Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Two wonderous things happened here in the Steel City today: 1.) It snowed  and  2.) Sock #1 of my Peppermint Twist Socks is off the needles!  Fa-la-la-la-la  la-la-la-la


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Episode 21: Spin City

What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
  • Kraemer Mauch Chunky Roving in Almond Colorway - not done w/ 4oz roving yet
  • No Progress 
Other Stuff
Tech Tips
  • Interweave announces 2 NEW iOS Apps based on Ann Budd's popular guides, "The Knitter's Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements" and "The Crocheters Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements"!  In collaboration with Ann Budd, they've released:
  • KNITFreedom releases her Video e-Book: Brioche Knitting!
    • Review to come next week!
  • Ravulous Android App (Ravelry Projects)
    • $1.60
Stash Enhancement
  • SpinningFates Toula Sock in Holiday Whoobie Whatie colorway 
    • 2-ply, Fingering wt, 400 yds/100g
    • 80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon
  • numma numma doppio in red barlett pear colorway
    • 400 yds/ 4 ounces
    • 70% SW Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon
  • Into the Whirled Pakokku November Fiber Club in Walla Walla colorway
    • 4-ply, Fingering Wt, 460 yds/100g
    • 74% SW Merino, 25% Nylon
  • Fibernymph Dye Works
    • From Etsy Update
      • Bounce in Tree Frog Green (semi solid) colorway
        • 80% SW Merino, 20% Nylon
        • Fingering Wt, 400 yds
      • Bounce in Buttercup Yellow colorway
    • From Indie Knit & Spin in Pittsburgh
      • Bounce in Peanut Butter & Jelly colorway
      • Bounce in Tardis colorway
      • Bedazzled in Wayfarer colorway
        • 75% SW Merino, 20% Nylon, 5% Stellina
  • Space Cadet Creations Lucina in Frost colorway
    • 430 yds/100g, Fingering wt
    • 75% SW Merino, 20% Nylon, 5% Stellina
  • Kraemer Mauch Chunky Roving
    • 60% New Zealand Wool, 40% Domestic Wool
    • 4 oz each of Almond and Portobello colorways
  • WEBS Grab Bag
  • Stashbuster Knits  by Melissa Leapman
    • Part One
      • Sort & Organize
      • Combining scraps to achieve particular wts
      • Cataloging stash
      • How to Store
      • Protecting from Moths
      • Stash Bash
      • Planning Color Combos
      • Magic Ball Technique
      • Math & Science
    • Part Two
      • Patterns by wt!
    • 21 Patterns
    • Crown Publishing /PotterCraft
    • $19.99 US / $22.99 CAN
  • DISCLOSURE: Crown Publishing sent KnitPurlGurl a FREE copy of Stashbuster Knits FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceeding review.  All opinions in the preceeding review were those of KnitPurlGurl and do not necessarily reflect those of Crown Publishing or Melissa Leapman.
Upcoming Events In or Around the Pittsburgh Area
  • Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival
    • Feb. 10, 11, 12, 2012 at the Four Points Sheraton in Mars, PA
    • Friday, February 10, 2012 - Market & Classes 1:30 - 6:30
      Fashion Show with Emcee StevenBe: 7:30 - Wine and Cheese

      Saturday, February 11, 2012 - Market & Classes 9-5
      Pajama Party: 7:30 - Desserts, Prizes and Cash Bar

      Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 9-4
Question of the Week

  • What's on your fiber wish list this holiday season?


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Relaxation Fun!

So I took the past week off of blogging and podcasting to focus on relaxation and family time.  It was WONDERFUL!  Here's what I've been up to in the fiber world:

I finished my Cabletini Socks (pattern by Wendy D. Johnson).  I knit these in Lion Brand Yarn Sock Ease, Red Hots Colorway.  They fit so well and look adorable!  They are funky fall colors and  of course, I wore them on Thanksgiving!  ;p

I completed 5 sections of my Critron (pattern by Martha Simonsen) before I ran out of yarn.  I'm crocheting this up in Noro Sekku, Color #4, Lot A.  I was able to purchase another skein of the colorway in the same dye lot from a fellow Raveler (THANK GOD).  So I'll be working on this baby some more this week!

I CO some vanilla socks, which I am calling my Peppermint Twist Socks.  I'm using the Gusset Heel Basic Socks pattern by Wendy D. Johnson (available in her Socks from the Toe-Up book).  I'm knitting these in Toula Sock Yarn by SpinningFates  in Peppermint Twist (self-striping) colorway.

