An exploration of my life as I know it. Knitting, working, creating, and cat-wrangling.

Monday, March 23, 2009

How Well Do You Know Me?


Would I wear this?


If you answered “HAH!”, then you are right.  This certainly is not a pattern that I would ever pick out for myself (but perhaps for those I don’t like), but then again, I didn’t.  No, this pattern happens to be part of the final shipment of the 7 Deadly Spins Club.  This, my friends, is Lust.

DSCF4140 From the insert*:

…designed a knit and crochet embellished combination scarf (I beg to differ on this being a scarf) to satisfy your “lust” for both techniques, and even added in some special pearl bead touches (pearl beads, on my neck?  you shouldn’t have, really, you SHOULDN’T have.  my brain is way too far in the gutter to have pearls on my neck.  I’d never stop blushing, and if you know me, you know that’s true.)  The yarn being used- Unique Sheep Verve in American Beauty Rose (great color and yardage) and Luxe in Lusty Pink and Leaf Green complete the design for a gorgeous finished scarf (again, ?)

It kind of goes on like that, explaining why this project fulfills my craft “lust”.  While I’m sure this project would be fun to make, and I do like making little crocheted flowers, I just wouldn’t be able to look at the end product with a straight face.  In this patterns (meager) defense, the pearl beads are optional. 

Aside from the pattern clearly not aimed at me, the yarn is very lovely.  The color of the red isn’t really accurate in the picture.  It’s a much more rose-colored red, with shots of reddish-purple.  And there’s 400 yds of it!  The pink and green are also very pretty and I’m sure I’ll find something cute to make with this yarn.  Thrown in with the project supplies was a bag of hershey’s kisses and some lip balm.

I was a little disappointed that they decided to re-use two yarn bases in this shipment, Verve (Gluttony) and Luxe (Pride).  I would have really liked to have seen a new base featured (like Singularity in Silk, Silk Twist, or Sashimi.  Any of these would have fit Lust in my eyes).  However, they did pick the yarns from my two favorite projects, so I know I like them. 

So, would I join again?  No.  While I enjoyed not knowing what/how the sin would be each month, I have realized that my mind/tastes are far more sinister than those in charge of this club.  There were definitely plenty of people that were/are pleased with all of their shipments, but I am one of the few that feels let down.

I will definitely be buying Unique Sheep yarn (the yarn was never a disappointment), and when I do so I’ll be purchasing it through Woolgirl (the shop I signed up for the club through).  She carries all different lines of yarn and has a really good selection.  However, I am going to be very weary of signing up for any themed clubs from now on, unless I’ve seen how they tend to interpret them.  This was my first club, and I learned a lot about how to select them and I did have fun talking with others on the boards.

So this is me, and now you know.  (take it away Jason….)

*I left the designers name out because I’m not attacking her personally, I’ve seen her other patterns and really like a lot of them.  Just not this one.

Friday, March 20, 2009

March Phat-ness

You got it, Bitches!  I got another Phat Fiber box!  This month the box sold out in 45 seconds during the first round!  45 FREAKING SECONDS!!!  I even woke up early with a hangover from the night before and a bit sleep deprived, and I still got one.  I was quick on the draw I tell you.  My etsy-foo is not to be messed with.  So, yeah, enough of my bragging.  On to the box!


Mine was decorated with all these cute stamps.  Jessie said her kids helped out and I think they gave my box a little extra love.  I could feel it, and I think it rocks!


In the envelope/recipe (for Colcannon, Irish mashed potatoes, the theme was Celtic this month), there were coupons and stitch markers.  The coupons are for Northern Bay Handspun, Wooliebullie, Natchwoolie, SLV Folk Arts and Fiber Festival (put on by Laura Murphy of Wildethyme), Danido Crafty, My Fair Bag Lady (no coupon, just a very vague business card), The Cupcake Factory, and Extreme Spinning.  The coupons were very generous this time around and it’s going to be difficult not to use all of them.


Also in the box, a stone pendant from Ambrosia and Bliss,


a very pretty stitch marker tied with the most adorable little bow, from The Twice Sheared Sheep,


and a photo card of a very delicious looking raspberry from Marlyn’s Corner Store.  And that was just in the envelope, people!  Onward!


Note:  The dollar did not come in the box, if anyone did get dollars in their box though, I call shenanigans.  Mine came from my pocket and it’s just there for scale.

First, some adorable samples of Rambouillet and Merino top from East Kentucky Fibers.  From what I gather from the card, the cream (undyed) is Merino top and the dyed samples are Rambouillet in her various dyelots.  They’re very soft and the colors are nice and rich.


