Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Creeping Crud



I feel I must apologize to my podcast viewers.  I was supposed to record my podcast the Tues. after I came back from Rhinebeck (Oct. 23rd), but when I got home from Rhinebeck, I had cold symptoms and then had to prep for Hurricane Sandy (which fortunately, we came through without any problems).  As of today, I think I may have strep throat.  I've gotta get swabbed.  So I will record the next episode as scheduled, this Friday.  I apologize for not getting a 2nd episode in during the month of October, but I would've never predicted getting the creeping crud from Rhinebeck and then Hurricane Sandy coming up the coast.

Also, I have some AMAZING book reviews that I will be getting out via podcast and blog in the next couple of weeks.  Stay tuned and look for them here on the blog!  You'll be glad you did.  I received some really terrific books to review!

And TODAY is RAP day!  RAP = Random Acts of Patterns!  Join the movement with the Friends of KnitPurlGurl Ravelry Group!

Knit on and stay safe & warm for those of you still affected by Sandy!


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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sheep Wool Study




I've decided to conduct a Sheep Wool Study for my blog readers and Podcast viewers.  The first sheep breeds I'm going to study are breeds currently bred in America.  I've decided to use the American Sheep Industry's list of breeds as my guide. I've heard podcasters and read bloggers who've studied wool from a spinner's perspective.  I'd like to study it from a knitter's perspective - that is, fully prepared yarn.  I'm looking for producers/dyers/handspinners who carry the following sheep wool yarns:

Fine Wool:
Long Wool:


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STITCHES East, Rhinebeck, and Aches Oh My!



This was a whirlwind last couple of weeks.  I got to go to STITCHES East for the first time and then Rhinebeck for the first time!!  Let me just say that I'm not a huge shopper at these events.  Not that I don't want all the things, but I buy yarn here and there throughout the year and keep myself in check at events so that I'm not blowing huge wads of cash in my excitement to be at fiber festivals.  Because believe me, there is this frenzy that happens at these large shows and festivals and it's easy to get caught up in the frenzy when there are literally hundreds and thousands of knitters around you participating in it!!!

At STITCHES East, I got to meet such lovelies as Susan of Kollage Yarns, Stacy of The Fine Needle, Kristin Omdahl, Drew Emborsky, Lindsey of Erin Lane Bags, the Signature Needle Arts ladies, the wonderful sweethearts at the Wandering Wool booth, Wendy from Knit1HeartToo Podcast, Melissa from the His and Hers Podcast, Daniel Yuhas, Zontee of Lion Brand Yarn, and countless readers of the blog!  Everyone was so friendly and extremely nice.  I also re-connected with Stacey Trock from Fresh Stitches and Crochet Chat podcast!

At Rhinebeck, I was such a fan-girl!  I was surrounded by amazing yarn dyers, authors, designers, fellow bloggers and podcasters, and all-around terrific fiber friends!  Loved getting to meet so many people I interact with daily on Ravelry, Twitter, Google+, & Plurk at the Ravelry Meetup!  At the Podcaster Meetup, I finally got to meet & reconnect with some of my fave podcasters and online buds including Kim from Craft Stash, Wendy & Sheila from Knit1HeartToo, Melissa & Sean from His & Hers Podcast, Maria from Subway Knits Podcast, Diane from Knitabulls, Tina from Knitting Blooms Podcast, Darren & Amy from Knitting in Circles Podcast, Emily from Whatcha Swatchin Podcast, Jen from Commuter Knitter Podcast, Laura from Apocolyptic Diner Podcast, Jadee from the Twisted Strands Podcast, Lori from HappyCrafter207 Podcast, Carin from Round the Twist, Carolyn from Girlfriends Knitting Podcast, Vicki of the Dragonfly Soars podcast, Ellen & Jan from the Twin Set Designs Podcast, Lois from KnittingsMyBag (Fab Etsy Shop!), and Lisa of Fibernymph Dyeworks and 90% Knitting Podcast!!  I also got to meetup with some fabulous PA ladies: Marilyn & Marybeth (and her hubby)!!   I got to meet Elisabeth Sliney Marino and reconnect with Barb of  Dragonbrook Yarns! And if that weren't enough,  I got to meet the lovely Ysolda Teague!

