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February 2012

January 2012

Shop update(s) & a colorful Philomath Worsted!

This morning I was working toward photographing the yarns for the next update and glanced over to the living room where R just brought V's play kitchen upstairs and I thought, hey! I should take some yarn pictures there!

Play Kitchen 003

So I did. What was kind of comical about it was that sitting on the floor is not my best option at the moment, with this baby belly I've got going and a touch of sciatica. 

Play Kitchen 004

I say a touch just to be polite. The reality went more like ... [camera clicking] snap snap "Ouch!" snap snap "Ouch!!!" snap snap "OUCH!" Only add your choice of foul language into the mix as well.

Play Kitchen 002

But I like the pictures. 

For this update, on Wednesday February 1st at 2pm Eastern, I'll have something a little different, just for fun. Four skeins of Philomath Worsted in an honest-to-goodness color palette. Plus a couple of other semi-solid colors. Though semi-solids are what I'm drawn to, sometimes a girl just needs to mix it up.

Play Kitchen 001

There will also be the usual suspects (skeins of Muscadine Sock) in a couple of new colorways.

Play Kitchen 005

And Spinners, I haven't forgotten the roving! It'll be coming your way in a rare Sunday afternoon update - February 5th at 2pm Eastern. Hope you can make it!

Pattern Release: Foster by Terri Kruse

Terri Kruse has written a beautiful new cardigan pattern with my Philomath Worsted in mind.

Take a look at Foster.


Foster is a top-down knit with a couple of options - you can knit the cardi so it opens on the left or right side, and shape your waist or not. I love the asymmetry of the cable in front, and then there's a centered cable in the back. Beautiful.


Terri designed this in my Tanis colorway, but since I like for folks to have options, I'm offering to dye this up in a sweater quantity for you in your choice of colorway. You can read more about that here - feel free to ask me any questions you have. Just keep in mind that sometime around the beginning of March, I will have to put that listing on hold until I get back in the swing of things after Baby H arrives in April.

So what do you think? Isn't it gorgeous? It looks like the perfect cozy knit to me. I think Terri did an outstanding job!

Happy Caturday!

These photos are from Christmas day. Here's Roxy enjoying the pretty lights.

Christmas Roxy

I've been feeding the cats their raw food diet for more than a month now; R and I are impressed with the changes we've seen. They were never hugely overweight, but they have slimmed down beautifully. The other day R said what I'd been thinking for a while - that they are softer with shinier coats. They play together more often and more energetically. They even play alone more often too (especially Zasha - Roxy has always had more energy than Zash).

Roxy has not peed anywhere since she started eating raw. And before I started feeding her this way, her breath smelled really bad. Like really bad. It wasn't her teeth; I felt like it was a sign that something was about to go very wrong. The bad breath is gone, as is Zasha's chronic dandruff. It takes a little time to make it, but I can make a week's worth or two (or more, if I had the freezer space) at a time. I may sound like crazy cat lady, but I don't care. To me it's better than having to take Roxy to the vet constantly for antibiotics and catheterization, which I believe is the direction we were headed. I'll happily take on the name crazy cat lady. 

Christmas Jenny Linsky and Zasha

Since we're all about the cats here, let me tell you the tale of this little Beanie Baby. Thanks to Maiz telling me of them, one of V's favorite series of books is about Jenny Linsky, a shy little black cat who has many adventures. Jenny wears a red scarf that her owner, a retired sea captain, knitted for her. No one makes licensed Jenny Linsky dolls, so I decided to put one together as best I could as a special present from me to V this Christmas. I found a black Halloween Beanie Baby that had the closest Jenny-look about her and cut the collar off her. Then I knitted a red scarf for her and tied it around her neck. I ran out of time to make the little baubles that go at the end of the scarf and planned to do this later, but V says she likes Jenny just as she is. 

New colorways: the Aoifes

So I was dyeing some yarn this week and had an idea for one - greens and blues and turquiose, but darkened by gray.

So I did up 4 skeins of Julep Sock in turquoise. Then added some leafy greens. Next was to come the gray, but when I pulled them out of the pot they were so vibrant and beautiful I couldn't cover them all with gray.

So I did two and left two alone. Here's one of each.

The Aoifes

I love how the gray glazing changes their personality. Some might think it makes them even more beautiful, while others might prefer the more vibrant version.

