Category Archives: In The Works

Knitting Class

Between running errands and putting up the Christmas tree today, I have been cementing the details of my lesson plan for my first knitting class. I cannot say how jazzed I am to have the opportunity to pass on a bit of what I have learned over the last couple of years.

I finished one of my samples today, and it’s bright pink and fun.

Just for fun, my second knitting project ever.

I used it as a sleeve for my netbook while I was in school. It worked great!

Is there anything you want to learn how to make?

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Something New

I have never used lace weight before. For some reason I just never really thought about giving it a second thought. But when I was at Juniper Moon Farm for shepherding camp, there was a great big bowl of their new yarn line in the living room, and I could not put the Findley lace weight yarn down. Inspired thus, I came home and procured myself two skeins of merino lace yarn. (Pictured above. Dyed myself, of course, is my favorite wintery plum color.)

My plan is to someday, make this sweater. Because I am nothing if not ambitious. No lace bookmarks or skinny little scarves for me. Give me all or give me nothing, apparently.

Have you done anything with lace?

F. O.

I have a small parade of Finished Object to share. I finished them off over the weekend and should probably get myself back to work.

First up, I spun some merino which I hand painted and then navajo-plied. (Not bad for my first try if I do say so myself).

Became Athrun’s open fingered gloves for this year.


Once they were finished, I couldn’t get him to take them off.

Then I made a matching hat.

Which I had to frog three times due to twisted stitches and gauge issues.


It worked out in the end though. I absolutely love the fabric of this hat. I might do nothing but navajo-ply in the future to get this same texture in all of my hand spun. It is luscious.

Also, Athrun wanted a really big pom-pom

Behold! My very first pom-pom.

I also finally finished Brock’s Cobblestone Pullover. The photos kind of speak for themselves.

FIber Arts Bazaar

I was on TV! We were advertising the fiber arts bazaar this weekend. I was the one behind the wheel.

The weather guy kept saying it was 27 outside, but I am pretty sure it was 27 inside. I am still wearing two pairs of socks. Though I do hope everyone enjoyed my red toenails.

I will be at the bazaar tonight and tomorrow at Potwin Presbyterian Church in Topeka.
Friday from 5-9
Saturday from 9-4

We will have demonstrations all day Saturday, including me doing my best at some armpit knitting action, which should be hilarious.

Also, I have put my etsy shop on vacation until I return from Shepherding camp on Nov. 14th. I won’t be taking my computer along with me, but keep an eye on my twitter feed. If my phone works out on the farm, I will be tweeting.

And for you Nanowrimo-ers out there, I am running right on schedule with just under 7000 words so far, and it seems like I am cooking up some scandal.

See you in Potwin!

Writing First Thing

I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

I have never won, but this year, I will.

This morning I got to wake up and fulfill a life long dream: spend the entire morning writing. Despite going to school a gazillion years to earn my degree in creative writing, my classes or my job always got in the way of my writing. I have always preferred writing in the mornings. Today was the first time I ever I got to sit down and write uninterrupted until I was done. I wrote nearly 3,000 words this morning, making up for the time I spent napping last night, which I totally don’t regret.


The light is really bad in my dinning room in the mornings, but it’s not a bad place to write while I get my caffeine fix for the day.

Currently, I am on schedule for day three, though I hope to pull ahead by at least another couple thousand words this evening when I have the apartment to myself again. It’s been a long time since I have allowed myself to write completely uninhibited, which is why I think nanowrimo is such a great exercise. Write now. Edit later. Like many writers I constantly wrestle with my internal editor and writerly insecurities. Right now, I don’t care that much how good the writing is, I am just making a story happen. Once there is a story down on paper, then I can work on the fundamentals of creating quality sentences.

One thing that has really taken a lot of the pressure off this year is that I had no idea what I was going to write until I started writing Tuesday morning. (Illicitly, I will admit, on my work computer.) Since then, every time I have seated myself at my laptop to write, I have had no shortage of words. To put it bluntly, it has been exhilarating. Stress and just general exhaustion have kept me from writing much of anything these days, including blog posts, which is a shame, because it really is one of my favorite things to do.

Good luck to all you writers out there! May you reach your word count every day!