The only bad thing about Rhinebeck was that I was only there for 5 hrs.  :(  There was so much to see and so many people to talk to, that 5 hours couldn't possibly be enough time to do and see everything I wanted to.  But hey, I'm not complaining.  I had a ton of fun and am so, so thrilled I got to go.  I received so many hugs, warm welcomes, Happy Birthday greetings, and genuine smiles & kindness while I was there.  It was so humbling and overwhelming to be surrounded by such amazing knitters.  To see all of the garments everyone was wearing was very exciting. There were gorgeous crocheted garments, knit garments, nuno felted garments.. It was fabulous!  There are some extremely talented fiber peeps in this world and I'm thrilled that I got to see and meet so many yesterday!

If I forgot to mention you in this blog post, I sincerely apologize.  There wasn't 1 person I met over the past 2 weeks, who wasn't an absolute pleasure to meet and chat with!  Our fiber community rocks my socks!

Oh ya - the ACHES part.  After carrying 2 heavy bags and waddling all around Rhinbeck in rainboots, I ache everywhere today!  That's what I get for being old and outta shape!! LOL!  Time for some Ibuprofen, BenGay, and recuperation before the next big show - Fiber Festival of New England (Nov. 3-4, 2012 in West Springfield, Mass.)!  I'll be there with bells on!!  'Hope I get to meet or see some of y'all again!!!

Knit on!


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Off the Needles: Short Owl Poncho



This was a fast project!  I started knitting the Short Owl Poncho by Bettina Lundgaard on Oct. 7, 2012 and finished it today.  I knit it in Cascade 220 Superwash in the Lemon colorway on US Size 8 needles.  The pattern calls for an aran wt yarn, but I was able to get gauge with worsted, so I crossed my fingers and started knitting.  This poncho is a "One Size Fits Most" poncho that says it will fit sizes S-XL.  Being an XL myself, I was holding my breath.  Once I finished the knitting, I immediately put it on.  Although I'd gotten gauge, it was more snug than a poncho should fit and the fabric was more loose looking than I would've liked.  Still, I did work for 4 days on it and wanted to find a solution.  A friend of mine suggested that I steek it, knit on a faux button band, and wear it open, like a capelet.  Meanwhile, I was thinking that if I couldn't bring myself to steek it (I've never steeked before and the thought of it terrifies me.), I could gift it.  While I was contemplating the fate of the poncho, DD asked if she could "see" it.  She put it on and asked if she could have it.


Even though the neckline is a tad too big and the poncho a tad too long on her, I caved and gave it to her.  She's smitten with it!  And she looks 100x better in it than I ever could!  I'm going to lightly block it so that the owls are easy to visualize on the bottom, but then it's all hers!  Thankfully it's knit in superwash yarn, so it should be easy to care for.  I'm going to skip sewing on all of the seed bead eyes on the owls, since DD wouldn't really appreciate all of the fiddly sewing.  I think she looks adorable.

After knitting this pattern, I will most definitely knit another.  I will also be sure to knit it in ARAN WT as indicated in the pattern.  And now that I know the pattern, it'll be very easy to customize the size.  For my size, I'll likely add another several owl motifs and an extra few body rows between decreases.  One thing I do want to note - the decreases are very visible.  They almost look like design features since they are evenly spaced.  So if you want your decreases to disappear into your knitting, this knit is not for you.  They are quite prominent in the garment.  Otherwise, it's a super fast and mindless knit!

Unfortunately, I will not be wearing this poncho to Rhinebeck.  And I don't know if I can bring myself to power through another before next Sat, but at least I know a little girl is thrilled with it!  She doesn't even want me to block it because she wants to wear it to school tomorrow!


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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesdays are for Random Acts of Patterns!




I have decided that Tuesdays are for Random Acts of Patterns!  Any Tuesday you feel inclined to or can afford to, randomly gift a fellow Raveler a pattern off of their queue!  It's a nifty way to spread Random Acts of Kindness in a fibery way! :)

I sent mine out!  I even put in the message: You are a recipient of a Random Act of Pattern.  Happy Tuesday!

