Tag Archives: yarn

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?

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?

Big Things Ahead

First, my show at the Handmade Market last week was awesome. For my first show, I don’t think it could have gone any better. I sold some things, met some new people and bought an awesome apron (pictures tomorrow) and just all around had a great time.

Handmade Market Booth

Handmade Market Booth: Show of Color

In other news, I and a group of like-minded fibery friends are working to a fiber arts collaborative off the ground. We are calling ourselves the Potwin Fiber Artisans. Our goal is start teaching some classes and raise some money to eventually be a destination for all things fibery in NE Kansas.

Our 2nd Annual Fiber Arts Bazaar is right around the corner, Nov. 4th and 5th at Potwin Presbyterian Church. I will be there selling my wares, as doing a demonstration on Armpit Knitting. As part of our fundraising effort, there will also be a silent auction which I know has handmade object ranging from scarves to quilts to handspun yarn and even a couple of special gift baskets. It should be a blast.

Information on classes will be coming out soon. In the meantime, we can be found on facebook and as @KEKSPFA on twitter.

Tomorrow!

Teasing: What I did in July

So, I posted my spinning from the first day of the Tour de Fleece, and since then there has been blog silence. I realize it’s been a month, but I have been working hard. What follows is just a peak of what I’ve been up to.

Here is the rest of my TdF spinning:

Hummingbird Handspun from Cosymakes Farm Wool Club
Humming Bird Corriedale from Cosy Makes

Brown Shetland Handspun
Natural Brown Shetland

Brown Shetland and Fawn Alpaca Handspun

A Little Bit of Brown Shetland plied with a sample of Fawn Alpaca

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My First 3-Ply! BFL in Stina from Blue Dog Fibers

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Some Targhee/Mohair from Cosy Makes again. Not a great picture, but really great yarn, and fun to spin. I. Love. Mohair.

I dyed some Merino/Cashmere/Nylon, which is so soft I want to sit and snuggle with it more than anything else. I have been working on some autumn colors and am completely in love with this amber/gold.

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Despite the extreme heat we’ve been experiencing in Kansas, I am still managing to get some work done.
Knitting has been flying off my needles in the form of test knits for the shop. Expect photos of those to come!

In Which I Make You Hungry

I have a conundrum. It turns out that two of my favorite past-times are vying for the same space. You all know about the dyeing thing. It’s all over this blog. The interesting thing is, that for dyeing one needs some counter space, a couple of pots, probably some aluminum foil and some plastic wrap, and a stove top. This is where the problem comes in. I am really starting to fall in love with cooking, which uses similar equipment. (Not the same equipment mind you. Never mix your dyeing and your cooking materials. Dyes are not meant to be eaten.) Since it could be hazardous, I never dye and cook at the same time, which means when it comes to a choice between having enough time to dye some more products or cook a delicious, from scratch meal, the cooking usually wins out.

Joining the CSA this year was completely worth the money. I love that I can go pick up fresh produce once a week, and that there is usually a vegetable I haven’t tried before. So far it had mostly been a new type of green. It was a banner year for greens, let me tell you. This week it was turnips. I don’t know how I made it to 26 without ever (knowingly) eating a turnip, but I did. I made a turnip and potato potage from this book

that turned out delicious. In fact, I plan on having the leftovers for lunch. I the Local Flavors book a lot. It is good for generating ideas for using what you have instead of going out and buying food to cook a specific recipe. Also, the recipes I have made so far kind of follow my general method of cooking, which is to throw vegetables in a pan with some other stuff and see what happens. I especially liked making my own broth (for “Elixir of Fresh Peas”) out of pea pods.

And because I apparently have a deep desire to watch things grow and grow quickly, I bought a sprouting jar and some sprouts. I have a bag full of broccoli sprouts I have been putting on everything. They are delicious, crunchy, and have more flavor than alfalfa sprouts. I have a mix of bean sprouts growing right now that are mostly lentils. Who knows what I am going to do with those, but they are pretty.

Another recipe I have been making a lot is the Master Bread Recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Of course, I use whole wheat flour, which is not what the recipe calls for, but it turns out just as good. In fact, I find using whole grain flours actually adds to the flavor. (You should probably add an extra 1/4 cup of water, however.) This dough recipe is super versatile. It not only makes the usual little peasant loaf, but it also makes a delicious pizza crust (which Athrun will eat). I even used it to make pita bread one night. Amazing.

Tonight I am using the last of our spinach pesto (made when we had CSA spinach coming out our ears) and goat cheese pizza with caramelized onions. It’s my new favorite thing, and it makes me kind of sad that spinach season is ending. However, I am sure it will be just as good with basil pesto come August.

In Shop News
I mentioned on my Facebook Group that I have been thinking of adding some hand-knit goods to my shop inventory. Of course, this means I have to make some hand-knit goods to put in my shop. I have a few ideas, but I am slightly hesitant about taking this step. I am not sure I want to become a production knitter. (Plus, I have some things I want to make for myself, and still owe Brock sweaters…) So, I have a couple of patterns I will be knitting up over the next few weeks, and I will post them as an experiment.

