Monday, December 1, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 25: Heel Connoisseur




 This week I've been working on Hitofude and Hermione’s Everyday Socks out of a colorway by Nerd Girl Yarn. I’ve also been cutting fabric for pajamas for all of the kids. 

I love the amazing bath, body, and baby things at LuSaorganics.com and just restocked our cabinets.

We are preparing for the holiday season- I'd love to know some of your traditions and favorite winter things. Please share on the Episode 25 Thread on Ravelry.

I'm working on learning new sock heels and mention Sock Architectureby Lara Neel.

I picked up Hiya Hiya Sharps and Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina needles to try out this week.



Events: I will be heading to Stitches West February 19-22.



You can join in on the podcast conversation on:




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 24: Bizarre Circle of Conversation






Lots of Halloween sewing for this year, mostly for Ender's archer ensemble:




Knitting: World Series Socks, Hitofude, 5-1 Mittens, Flax


Winter Wear KAL: Let's knit together on some items for this winter- anything winter related can be connected to this KAL! 

Join in by tagging your work with #winterwearKAL on Instagram and Twitter or on the Ravelry thread for the KAL.


Craftsy class: Handknit Knitting Design with Shirley Paden. Can you visualize what the written pattern will become before you have knit it? I'd love to know about how you see your knitting.


On the Nightstand: Life of Pi by Yann MartelHistory of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer, Voyager by Diana Gabaldon


Events: Stitches West February 19-22


You can join in on the podcast conversation on:




Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Nervous Knitting



Evenings are my knitting time, and lately evenings have been all about baseball.



Kansas City baseball.


In October.






October!!!






And last night found me at the ballpark with my husband, standing most of the night nervously knitting along and hoping to see something amazing from our boys in blue.














Meet the sock of the night- the sock I formerly titled as the "Spare Sock" on Ravelry, but now know it as my World Series Socks. The Blue, the orange... so fitting. I thought before we went that the knitting would sit uselessly in my hands as I watched, but I needed the knitting to alleviate the stress, and by the middle of the 6th inning I was through with this sock and cast on the second.


Now we wait for tonight's game to redeem yesterday's.


Reading this week: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon and Anything by Jennie Allen.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 23: A Whack of Hats






This week I wore the Shapely Boyfriend Sweater by Stefanie Japel, and several pairs of wool socks.

I worked on the Spare SocksLooped Loop, Ender's sweater and FINISHED Braid Hills! I also made a whack of hats, but there are no ravelry pages for them yet. I also cast on Glitz at the Ritz using a club yarn from Nerd Girl Yarns club Random Fandom.


Winter Wear KAL: Let's knit together on some items for this winter- anything winter related can be connected to this KAL! Join in by tagging your work with #winterwearKAL on Instagram and Twitter.

I've been  working through the Handknit Garment Design Craftsy class with Shirley Paden over the last few weeks. What have you been learning lately? Please share on the Ravelry thread for Episode 23!


On the Nightstand:


Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman

I love new book suggestions. Feel free to share what you are reading in the comments for this post or on the ravelry thread for this episode.



You can join in on the podcast conversation on:




Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 22: Dude in A Kilt




This week we talk about my SPAKAL spinning, the Spare Socks, and Looped Loop.

Winter Wear KAL: Let's knit together on some items for this winter- anything winter related can be connected to this KAL! Join in by tagging your work with #winterwearKAL on Instagram and Twitter.

Projects/plans talked about in the winterwearKAL portion of the podcast include: Braid Hills cardiganFlax, and Soledad.

Pocket Jamie makes an appearance in the tips and tricks section. He's worth a quick peak!

Sunday Short Rows Video is mentioned in Try New Things


Winter Wear KAL Top 5:








You can join in on the podcast conversation on:




Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Like a Real Sweater











It's always a wonderful feeling when the item you're knitting starts to actually look like the item you're knitting. I'm almost done working the first sleeve of Braid Hills and it feels real- it's NOT just a blob of knitting in my lap with all these weird bits tied off on spare yarn to hold for later. It feels like a sweater and it's coming to look like one too. I was able to try it on last night to check sleeve length, and I'm so very happy with it at this moment. We'll see how it feels once I get to work on the second sleeve in the next day or two.





At the moment I'm working the cable chart on the sleeves and finding the cables much easier now that I'm working in the round and always on the right side as I knit. Far better than working the chart back and forth! A few more rows on the chart then off to the cuff and second sleeve.