If you're a member of the Friends of KnitPurlGurl Rav Group, pop over there and share your RAP (whether given or received) in the RAP thread!!  Share the love!  <3


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Friday, October 5, 2012

KnitPurlGurl Video Podcast, S2, Ep1: Long Time, No See



Show Notes

Introduction:
  • KPG Podcast returns after long hiatus
  • The podcast will follow a bi-monthly schedule: 1st & 3rd Fri of every month
  • The podcast will run in seasons, rather than year 'round now.  Fall-Late Spring
WIPs:
FOs:
  • Oenology Socks - Gusset Heel Basic Socks pattern by Wendy D. Johnson and knit in the String Theory Colorworks' Resonance base in Oenology colorway
  • Purple Sky at Night Poncho - Red Sky at Night Poncho pattern by Mary C. Gildersleeve and knit in the Olann Gra Josie's 3-Ply Kettledyed 100% SW Merino yarn in the Grape Crush colorway
  • Ecken+Kanten by Martina Behm knit in Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball and knit in the Fresh Fish colorway
  • Lazy Katy by Birgit Freyer and knit in Noro Taiyo Sock in color no. 3
  • Garter Hug Shawl by Shannon Squire and knit it Freia Handpaints Ombre Lace in the Grapevine colorway
New Additions:
Reviews:
Worth Mentioning:


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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

FO: Oenology Socks



I finished knitting my Oenology Socks!  These cutie patooties are a gift for my little sister.  Nothing says love like 30,000 stitches of cuteness!  I knit these using Wendy D. Johnson's Gusset Heel Basic Sock pattern and String Theory Colorworks' Resonance Self-Striping Sock Yarn in the Oenology colorway on a US Size 2.  I finished the top of the sock in 3:1 ribbing and a stretchy BO (a la Stephen West). I can't wait to package these puppies up with some wool wash and send them off to my sister!


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Monday, October 1, 2012

Press Release: I Love Yarn Day Photo Contest!!



ily_logo.jpg


For Immediate Release                                                                                                    

I Love Yarn Day Kicks off Facebook Photo Contest to
Win a Year of Yarn—365 skeins in all!
Thousands of yarn lovers around the country to share their fiber passion and fashion this October 12, 2012

Gastonia, North Carolina, October 1, 2012— Whether you knit, crochet, craft, spin, weave or just adore fiber, the second Friday in October is the national day to declare your LOVE for yarn. This day is all about spreading that good feeling people have about yarn and yarn-related crafts. Knit it, crochet it, spin it, weave it, wear it, post it, tweet it, carry it, share it, give it, or bomb it!

“The idea for this celebration started last year,” says Mary Colucci, Executive Director of the Craft Yarn Council, an industry nonprofit association. “Response to the ILoveYarnDay.org web site and the Facebook page was amazing. Thousands of yarn enthusiasts posted their plans.”

New this year: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram photo contest

This year, I Love Yarn Day is expanding its social media outreach with a “Show Your Love of Yarn” photo contest on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The contest is open to anyone in the United States who loves yarn—crocheters, knitters, spinners, weavers, and general yarn crafters—and photos should depict the entrant’s passion for yarn. The official page for the contest on Facebook:http://bit.ly/ILoveYarnDay_PhotoContest

Photos should be original, of entrant’s own creation, and can be of an existing photo or one someone has taken specifically for the competition. Photos might depict an entrant’s yarn stash, a yarn bombing the entrant has done, or be some other creative expression of one’s love of yarn.  All contest entries will be viewable on the I Love Yarn Day photo contest page on Facebook, and people can vote on their favorite once a day, at: http://bit.ly/ILoveYarnDay_PhotoContest

The contest will also accept photo entries via Twitter and Instagram from anyone who tweets a photo, or uploads an Instagram photo, and uses hashtag #YarnDayContest in the caption.

The Grand Prize winner will be selected from the top ten photos with the most number of votes to  receive a year’s worth of yarn—365 skeins in all, one for every day of the year, from Grand Prize sponsors Bernat, Patons and Caron Yarns; Lion Brand Yarn; and Red Heart Yarns. The ten photos that receive the most votes on Facebook will be awarded runners-up prizes of an I Love Yarn Day tote bag containing the following prizes from contest sponsors (retail value over $300):

--All American Crafts: a copy of Knit ‘N Style, Knit 1•2•3 and Crochet 1•2•3, plus a free subscription to the magazine of the winner’s choice

-- Annie’s: a copy of Creative Knitting Magazine and Crochet Magazine

--Boye: knit and crochet accessories

-- Clover Needlecraft: a Knit Mate Accessory Kit and 29” Circular Knitting Needle