But first I need finish up all my super-secret birthday knitting, so I better get to work.

My Magic Pink Overnight Bag

I have done nothing shop related for the past four days. In many ways, this is probably very, very bad. And in many ways this has been very, very good. Although my shop has only been open a month and I should probably be spending more time than ever promoting it and bulking up my inventory, I got to Saturday and I just couldn’t. Saturday and Sunday are usually my big production days because I don’t work in the afternoons and I don’t have class. I try to get the house the clean and then mess it all up again by dyeing like crazy. This Saturday, after work, after going to the gym, I fell asleep on the sofa while Athrun, beneficently, played quietly by himself on the floor beside me. While I thank my incredibly savvy four-year old son for being good enough to recognize that I was completely beat, this scenario is not all right with me at all.

I knew, a year ago, when I started planning to open my shop, that it would add a heavy work load to my already over-committed and admittedly stressful schedule. I knew that the upcoming school year, while being my last, might also be my most intense. I also knew that I most likely would not be able to cut back my hours at my day job; it just would not be financially feasible. And never for one moment did I think that I couldn’t get it all done. And I still don’t.

One thing I have had to admit to myself recently is that is it OK to take a break every now and again. I don’t have to work constantly. (And believe me, for about the last six or seven years, that is kind of all I have done.) So, when I was rested enough to hold my own consciousness on Saturday, all my plans of dyeing some more silk hankies went completely out the window. I decided it was time for a break. I let myself off. I have been letting myself off of a lot of things the past few days. Housework. Homework (I did some today, and I plan to do some more as soon as I get this post published). Dyeing. Social-networking (which is the hardest part of the online business for me. I am a complete internet introvert). Instead, I ordered a couple of spring dresses for myself off the internet rather than yarn or roving. I bought a couple of simple card games to play with my son. I got a start on all the books I have bought over the last few months. I finished two books this week. One was The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. This book was fantastic. It has all of the silly elements I have come to expect from Patricia C. Wrede and her Enchanted Forest Chronicles, with all the lovely romance and intrigue one expects from Regency England. Go out and buy all seven books (three from Enchanted Chocolate Pot Series and four from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles) from your local bookstore and enjoy. It makes for brilliant spring reading. In fact, I am taking the second chocolate pot book, The Grand Tour, with me on the plane tomorrow, but more on that later.

The other book I finished was Rachel Herron’s How to Knit a Heart Back Home. This is the second romance I have ever read (the first one being the book’s precursor, How to Knit a Love Song), but I have to say I thought this book was simply phenomenal. I enjoyed Rachel’s first book, but I really think she has created a genre all her own in her second book. It had romance, and it had knitting, and it had a beautiful beach town, but it also had a lot of complex character work, a lot of charm, and a lot of humor. That is a lot of stuff to work into just one story. As a fellow creative writing major (and in two months, an official fellow Creative Writer Degree Holder), I really, really just want to call Rachel Herron up and say. “Cheerio, brilliant novel my dear. Beautiful work.” As I neither know her, nor have the ability to play the nonchalant Brit I have always admired, all I can really say is that I wish Rachel Herron was my real life writing buddy. And you should go buy both her books. And her third one when it comes out in the fall. And I am so knitting the sweater pattern at the end of the book. Yeah, her books are that cool.

In addition to all that, I am going on an adventure this weekend. I am flying to Denver by myself. I have never ever ever traveled on my own. I am visiting my brilliant sister, Audrey, who goes to school there, so I am not going to be by myself the whole time, but I am actually getting on a plane on my own and flying for an hour, and landing. No parents, no boyfriend, no kid, no siblings, no high school German teacher. I will be standing in line, by myself, reading my young adult novel and hoping they don’t confiscate my knitting project (the birthday present for my other sister, so it would be really tragic). I am trying not to be afraid, because the traveling part really doesn’t bother me. The fact that I don’t like planes or airports or being more than three feet above stable ground at any time is mostly peripheral. I am really just more amazed that I have somehow made it to 26 without going anywhere on my own. And, I don’t even feel a little bit guilty about leaving Athrun behind. (OK, so I might have teared up a little bit when he was helping me pack this morning and he got upset and cried and said, “But I really wanted to go with you this time too.” And I understand that, since we went to Denver at this same time last year together, he would want to go again, but right now, the logistics just aren’t there.) What this really boils down to is, I need some time to relax. And I am completely psyched to be going, to be doing something different, to be loading myself with my magic (because it has accommodated my tendency to over pack and still be smaller than your standard carry-on bag) pink overnight bag and my sparkly Tom’s onto an airplane and seeing what Denver has to offer. I am hoping these things include a showing of Equus, Jane Eyre (the new film), a few really good local yarn stores, and a lot of good food. I do have my camera and my laptop packed into my magic pink overnight bag, which means I have the intention of blogging my trip, if not the time while I am gone.

I arrive back home Sunday and the whole of spring break stretched out a head of me. If you are keeping tabs on the shop, I would expect to start seeing some major updates and additions about this time next week.

For now though, I finished the cardigan I planned to take on my trip today, and my spring dresses arrived in time for me to pack them. Everything is looking pretty good.