Finally, I visited Natural Stitches and took an Intro to Spindle Spinning class.  Having that short time with an instructor was wonderful!  Within 1 hr, I had that "Ah-Ha!" moment and started to feel much more comfortable with spinning.  Although it's going to take me oodles of practice to get my "yarn" to look consistent and to spin up a deliberate weight, I'm really enjoying it.  And as my spinning instructor suggested, I joined the Ravelry Group, 10 Minutes A Day, and plan to practice 10 minutes a day!  The fiber I am spinning is Kraemer Yarns Mauch Chunky in Almond colorway.  I picked up 4 ounces of that and also Kraemer Yarns Mauch Chunky in Portobello colorway.  I'm spinning it on my Golding Fiber Tools Solid Walnut 3", Top-Whorl Ring Spindle, 1.9 oz.

It's been a super fun week!  I got to spend a lot of time with the kidlets and the hubster.  We got to see my entire family for Thanksgiving!  And to top it off, we all got in some down time.  I hope you all had a fantastic holiday week! :)


Monday, November 21, 2011

On Holiday

Here in the U.S., it is a holiday week.  Fortunately, my family is able to all be together this week, so we are going to make the most of it.  The kids have a very abbreviated week and the hubster is off most of the week.  I plan on running all of my errands in these next two days before the fam is home for the week.  Then we will be traveling and spending time just enjoying our family.  Therefore, I won't be posting this week or recording a podcast.  Family time is so important and I want to make that my number 1 priority this week.

I hope you all have a fantastic week filled with good food and even better company!  I know we're so blessed and truly thankful for the love we share with one another and our family.  It will truly be a family-filled, wonderful week for us.  I can't wait to spend Thanksgiving with all of my nephews and niece, my brother, sister, & their spouses, my parents, and my wonderful kiddos and amazing husband!  I wish you all the same!



Saturday, November 19, 2011

Indie Knit & Spin

So today, DD & I hoofed it down to Pittsburgh for the Indie Knit & Spin: A Pittsburgh Yarn and Fiber Artists' Marketplace.  It was a very small venue, but wonderful!  I hope it becomes an annual event and continues to grow with local artisans!  It's so nice to support handmade for the holidays.  And of course, as a fiber enthusiast, I was tickled!

I got to meet Fibernymph (Lisa) in real life and of course, bought some of her yarn:

Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce in Tardis Colorway
Fingering Wt. (4 ply)
80% Merino/20% Nylon
400 yds/100g

Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce in Peanut Butter & Jelly Colorway
Fingering Wt. (4 ply)
80% Merino/20% Nylon
400 yds/100g

Fibernymph Dye Works Bedazzled in Wayfarer Colorway
Fingering Wt. (4 ply)
75% Merino / 20% Merino/ 5% Other
438 yds/100g

AND I got to see the fantastic Stephanie of SpaceCadet Creations again!!!  (She's such a delightful woman!) And of course, I just HAD to buy some of her fantabulous yarn:

SpaceCadet Creations Lucina in Frost Colorway
Fingering Wt. (3 ply)
75% Merino / 20% Nylon / 5% Other
430 yds / 100g

Lastly, I got the little sheep bag pictured underneath all of the yarn - suitable for small-medium projects!  It's a drawstring, lined bag and is SUPER ADORABLE!  I picked it up from Wren & Rita!

It was a great yarn day!!!  My DD & I had a lot of fun and I was thrilled to get some amazing yarn AND purchase from local artisans!


Friday, November 18, 2011

1000 Blog Follower Giveaway!

As of today, I have 1,000 Google Friend Connect followers on my blog!!!  ( There are many  more followers via feed subscription too, but they are harder to track.)

As a thank you for all of my loyal followers, I'm going to give away a skein of (self-striping) sock yarn that I had custom dyed for me in Candy Cane Stripes by Serenity Stitches! The yarn is her Quarks base.  It's a fingering weight (3-ply) yarn, 425 yards & 100g, 75% Superwash Merino/25% Nylon.  It's a $23 value.

Please follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to enter!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

KnitCircus Winter 2011-2012 Issue 16 is Out!