I've been reading a lot of bits of things this week. I'm taking another read through Dragonfly in Amber and listening to Life of Pi on audiobook. I'm trying to keep moving through The Time in Between by Maria Duenas, but it still has not really grabbed me 38 pages in. I'll give it until 50 pages I think, but we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Frankenstein




{Yarning Along with Ginny this week. Won't you join us?}






Welcome to the Braid Hills cardigan, currently in the Frankenstein stage of the sweater process. Six different sections are currently held on waste yarn, but the back is done as well as the right front. Up next: left front.


This project is so hard to photograph right now. The color looks so very different depending on the angle and light and none of these pictures are as accurate as the yarn looks up close in real life.






I mentioned on the podcast that I made a grievous error in my yardage calculations and had to order more yarn... two skeins just in case, even though one will probably be fine. I didn't want to take any chances this time and risk having to order another skein to finish the last little bit. I can surely find a project for a spare skein of MadTosh DK if I have leftovers. I'm stopped on the project until the yarn shows up. I keep stalking the shipping information to make sure it is steadily heading my direction. I might cry if it gets lost. No... I know I would cry.






I've been reading a lot through August, but started back to work last week and slowed down again. I'm still working my way through The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst in preparation for a book club meeting at the end of the month, and I recently started The Time in Between by Maria Duenas. I'm not sure about this one yet, but I'll keep reading for now. I also have The Yarn Whisper by Clara Parkes waiting in line to be read next.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 21: I Say These Things






This week I talk about my SPAKAL project, the Braid Hills Cardigan, and the Spare Socks (I *did* cast on a sock!!! Why did I say last week that I wouldn't????)


Some of my favorite books that include finishing techniques:

Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book

Finishing School by Deborah Newton

Principles of Knitting by Jane Hyatt



weaving in ends video from knittinghelp.com


Winter Wear KAL: Let's knit together on some items for this winter- anything winter related can be connected to this KAL! Join in by tagging your work with #winterwearKAL on Instagram and Twitter.



You can join in on the podcast conversation on:




Monday, September 1, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 20: Make Friends with the Gauge Swatch






This week I finished the House Targaryen Socks (knit in Nerd Girl Yarns colorway Regenerate) and made a lot of progress on the Braid Hills cardigan. I also mentioned Soledad and my progress on my SPAKAL sweater project.


Question: How do you store your tools?







Today in Always Learning we discuss accurate body measurements, ease, and sizing with a gauge swatch. Use #knittinginvestment to tag your knitting investments on Instagram and Twitter.


The buttonhole I'm using on the Braid Hills Cardigan can be found on knittinghelp.com.


You can join in on the podcast conversation on:




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pair #8


We took a little road trip last weekend and I decided to take 2 projects: The Braid Hills Cardigan I cast on about two week ago, and the House Targaryen Socks I've been working on since Stitches Midwest. My guideline for the knitting was to work on the sock whenever I might need to start and stop frequently and to work on the cardigan in blocks of time, probably evenings. The great thing about traveling with a toddler is the fact that we will be done for the day and back in the hotel ready to head to bed no later than 7:30 p.m., guaranteeing me evenings to rest and knit.




The cardigan is my #kiltmenowkal/#countdowntooutlander project and it's going well so far- I put about 3 inches on it over the weekend, and learned a new-to-me buttonhole. I'm at a point where I can knit, knit, knit through the body aside from the little cables and buttonholes, so I'm happily clicking away on it and can now knit on it without bigger blocks of time.


The House Targaryen socks are officially done- well, they're still drying after a wash and block, but counted as complete! I turned the heel of the second sock on the drive down, and worked on it in bits and pieces through the weekend, grafting the toe as we pulled into our neighborhood. LOVE the perfect timing. These are the 8th pair I've completed for myself in 2014, 9th overall. And with that I'm on a sock knitting hiatus until I finish a few other things on my knit list.




I've been reading Outlander on the kindle again to refresh it in my mind before watching the t.v. show. I finished it and moved on to The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. I have so many books just waiting to be read and not enough time to read them!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 19: Knitting Investments






This week I worked on the House Targaryen Socks, finished the Little Flower Hat, and cast on for the Braid Hills Cardigan.


Patty Lyons introduced me to Knitter's Graph Paper.


I talk about taking the time to invest in your knits by selecting great materials and planning ahead.




You can join in on the podcast conversation on:




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

State of the Basket





How many sweaters can just sit in your basket with knitting complete, totally wearable if you would just weave ends, sew on buttons and block?

The answer is two, my friends.

