to look at everything before making a thoughtful decision.  I had no such restraint, and Melissa and I quickly snarfed up some yummy Madelinetosh (we were both Madelinetosh virgins) from Yarn House Studio, an LYS in Opelika, AL.  I’d like to personally thank Yarn House Studios for being at MSFF, for carrying such wonderful yarn, and for giving us the destination for our next road trip (yay!).  I also picked up a skein of Malabrigo Sock in the most fabulous shade of orange.

Love at first sight...

I then spent the rest of Friday drooling over the offerings of Lost City Knits, out of Lost City, OK.  The only proper response to their lovely yarns is drooling.  The owners, Denise Bell and her husband, Chris, really produce incredible yarns dyed in the most beautiful colorways.  I’m sure they got tired of me floating around most of the afternoon, petting all the yarn and agonizing over what to get.  I kept coming back like a bad penny.  I found one colorway, Whirlwind, that was conveniently dyed in Ohio State colors (go Bucks!) that I knew I had to have, but for the most part, Friday was a day of fretful contemplation in order to isolate which LCK yarns I wanted since I didn’t happen to have a $5000 budget (but boy, if I had $5k, I’d have bought it all…I’m totally not joking). 

For supper Friday we went to Walnut Hills restaurant (also a recommendation from Melissa’s friend).  The food was great and the live blues music was even better.  

Walnut Hills...yummy!
It was four blocks from the B & B, so we walked which was good because after a few bites, I had to stealthily unbutton the top of my non-stretch denim jeans that I foolishly wore Friday and I needed the exercise.  Actually, I needed more than a four block walk…

The weekend just kept getting better.

Saturday morning at the B & B started with the best cheese grits I’ve ever eaten.  Then when we got back to the festival, I took a class on designing your own sweater which was informative and in which I made a new friend (hurray!).  By the time I left the class, some more ladies from my LYS came for the day and we had the best time.  Along with Melissa and Lorelei, they provided much-needed support as I wandered back to the Lost City Knits display again and again, trying to make the gut-wrenching decision on what to buy (thanks Sarah, Deanne, Stacy, and Suzanne)!  I finally made the decision and bought one skein of LKC’s Twin Canyon Fingering, which is 50% merino and 50% silk in the OSU colors and the magical pièce de résistance:  one skein of Lost City Silk in Cerrillos.  It’s 100% silk in lace weight and it is absolutely divine. 

There were several of Denise Bell’s designs lurking around the LCK space – beautiful Estonian lace shawls that Denise made from this silk – and they made resisting this yarn futile, even though you all know how I’ve struggled with lace weight.  I just have to try again and as if the lace weight itself wasn’t ambitious enough, I’m planning on using it for my favorite Holly Chayes design, Tumbling Deco.  I’m staying positive…I WILL do this shawl and it WILL look fabulous. 

Once we had shopped all we could, we all left and gorged ourselves for supper at Rusty’s River Front Grill but this time I had my stretchy denim on (whew!). 

My first fiber festival experience was wonderful and not just because of the yarn.  I got to spend a weekend with my fellow fiber addicts and we all know that hanging out with knitters is the best. 

Can’t wait ‘till next year!

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