Check out the 23 FAB knitting & crochet patterns available in Issue 16! Purchase information can be found HERE.  :)

MY fave patterns in this issue:

  • Duplicity by Talitha Kuomi 
    • Double Knit Cowl/Neck Wrap
    • Fully Reversible
    • Sm-Md-Lg
  • French Roast Cardi by Rachel Dickman (Pictured above)
    • Knit Seamlessly from the neck down; raglan
    • Textured
    • Fits bust sizes 28" - 41"
  • Icy Rivulet by Kristina Vilimaite
    • Shallow, knit crescent shawl with ruffles & lace detail
    • Written & charted instruction
  • Ripen by Meghan Jackson
    • Knit shawl
    • Knit side to side
    • All around lace leaf edging, with ss center
    • 1 skein project
  • Sandrilene by Jessamyn Leib
    • Simple, knit ss open cardi with cable and twist detail on cuffs and collar
    • Should Shaping method using  modified EZ's Fantastic Seamless Hybrid Method - No sewing, picking up stitches, or breaking yarn
    • Worked in Worsted Wt
    • Fits chest 31.5" - 55.5"
    • Cable charts and written instructions
  • Speleology by Maria Naslund
    • Cuff-Down, knit socks
    • Cable detail
    • Cable charts and written instructions
    • Avail. in Women's Sm-Md-Lg
  • Sprite Collar by Lynn DT Hershberger
    • Zig-Zag, knit cowl that can be worked in 1 or 2 colors
    • Top of cowl is smaller than bottom, which increases to sit comfortably on the top of the shoulders
    • Avail. in Women's S/M, L
    • Written and charted instructions
  • Syrinx Hat & Infinity Cowl by Susanna IC
    • Spiral, lace, knit slouchy hat and long infinity cowl
    • Optional beading instructions available
    • Hat circumference - 24",  Cowl length - 50", Width - 9"
  • Verona Lace Cardi by Julie Fisk & Amy Detjen
    • Lace, knit cardigan with raglan sleeves
    • Open cardi, with top button closure detail
    • 3/4 sleeve
    • Bust - 38' - 58"
    • Written and charted instructions
  • Wild Cherry Cardi by Michele Moskaluk
    • Double knit, colorwork, cropped cardigan with top i-cord closure
    • Reversible
    • 1/2 - 3/4 sleeves
    • Chest - 35" - 51"
    • Written and charted instructions


PGH Knit & Crochet Festival 2012

Registration has OPENED for the 2012 PGH Knit & Crochet Festival in Mars, PA (just north of Pittsburgh).  There are classes Fri, Feb. 10th - Sun., Feb. 12, 2012!  There's a terrific marketplace and also some fun activities including a fashion show with wine & cheese on Friday night and a PJ Party on Saturday night.  It's being held at the Four Points Sheraton North - so if you're not a townie, you can stay in the hotel that the festival is held in.

This will be my 4th year in attendance (since the festival is literally in my backyard)!  I've enjoyed every year!  You can mail in your registration or register online!  You can also register at the door, but pre-registration is a good idea!

'Hope to see y'all there!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Episode 20: Hardly Working

What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
  • No Progress on the Sew Along :(  Boo!
  • Melpomene by Rosemary Hill (Seven Small Shawls to Knit, Year Two: The Muses)
    • Crescent shawl, knit side to side
    • Reversible
    • Eyelets, Short Rows, Twisted Stitches
    • Fingering Wt Yarn - 400 - 800 yds
    • 3 Sizes Available: Sm, Md, Lg
    • Single pattern avail. Nov. 25, 2011
  • Kornblomst Shawl by Martha Simsonsen
    • Crescent Shaped Shawl
    • Approx. $6.55 USD
    • Worked from lace edging up
    • Written and charted instructions (in US terms)
    • Lace Wt, 900-1000 yds 
    • bpdc, fpdc, crossed st, puff st, cluster st, short rows
Other Stuff
Stash Enhancement