A Special Sunday Preview

Just a peak at what at the new stuff I will be offering at next weekend Bazaar. (What doesn’t sell will be up in the Tiny Dino Studios etsy shop sometime after next Saturday.

snake falkland top2

superstition merino top 2

spooky falkland handspun

heartsick falkland top2

grapevine falkland top3

big top merino top
This has become a big skein of thick n thin yarn which is out drying on the balcony right this very instant. It will be my donation to the silent auction.

autumn cheer merino top
I am working on spinning this gorgeous piece of merino right now. I have it in my head that I am going to navajo-ply it, even though I have never navajo-plied anything before ever–not that that’s ever stopped me.

My week is going to be filled with more fiber, a little trick or treating with the kiddo, and tolerating my last few days at the day job. What are you doing this week?

Hand-Spun! . . . and a whole lot more

055
200 yards worsted weight hand-spun wool

I am thrilled to announce that I am adding a line of hand-spun yarn to my etsy shop! The first addition is pictured above and more are on their way. I have been spinning all day long. I find the motion of spinning a deeply soothing exercise now that I have the hang of it. Because of that, I have been spending a lot of time at my wheel. So much time that there is no way I could ever knit all of the yarn I have been spinning. (Well, I probably could but I would really like to avoid having my apartment over flow with yarn the way cartoon laundry rooms do with soap suds.)

The summer is winding down. I have been finished with school for about three months now. Athrun started Kindergarten on Tuesday, and I have had zero luck finding a job outside the coffee shop, particularly a job I feel like I can really do well. This summer has been full of waffling back and forth on the issue: Do I find an office job that pays a little bit more and allows me to sleep like a regular human being or do I concentrate on growing my own business ventures and creating a job for myself? Do I find a job where I might have to cancel on Shephreding Camp (because did I mention I am going!) or do I stick with the coffee shop and work toward my goal of starting my own farm, possibly fiber csa, sometime within the next decade or do I go try my luck as an administrative assistant or a customer service rep?

To tell the truth, as ready as I am to be the coffee shop customer instead of the barista, I also want to have the opportunity to participate in 2012 season with Growing Growers so I can learn more about growing food out on my Future Fantasy Farm and meet the really great farmer’s who live in my area. I can’t tell you how drawn I am to the idea of participating in that program, but concerns about money kick in just like they always do. The basic concern being that I could really use some more of it. The temptation of money has pulled me back and forth over the past three months, but the strangest thing pointed me in what I feel is the right direction about two weeks ago. The complete lack of money for the right thing.

Not far from my apartment, there is a great shopping center which is mostly full of small, local businesses. One of these, a coffee shop that has always struggled (and was never open when I could go there, might I add) closed down. It’s a cute shop space, and if you’re from Topeka, you know which one I mean. It was all wood with big windows, a nice bar with a little seating downstairs, with a homey upstairs. I noticed the closed for good sign one morning on my way to work while filling up my gas tank. All I could think was “STUDIO SPACE!” and that’s pretty much all I thought the rest of the day.

The downstairs, with some renovation would make a really cute yarn shop, which Topeka is sorely lacking. And upstairs would be the perfect classroom space. You could hold small knitting/spinning classes and maybe even some dyeing lessons. It would small, cute, cozy, a gathering space even. Maybe I would keep the espresso machine. Everything a yarn shop should be. I could see it perfectly, but I knew the rent on that place would be more than I currently pay for where I am living, and nobody is giving out business loans–especially to a girl who already has a little debt and barely-above-minimum-wage job–but the motivating thought the past few weeks is that I can get there.

I don’t necessarily need the rented studio space, but it might be a stepping stone somewhere along the line. Right now I don’t really know. All I do know is that I am putting myself full-steam back into Tiny Dino Studios and going where it takes me. (I am hoping this means more blog posts as well as more products.)

I have some hand-knit samples worked up, but the photography hasn’t quite worked out yet. I almost feel like I need a dress form. But one, dress forms are expensive, two, most of the modern ones are ugly, so I would want to find a vintage one, which is probably even more expensive, and three, I have a very small apartment and finding a place for it might be a problem. All that aside, if you know of someone who has a nice vintage dress form along these lines, I would be happy to make them an offer.

Now, I am off to do some yoga, which is my other new project: losing all the weight I gained when I went back to school–which is a whole other blog post.