There are two sweaters in there, each in need of 3 tiny details to make them completely wearable this fall, and they WILL be ready for this fall.

I'm planning a little blocking party for Wednesday night for both sweaters and the shawl I completed in June, and if the finishing bug sticks around I might even tackle a few more small items that have been waiting patiently in the bottom of the basket for.... awhile now. It seems unfair to point out exactly how long it's been between stitches on a few items.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 18: Stitches Midwest!




This week I'm knitting the House Targaryen Socks (yarn from Nerd Girl Yarns) and the Jade Socks for my mom.


I attended Stitches Midwest last weekend. I saw a Babe Wheel up close, I got an amazing bag (Bummer) from Knerdshop, Little Red in the City by Ysolda Teague, and yarn from Kismet, Fresh from the Cauldron and Three Irish Girls.



{The supposed mini-skeins. I think only the dark purple ones count- your thoughts?}


At the podcaster meetup I met Prairie Girl Danie from Prairie Girl Knit and Spin Podcast, Emily from Knitting Butterflies, Boston Jen from Down Cellar Studio, and Paula and Bronwyn from Knitting Pipeline. They were all so kind and wonderful!

I took two classes at Stitches: Secrets of the Sleeve Cap Class with Patty Lyons (which is the first time anyone has ever made algebra truly relevant to my every day life) and From Hobby to Profession with Marly Bird.



You can join in on the podcast conversation on:







Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Regenerate


{Yarning along with Ginny this week. Won't you join us?}




This is the sock I brought with me to Stitches Midwest last weekend. When I left on Thursday it had about 8 rows of cuff on it, and when I pulled into the driveway Sunday night it was about half way down the foot. Not bad for the knitting conference where I didn't really spend my time knitting!


The pattern is House Targaryen Socks by Avalanche Designs and the yarn is Nerd Girl Yarns base Astral on the colorway Regenerate. I love the little bit of sparkle in the yarn.




I finished Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon and started immediately back at the beginning of the series on Outlander. I have a few other books going too. I need to dedicate some time to finishing up the stack of half finished books.


What are you knitting and reading this week?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Home



After being gone for four days the house is better than I left it thanks to my husband. Online things can hold, but kids cannot, and I don't want them to. I spent 15+ hours in the car, but brought back fun things from Stitches Midwest and a brain FULL of class notes and ideas.

We are supposed to have a half day of school today, full days start tomorrow.

Do I dare start potty training today too?

No, I'm not crazy.



I will be back in this space shortly. For now I'm sorting out the yarn goodies from the laundry in my suitcase and getting myself back in the swing of home.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Again with the Socks






More socks.


I know.


This is really strange to me, because until 2014 I *wanted* to knit more socks but didn't. And this is the first year I didn't set a focused on goal on socks, and yet.... socks. Eight pair, so far, seven for in my own drawers, and another two pair on the needles. I don't dare set a goal for the rest of the year, because I've already blown out my previous yearly sock knitting totals by quite a ways.


I finished these vanilla socks Sunday night while watching the first episode of Outlander, and had to cast on for the House Targaryen Socks as soon as I freed up the needles. I'm trying to move away from vanilla socks for a bit and into some patterned things, but nothing too scary yet. I love pattern suggestions!


I'm about 25% from the end of Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon on the kindle, and not really sure what I will move on to read once I'm finished with it- I've been reading the series since around the first of the year (with some other books in between), but once I finish this current one (which came out last month) it will likely be 4-5 years before the next one comes out. It's been nice to be invested in a significant series like this, but it always leaves me longing for another series to read.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 17: Making All the Plans





I'm still working on spinning the grey Shetland (from Spunky Eclectic) for the SPAKAL project.

I finished my Bright Lights Socks (Nerd Girl Yarns colorway: Glassical Phantasm)
working to free up needles so that I can work on the Braid Hills cardigan by Kate Davies that I mentioned in Episode 11. My new travel knit is House Targaryen in the NGY colorway Regenerate on the Astral base.




I *love* habitrpg- gaming for your daily accomplishments.


I'm excited to have the opportunity to go to Stitches Midwest this next weekend! I'm planning on two classes, one about pattern design and another about sleeve caps. The hardest decision has been how to pack my bags- I'm so excited for all the possibilities here!


My New Things this week are the NGY Random Fandom Yarn Club and hunting for sock patterns. I mention a few patterns:  Sock Recipe: A Good Plain SockLeyburn SocksNutkin, Hermione's Every Day Socks, and Baroque. Please share your favorite sock patterns in comments!