  • Toula Sock in Peppermint Twist colorway by Spinning Fates
    • 2-ply, Fingering wt, 400 yds/100g
    • 80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon
  • Corriedale Roving, 4.1 oz. in Christopher Robin Colorway by Sheepish Creations
    • 100% Corriedale
  • November Semi Solid Mini Skein Club by The Knitting Goddess
    • 4 ply sock yarn
    • 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon
    • 70g / 280m total (7 skeins)
  • 3 pr of owl earrings, 1 owl necklace, 1 pair of wire ball earrings from Polished Two
  • Twist Collective - Winter 2011 
    • Jaina by Thayer Preece - $7
      • This open cardigan is worked in one piece from the bottom up, with set-in pockets worked as you go. The sleeves are worked down from stitches picked up at the armholes, with sleeve caps shaped by short rows. The double collar is worked from stitches picked up along the front and neck edges.
    • Oscillate by Amy Herzog - $7
      • This fitted cardigan is worked in pieces and sewn together. The mirrored cable pattern is presented in chart form only. Edges are finished with twisted ribbing.
    • Gaeda by Susanna IC - $6
      • This crescent-shaped shawl begins with a wide lace border, which is given in chart form only. The cabled upper section of the shawl is worked in short rows, and is presented in row-by-row instructions. The shawl finished with an i-cord bind off.
    • Finial by Alison Green Will - $7
      • This pullover is worked in the round from the bottom up, divided at the armholes for front and back. The sleeves are worked from the bottom up, finish with a shoulder saddle and sewn into the armholes. The cowl collar is worked from stitched picked up at the neckline. The cable and lace pattern is presented in chart form only.
    • Eira by Ann-Marie Jackson - $7
      • This fitted pullover is worked in the round from the bottom up, then divided for front and back at the armholes. The sleeves are worked separately and sewn in place. The sleeve cuffs and front neck feature an unusual eyelet and pleat detail. The neckline is shaped with short rows, and there are functional buttons at the left shoulder.
    • Zosia by Marnie MacLean - $7
      •  This cardigan is worked from the bottom up in pieces and joined at the shoulders with a 3-needle bind-off. Sleeves are picked up at the armholes and worked down, with short rows shaping the sleeve caps. Cable pattern is given in charts only.
    • Bellevue by Robin Melanson - $7
      • This fitted, textured pullover is worked in pieces and sewn together. The stitch patterns are given in row-by-row instructions only. The wide neckband is worked from stitches picked up along the deep neckline, and overlaps at the front.
  • Space Cadet Creations Mini Skeins Club!
    • Avail in Gentle Mix or Wild Mix
    • (5) 20g Skeins per month for $28/month
    • End subscription whenever
Upcoming Events in or Around the Pittsburgh Area:
Question of the Week:
  • Do you have yarn or fiber in your stash that you bought on a whim and have no idea what to do with it?  What is it?  Confess! :)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Practice Makes.. More Yarn

Thankful Handspun

Undoubtedly you've heard the phrase, "Practice makes perfect."  Well in my case, after only spinning 3 teeny skeins of yarn, it's more like Practice Make More Yarn.  Here's my latest handspun: 31 yds of a bulky wt, 100% merino single in a pumpkin spice colorway (the lighting in my craft room wasn't the greatest).  It was spun from 2 oz. of Merino that Katie of DomestiKated Darling gifted me.  My spinning isn't seeing vast improvements yet, but I'm getting used to pre-drafting, the park and draft method, and winding it off.  

Handspun Beauties

Here is a pic of all 3 of my handspun singles.  Although the colors are hard to see in this pic, they are perfect candy corn colors!  I've only soaked the gold yarn.  So today, the pumpkin and natural colors will each get a bath.  When they dry, I'll have about 90 yds of handspun to work with.  I think perhaps I'll knit up a rustic candy corn cowl for the fall season.  Then I'll have a project that is functional and represents my amateur attempts at handspun (drop spindle) yarns.  I'm not going to bother to ply these.  They are so bulky - super bulky, that I'll just knit them as singles.

Spin on!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cooing Coopworth

As you know, I've caught the spinning bug! And as I explained on yesterday's podcast, I'd received my "Learn to Spin" kit from Golding Fiber Tools. So today after I finished my household chores, I pulled out my brand new Golding 1.9 oz, top-whorl, ring spindle and the 2 oz. of Coopworth wool I had and popped in my Respect the Spindle: The Video. In almost no time I'd spun all of the fiber!!

So here's my final product: a bulky wt single (thick & thin yarn), approx. 34 yds.  I may get super crazy and dye it!

Okay - I just HAVE to tell you that my Golding spindle spins like a dream!  It's so balanced and wonderful! I think I'll be collecting Goldings in several weights!

Even though this is only my 2nd skein of handspun, drop spinning is starting to feel less foreign and more comfortable.  It's still art yarn.  There are definite thick & thin areas, but I'm hooked!  Spinning is relaxing and fun!  I can't wait to become a more proficient spinner.  I guess that means I'll need to buy more fiber and practice some more!  Oh, darn.  ;)


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Episode 19 : Conversion

What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
  • Fiber Gold: spun approx. 21 yds of 100% Merino, bulky wt single
  • Laundered fabric
  • Purchased all supplies
Other Stuff
Stash Enhancement
Upcoming Events in or Around the Pittsburgh Area:
Question of the Week:
  • What is the best spinning tip you ever got?