From The Fox Hop, about .5oz of Corriedale cross, Shetland Fleece, Superwash Merino, Alpaca, Bamboo, Sea Cell, and Angelina.  She labels it as a Foxyie Batt, but I’m gonna call it “The Kitchen Sink”, cause it’s got everything but that.  It’s hard to tell in this picture, but the angelina in this batt absolutely glitters!  I keep turning it so the light catches it all over and it just sparkles.  Sigh.


Ohhhhh.  Fiberphile Alchemy.  I love her colors and this one is no exception.   She sent in 5.2g of Merino Bamboo (80/20) Sock yarn in the Emerald Isle colorway.  It’s so squishy and soft!  Quote from her card:  Fiberphile Alchemy is dyed in random overlapping layers of two to four harmonious colors.  This technique creates beautiful blending effects and results in a rich, mulit-dimensional colorscape for your finished project.  How could you not want some of that?!


Moonlight and Laughter sent in an 18 yd skein of Merino/Nylon (75/25) Superwash Sock yarn in the colorway “Kil Kelly”.  It is very squishy and looks like it will have great stitch definition.  The colorway reminds me of my Mom, they’re very much her colors, so therefore I love it!  (she also had a coupon for 20% off your first purchase, so I might have to get a skein of this for mother’s day)



Punk Jordane sent in a really uniquely packaged mini skein of Superwash Wool.  The buttery yellow/soft yarn is wrapped around a bamboo stalk!  Cool!  She also sent a sample of her scented bath salts.  The scent is Full Bloom and she uses real sea salt and cosmetic grade fragrance oils.  It smells really good and it seems like a little would go a long way.


I LOVE the colors on this yarn!  The way it’s spun reminds me of the sample from Fuzzy Bunny yarns in January, but it’s not.  It’s from Simply Twisted Yarns, and it’s got me simply twisted!  There is no fiber content included, but it weighs 23.6g and is about Sport weight.  I can’t wait to see how these colors blend!


This lovely ball of fluff is from Tersa Levite Studio.  It’s .25oz of Hand Dyed & Blended Shetland Wool/Tussah Silk (60/40).  The color is actually brighter than this picture shows.  It’s almost neon green, love it!

This is about the time in the photo session where Sam started to take interest.  So most of the following photos will feature him, or some part of him.

DSCF4120See, there’s a paw.  And some handspun from Dragonmaille (great name!)  It’s 13yds of Alpaca/wool blend in the Celtic Isle colorway.  It has shades of green and brown that are hard to pick up in this picture.  Believe me, it’s very pretty. It’s also spun really well, it’s very even and soft.  I hope one day I can spin this nicely.


Three different colors of Suri Alpaca Locks from Moonwood Farm.  The colors are (top to bottom) Irish Moss, Celtic Gold, and Light Fawn.  From the card:  These samples are washed but will need to be combed before use to remove vegetable matter.  I don’t really have anything to comb them with (except for my comb, but I don’t think that’s the kind they’re talking about), and I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do with them.  But they are pretty, and soft and one day I may find out how to spin with them.


Sam’s helping.  This is quite a generous skein from Abstract Fibers.  25.5g of Mighty Sock (Superwash Merino/Tencel; 50/50) in a Husband-worthy colorway, Steel Bridge.  It’s shiny and soft, and Sam-approved.  That’s good enough for me!

DSCF4125 It’s called Cordelia!  (no, not after the Buffy cohort/Angel sidekick, but I’m going to pretend it is)  That would be all I need to know, but I’m sure some of you aren’t as easily convinced (or huge dorks like me, but I certainly know some of you are!).  This is a 15yd skein of Extravagance Sock Yarn from Knit It Up (remember them, I got some smelly and some soft from them).  It’s Superwash Merino/Silk/Nylon/Silver Fibers (63/20/15/2).  It’s got bling, yo!  You can’t tell in this picture, it’s very subtle, but it does sparkle.  Also, the color is actually a little darker than this picture shows.

DSCF4126 From Aurora Fiber Arts, this is 2oz of Fireweed Worsted Merino Wool in the Eire colorway.  The colors are lovely and I’m always on the lookout for a nice worsted wool.  I will be keeping and eye on her site for sure!


DSCF4129This deliciousness is from Extreme Spinning.  There are so many good things about this fiber that I think I better let her explain it.  From the card:

 Since I love knitting things that CAN be washed, especially for kids and socks, but hate the idea of always having to work with superwash chemicals, I searched all over for the right wool.  Finally, I found it!  From a small, family farm in the mid-west (what-up!) comes this Certified Organic wool.  These beautiful sheep are raised on open pastures and lots of love!  Happy Sheep make Happy Fibers! 