You can join in on the podcast conversation on:




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tour De Fleece: Final Tally



Tour de Fleece finished up on Sunday and I learned so much about my spinning over the course of this event. I am so very happy with my progress!




By the Numbers:

:: I started with 32 ounces of grey Shetland from Spunky Eclectic.

:: I decided on a 3 ply, and I'm still very happy with this decision The yarn is wonderfully round, which is exactly what I wanted.

:: I decided to ply as I went on the advice of a more experienced spinning friend, and I am really glad I did.

:: I was able to spin 24 ounces and it is all plied.

:: I still have 8 ounces to spin, and my goal is to finish that by August 6.


What I Learned:


1. I'm still spinning fairly densely. Even though my yarn is the desired worsted weight when plied, it is *dense* and won't give me the yardage I had hoped for. I will get better at this as I go, but this means that Harvest is likely off the table as a project for this yarn. I'm completely fine with that and I'm looking for a different project instead.


2. While this felt like a gigantic project up front, it really hasn't been. I worried that I'd be bored with the fiber after spinning 6-8 ounces of it, but that hasn't been a problem. In fact, it's been a beautiful and calming part of my day to sit at the wheel without figuring out the next steps or watching color work it's magic. It's a much-needed meditation with this fiber.


3. Making spinning a priority lessened my time for other creative pursuits, but in a way I am happy with. In fact, I'm working on fall schedule things and building very regular spinning time in is part of that fall build.


How did your spinning work during the tour? 

Did you accomplish as much as you hoped for?

Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 Goals, 6 months later



I shared my 2014 fiber goals back in January, and thought we'd check in with them today.



1. Finish 15 knits this year. It's the middle of July and I've finished 8 knitted things, including 7 (!!!) pairs of socks. On the needles: 4(!!!) sweaters, 1 pair of mittens, 2 pairs of socks. Do I go ahead and declare this the year of socks? 




2. Learn to spin with more control. I've been happy with my progress this year in spinning. I'm almost done spinning for my SPAKAL sweater, and I can't even say how I excited I am about how this project is going. Actually? More on that tomorrow!


3. Participate in the Ravellenic Games and in Tour de Fleece as I am able. I started a Ravellenic project,  but my arm did not hold up well. Tour de Fleece has been much better, and I'll have final numbers and photographs from my Tour spinning for you tomorrow.



`
4. Maybe actually write out a pattern or two this year? I've charted a few things, but no fully written patterns yet. This particular goal is the most exciting to me, but also the most terrifying.


5. Make 75% of Ellie's spring/summer and fall/winter wardrobes by hand. I have not even been close on this, mostly because of my arm issues. But those are clearing up and I'm finally back to spinning and knitting fully. I'm hoping to be back to my sewing machine in August.


6. Make more for the boys through this year, making at least 3 items for each of them. I have some things in progress or planned for the boys, so hopefully I'll be sharing some finished boy items soon.


How are your fiber-y goals going so far in 2014?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Spin Share



I'm working on spinning a little each day, and sharing my progress in this space on Fridays. 
Please join me! Share your spinning progress in comments- I'd love to see your work!






Last night I plied the 5th skein of Shetland so far. I have another 3 oz. waiting to be plied today, and I'm attempting to get another 1.5 oz. of singles onto the bobbins today to rest until I'm able to ply again tomorrow night. 


I will not get through all 32 oz. that I {secretly} wanted to get through, but I think I'll get close. I can reasonable expect that I might have 2 more skeins plied by late Sunday night, and maybe even another 2-3 oz. of singles complete by then, and I'm very happy with that. I have made so much progress this month, and I'm thrilled to have come through this project this well so far.






2 of the 5 skeins are different looking than the others- I used my new swift to wind the two longer skeins up so they aren't quite as short as the others. Each skein has very similar yardage, but the difference in how I formed the skeins makes them look significantly different. They've all had a soak, but I'm going to re-wind the shorter skeins to match the longer ones.



Have you been spinning this week? 

Share a link to your spinning progress in comments so that we can come visit your beautiful work!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 16: The One with All the Spinning




This week I knit on my Bright Lights Socks (dyed by Nerd Girl Yarns) and worked on fall knitting plans to make sure everyone gets the necessary hats/mittens/Christmas gifts for this year. I also mentioned the Wildflower Cardigan by Alana Dakos.

I worked hard on spinning for my Tour de Fleece SPAKAL project since last podcast.

I'm really loving A Simple Plan Planner from Mardel.com and started collecting links about growing a cut flower garden on my Cut Garden Pinterest board. I also mention Song School Latin.