Monday, November 7, 2011

Box Bag Sew Along Begins Today!

The uber talented Tini of the Twinneedle Podcast is leading a Box Bag Sew Along with my Rav Group, Friends of KnitPurlGurl!  Since I'm a newbie seamstress, I LOVE that I'm a part of a sew along - Tini is breaking it down into steps and we're all there to lend support and answer any questions others may have.  Please join in!

 Today is day 1: Iron and cut out the fabrics.

If you can't join until later this week, it's okay.  You can easily catch up!  Making your own project bags is a great way to learn some sewing basics while saving money and customizing your own bags!  I can't wait to get started!

We'll be using CraftBlog's How To: Box Bag Tutorial as our inspiration to creating the box bags! So grab your supplies, dust off your sewing machine, and head on over to the Sew Along thread to join in!! :)


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Shaken, Not Stirred

After almost 2 weeks of not knitting, I finally picked the needles back up this afternoon and finished sock #1 of my Cabletini Socks.  I'm counting this toward my Wovember celebrations!  (Same with spinning my Fiber Gold merino yarn!)  I hope to CO the 2nd sock this week sometime.  I also need to CO my Quilted Lattice Mitts for the Spur of the Moment KAL.  -AND I need to give some TLC to my Walnut Grove shawl (my own pattern).

Cabletini is a FREE toe-up sock pattern by Wendy D. Johnson.  I'm knitting these in Lion Brand Yarn Sock Ease in Red Hots colorway, which reminds me visiting a pumpkin patch, on US Size 2 (magic loop)  -Perfect for fall socks!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Here is the product of my first EVER handspun yarn!  This is approx. 21 yds of bulky wt Merino in a single.  The gray bits are pieces of scrap I used to tie the hank.  It's not perfect.  It's not a lot.  But it's all mine!  It's absolutely amazing to me that I took processed sheep wool and made it into yarn all by myself!  NOW I understand why spinners love to spin.  It was creative and meditative and offers an amazing sense of accomplishment.  I don't know that I'll knit this little bit into anything.  I may just keep it so that I can remember my first attempts at spinning!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Giving It Another WHORL..

So I tossed the last attempt of mangled roving and tried again this evening.  Although it is still pretty uneven and my joins aren't terrific, my 2nd attempt at spinning Merino into a single went much better.  I can see why Abby Franquemont suggests practicing 30 minutes a day.  

I'm spinning this Merino on a top-whorl spindle that Katie of Domestikated Darling made and sent me.  I ordered a Golding 1.9 oz. Ring Spindle (Top Whorl), which is what Golding suggests for beginning spinners.  I also signed up for a 2 hr "Intro to Spindle Spinning" class at Natural Stitches at the end of the month.  I figured a seasoned spinner will be able to help me with my technique and my drafting.

Spin on!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby, Right Round

Alrighty.  So today I decided to pull out the drop spindle Katie sent me.  I also watched,  Respect the Spindle: The Video.  I pre-drafted some merino (my pre-drafting needs quite a bit of work too) and set out to make beautiful yarn.  What I actually made can only be described as wayward skinny roving.  It's HIDEOUS!  AND.. I am having such a hard time joining new roving in.  The roving in the background is just there so you can see what it looks like.  I've since split it in half lengthwise and pre-drafted.  I just don't know.  I'm going to keep practicing, but something tells me that my finished fiber will not resemble yarn for quite some time yet.  ;p

Meanwhile, at the advice of another spindle spinner, I ordered a Golding Spindle (Their beginner kit).  I think I'll sign up for a drop spindle class so that if I'm doing something horribly wrong, my spinning teacher can detect it and try to correct it.  If you drop spindle, I'd love to hear any advice on tools, fiber, and/or books and videos! :)

Spin on!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Episode 18: Video Podcasting Trial

What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
Other Stuff
Stash Enhancement
Question of the Week:
  • Spinners: Do you have any advice on learning to spin, spindles, and/or spinning wheels?


Getting Caught Up

Dear readers, podcast listeners, and PR companies,

I've been ill with a flu virus.  Needless to say, I haven't updated my blog, recorded a podcast, or published any product reviews in the past week+.  I'm feeling better this week, though still exhausted.  You can expect to see me attempt to catch up this week. :)  Thanks to everyone for their patience and well wishes.

Knit on!


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