So I'll have two of each of these - I'm calling the vibrant one Aoife and the other one Dark Aoife - in the next shop update this Thursday, January 12th at 10am Eastern. Hope to see you there!

Introducing Julep Worsted!

Julep Worsted is my new yarn base - it's the same squishy blend as my Julep Sock - superwash Merino + cashmere + nylon, but it's a heavy worsted skein of 180 yards.

next shop update

I think this one is my favorite, Rainforest.

Rainforest - Julep Worsted

Yummy yum yum! I'll have five colorways coming tomorrow, but not in sweater quanties. If you fall in love and find you need enough for a sweater, just send me an email after the update and we'll talk!

Crafty resolutions for 2012

Happy New Year!

Who doesn't love a fresh, new year? The other day I was thinking of some crafty things I would love to do this year. Here's the list I came up with:

1. Knit 12 socks (6 pair)
I dye and sell sock yarn, yo! I should be knitting with this yarn too. Right?! There never feels like there's time, but I have come to realize that the first thing I do when I get up in the morning is go sit on the sofa with V for about a half hour before we get on with our day. Surely I can use 15 minutes of that time to work on a sock.  

2. Knit at least a couple of Christmas gifts for this year
Not everyone I know would appreciate a hand-knitted Christmas gift, but I can think of at least three off the top of my head who would. So I'd like to pick 3-5 projects and decide on when I will knit them and see if I can't get that done this year. 

3. Learn how to thread my sewing machine
My friend Kim was kind enough to find this sewing machine for me at a thrift store, clean it, oil it, and fix it up for me. I've made exactly one thing with it. Partially because it's down in the fiber studio - out of sight, out of mind - and partially because I am really intimidated by it.  But I really want to be able to make simple things with it, and I want her to know how much I appreciate the gift by actually using it! V has an idea she wants to bring to life this year and it involves sewing. It'd be so much quicker for me if I could sew it on the machine rather than by hand.

4. Sew a tote bag
Seems like an easy enough first project. 

5. Sew winter PJ pants for the whole family
This is something I've always wanted to do - make PJ pants for everyone annually. I think that'd be a wonderful family tradtion.  

6. Make an Advent calendar
This year just felt so very busy. And every day V would ask me how many more days until Christmas. It's time to get this family tradition started. I want to find something cute and get it together before the end of November. Any suggestions? 

7. Plan a few newborn shots for when Baby H is born
I've always wanted to take newborn shots - now here's my chance! I have a couple of ideas already, but I want to keep my eye on a few photographers for even more inspiration. 

8. Take at least one roll of black and white film with one of my vintage/toy cameras
I had an idea for 2011 that I wanted to take a roll of film per month. In the end, that just felt too overwhelming and I gave up before I even got started. So I'm going to make it easy on myself and just try to take one roll of black and white film. It's something I really want to do. If I can do more than that, great. But if I just get the one done, I'll feel I accomplished something photography-related this year. 

9. Work with V on her business idea
That's right, V has an idea for her own business. She's been talking about it for a good month now and I told her we'd get started on it after the new year. Of course she needs my help for it but she has already come up with ideas for two products and the name for the company all on her own. Of course it's all just fun for her, but I want to make sure I give her the best experience possible with it and to handle it all in the right way, as appropriate for her age and skills.

To keep up with all this, I have started a board on Pinterest. My intention is that it will become a mixture of inspiration and my own completed projects.

So, to get my crafty 2012 started off with a bang, I've begun my first pair of socks (here's my Rav project page for all the details).

Socks for V

Everything else I think I can do, as long as I plan when to do them, gather the materials sometime before the last minute, and possibly print and keep a copy of this post in my datebook.

I have a couple of other resolutions I've made too, but those aren't as fun. One is to floss my teeth every day in 2012. I used to do this, but fell out of the habit. I'd also like to get back to being plant-strong. That's my eternal struggle, apparently. And getting much, much, much more organized. I plan to do this with help from a book I found through Ginny at Small Things. The book is called Organizing Solutions for People with Attention Deficit Disorder. While I don't have ADD, my life is sufficiently busy enough that I get pulled in 20 different directions throughout the day and end up accomplishing maybe one thing when I should've finished five. This book has ideas for organization that just make sense to me. They're not always pretty, but if it's easier to clean up my house, I think it'll get done that much more often.

What about you? Any resolutions, crafty or otherwise?