I ordered a few new tools from Fiber Artist Supply Co. and listed the top 5 Books on my Nightstand right now: Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon, The Yarn Whisperer by Clara Parkes, and Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist.


You can join in on the podcast conversation on:







Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yarn Along



{Yarning Along with Ginny this week. Won't you join us?}




I've been spinning like crazy for Tour de Fleece, but I've worked in a little knitting too. The first of my "Bright Lights" socks are almost complete. Just a little more until I'm ready for toe decreases.


I'm reading a few different things at the moment (and have a crazy big stack waiting to be read!) but for the last few days I've been pouring all my attention into An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon since I'm very close to the end.


If you're spinning lately, won't you join us in this space on Fridays for Spin Share? Just post a link to your latest spinning in the comments on Friday's post so we can all come see your spinning progress!


Monday, July 21, 2014

In Which My Body Slows Me Down



Last week was not a great week, guys. The quick version is that I *don't* have a broken foot or a sprained wrist (in separate bouts of general clumsiness), but I did accidentally have some foods I can no longer have and it has knocked me down flat. I spent the last few days essentially on the couch or sleeping. This is the first morning I've woken up feeling like a human.


There will be a new podcast episode coming soon (sorry for the delay!) and another Tour de Fleece update in the next day or two. I lost a few days of spinning with the bruised foot, but also got a few really awesome spinning tools in the mail that I'm planning to talk about as soon as I've used them a little more.

I will be back in this space soon!





Monday, July 14, 2014

Tour de Fleece Update #1





Tour de Fleece is taking over, and I mean that in the greatest of ways. I find myself finishing up my spinning for the day and automatically thinking forward to when I'll next be able to spin. My pile of wool is shrinking as my singles and plied skeins grow.


Below is my progress so far:

Day 1 (7/5)- 2 oz.
Day 2 (7/6)- 1 oz.
Day 3 (7/7)- plied 3 oz. together
Day 4 (7/8)- 1 oz.
Day 5 (7/9)- spun 1 oz.
Day 6 (7/10)- 1 oz.
Day 7 (7/11)- plied 3 oz. together.
Day 8 (7/12) - spun 2 oz.
Day 9 (7/13) - spun 1 oz.


The plan for today is to ply, and then maybe spin another ounce, but I'll have to see how work and school goes today. Did I mention we started back to a half schedule of school last week?




If you're spinning for Tour de Fleece, or even just spinning and want to share, be sure to post in comments so we can come visit your progress!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Spin Share




I'm working on spinning a little each day, and sharing my progress in this space on Fridays. 
Please join me! Share your spinning progress in comments- I'd love to see your work!





Over the first few days of the tour I spun 3 ounces and plied them into this first skein. I'm spinning more singles today and through the weekend, and hopefully by Monday or Tuesday I'll have more skeins to show you!

I'm really loving this Shetland and how it is spinning up. One of my boys thinks the sheepy smell of the wool is hilarious; the other is not amused. I think it's wonderful, of course!


Have you been spinning this week? 

Share a link to your spinning progress in comments so that we can come visit your beautiful work!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Another Pair



I'm mostly spinning right now because of tour de fleece, but I just can't take my wheel with me most places, so there is still knitting to be done. I finished the Fluormania Socks over the past weekend, and immediately cast on another pair of socks, a dark pair, to contrast the neon I've been staring at for the last two weeks.




I have several books going right now- in fact, I had to make a list the other day and purpose to finish the ones that are closest to their ends so that my brain won't feel so stretched. I don't typically read so many different things at once. So the ones I'm reading most frequently right now are An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon and Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. The second book is for a book discussion where we are reading and discussing a chapter per week.

What are you knitting and reading this week?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Midnight Fiber and Fabric Podcast, Episode 15: Encouraging Kids in Fiber Arts





We visited Maker Faire Kansas City June 28th at Union Station. We were excited to see Nerd Girl Yarns there again this year.

This week I mentioned my Neon socks, the Jade Socks for my mom, My SPAKAL sweater (Tour de Fleece spinning) hosted by the Knitmore Girls.

In the spinning portion, I mention Abby Franquemont's youtube videosRespect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont and Start Spinning by Maggie Casey. Please come join Team Sasquatch for support while you spin!

I LOVE pink hair, I talk about encouraging kids in fiber arts and talk about trying to update my Ravelry page pictures (mention Soledad and Looped Loop).



You can join in on the podcast conversation on:




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