The roving in your hands comes from Suffolk/Hampshire crosses which are “down” breeds, not wool breeds.  Instead of crimp, down wool has curl, keeping the yarn bouncy even if spun worsted.  For an extremely squishy yarn, spin it woolen! (I don’t know what that means)   The more you wash it, the softer it becomes.  Spin, Knit & Wash!

I have also used no harsh chemical dyes to create this machine washable wool.   The colors you see were created by the new Greener Shades Dyes, an organically certified line of dyes created without use of heavy metals.  And I use an organic soap to wash my fibers.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

I don’t think I need to say anything more.  Except that those two pictures are the same batt (approx. .25oz), top and bottom.

DSCF4130 Yay!  Another KIP bag!  Ruddawg makes awesome bags.  This one is a little smaller than the other one I have, but it’ll fit in my “fancy” purse much nicer.  She’s always getting in new fabric so check her site often!

DSCF4131Sam would NOT leave this skein alone!  I don’t blame him either (he gets his great taste from his Mommy), it’s Hedgehog Fibers!!!  My very first 100% silk roving in a delicious colorway (that’s actually the same colors as my cat, no wonder he likes it), Traffic Jam.  I don’t know how many oz it is, but however much, it will never be enough.  I (and Sam) heart Hedgehog fibers!

DSCF4138 Hiding out at the bottom of the box, was the Boho Knitter!  Well, not actually her, but one of her patterns.  The Bocca Baciata hair comb pattern, which now that my hair is short, wouldn’t really work.  But I know someone who would look adorable in this, I’m thinking black and red (what do you think Jen?).

So that is my box.  I think the vendors were very generous this month, most of the sample sizes were very large.  I thought the ratio of different types of samples was pretty good (although I would have preferred more fiber, but I think that’s because I’m just getting hooked).  No Knickolas for me, which I was a little sad about.  I wanted to take pictures of him with Franklin Habit, who will be speaking at our library’s Knit-In next week.  Oh well, I might be chauffeuring him around for a bit and Knick is the one missing out.  :) 

Please click on the links and show these Phatties your love.  These are all independent businesses and they can really use our help.  All of the products I have received have been high quality.  The prices at most of these shops are very reasonable as well, they understand that in an economic crisis they are not exactly top priority for the budget (but that depends on how faithful you are to your budget!).  They go out of their way to make sure that your shopping experience is a good one, and some of them even throw in little extras!  Ok.  This concludes my advertising broadcast.  Pictures of handspun to come when I get my birthday spindle from Ray!

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Gift From A Friend

My friend, Maura, went to visit our friend, Heather, in Mankato, MN this last weekend.  We had planned on going together, but work has kept me from being able to go out of town this month.  So, Maura took her first trip (since living in WI) out of town by herself to visit a friend.  It sounds like she had a really fun time, and I can't wait until we can go together and get into some crazy shenanigans.

At one of the several yarn shops they went to, Maura saw some fiber that she knew I would love.  So, being the awesome and wonderful friend that she is, she bought it for me.  Squee!


It's gorgeous, soft, shiny, and SOFT!  Leave it to Maura.  She knew that I was kind of jonesing for some fiber so she brought me a fix!  I love her.  Check this out:



But, you know, she gave this to me on Saturday night.  And I had Sunday off.  Do you see where this is going?  Well, if not, I'll help you out.


This was spun on my Louet drop spindle.  It's a worsted to bulky weight yarn and is approx. 38 yds.  I'm thinking I might be getting a new spindle for my birthday, one that is lighter.  So then I'll be able to spin thinner weights, and therefore make my fiber go a little further.  I also need to work on not over spinning as well.  I tend to get parts of the yarn that coil up on themselves.  This yarn is still really soft though and I think it will make a very nice neck warmer.  Or something.  I could really use a cute crochet mesh hat to go with my new haircut and the soon-to-be-warming weather.  Hmmmm..... so many possibilities.  Want to see another one?  Okay, okay, here you go.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Hey Big Haircut!


Yay!  I got my hairs cut today!  My (awesome) friend, Leah, does hair and nails down at the Orange Pearl Salon (call and make an appointment with her and tell her I sent you, she'll give you a great head massage!) in La Crosse.    She gives great cut.  Much better cut than I do pictures, but here are a few more anyway.



Sam approves (as much as his grumpy nature will allow anyway).  I also went to see The Watchmen today.  I won't say too much, since I know a few people that read this haven't seen it yet.  I'll just say.......hmmmh (that's a pensive hmmmh, not a pompous hmmmh) and ouch.  Take that how you may.