--Creative Partners: a knit and crochet book by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

--Future US: a copy of Crochet Today Magazine

--Interweave: a copy of Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet and Knitscene magazines; plus Knitting Daily TV Series 900 DVDs

--Leisure Arts:  a Knook Beginner Kit

--Soho Publishing: one copy each of Vogue Knitting Anniversary Issue, Knit Simple, Debbie Bliss magazine, Noro magazine; plus a set of Knit Notes--books for recording projects

--TMA: a dozen skeins of yarn for each runners-up

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. EST on Oct. 15, 2012 (three days after the official I Love Yarn Day on Oct. 12), with voting open to the public until 11:59 p.m. EST on Oct. 22, 2012.

I Love Yarn Day Special Events

In addition the Facebook photo contest happening all month, thousands of yarn lovers will be sharing their fiber passion and fashion this Oct. 12, 2012 in their hometowns around the country.

National retailers A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores will be participating in I Love Yarn Day on their websites and in social media. In additional, many local yarn stores around the country will be hosting their own events.

Last year on I Love Yarn Day, Girl Scout Cadette Troop #6141 in LaMesa, Calif., celebrated the day by making “teenie beenie” for preemies at their local hospital. Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames in Redmond, Wash., invited customers to the I Love Yarn NIGHT. The store stayed opened until midnight and customers yarn bombed the store.

Other people posted to the I Love Yarn day website that they honored the day last year by:
         Taking their yarn to work
         Giving away 500 knitted and crocheted heart pins with a tag that said: knit it, crochet it, spin it, WEAR IT
         Yarn bombing their front yard
         Teaching someone to crochet
         Getting together for a pizza party and knitting before going back to work.

The idea for I Love Yarn Day started with a group of people (yarn enthusiasts of course) who were sitting around a table one day and mused: “What if all of us, and all of the people we know, agree to post, blog, tweet and show off yarns in some way on the same day? Imagine the impact this demonstration would have, virally and otherwise.” 

Are you planning an I Love Yarn Day event? We’d love to hear from you! E-mail @ILoveYarnDay.org with information on your plans for Oct. 12.

Additional Resources
Twitter: @ILoveYarnDay http://twitter.com/iloveyarnday
Hashtags: #ILoveYarnDay; Contest entry hashtag: #YarnDayContest

Craft Yarn Council • 469 Hospital Dr. Ste. E • Gastonia, NC 28054


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Press Release: Annie's Acquires Country Sampler





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OCT. 1, 2012
Annie’s acquires Country Sampler
from Emmis Communications

Leading special interests publisher adds consumer and trade titles

BERNE, Ind.—Annie’s, a leading special interests publisher, has acquired Country Sampler, Illinois-based publisher of Country Sampler and Smart Retailer magazines, from Emmis Communications.
Annie’s publishes magazines and books serving the crafts and nostalgia markets, including Creative Knitting, Crochet!, Quilter’s World, CardMaker, Crochet World and Good Old Days, with a strong subscriber base and presence on newsstands and in retail stores across the country.
The company is part of the third-generation Muselman family business based in Berne, Ind., near Fort Wayne.
Country Sampler has helped define country d├ęcor for almost 30 years.
An all-in-one resource for home decorators, the magazine features a combination of country lifestyle articles and a complete catalog of decorating products from artisans in richly illustrated issues that include room-by-room house tours, tips from decorating experts and insights into collectibles and antiques. Original folk art, reproductions and classic country collectibles and furniture are displayed in authentic room settings.
“We are very excited that Country Sampler is joining the Annie’s family of products,” David McKee, Annie’s CEO, said. “These magazines are an ideal fit alongside our craft and nostalgia titles and products. The Country Sampler team has built a highly respected brand with a strong following over many years.”
In addition to its magazine business, Annie’s also has four catalogs, a dozen membership clubs and offers thousands of download products, including digital versions of its magazines and online classes. The company showcases its products on more than 40 websites.
Annie’s made its first foray into television a month ago with the addition of Candice Jensen Productions, producers of the Knit and Crochet Now! television show.
Emmis, based in Indianapolis, has a national footprint in radio and magazines with 17 FM and two AM radio stations, and six city and regional magazines titles, including Texas Monthly, Los Angeles Magazine andIndianapolis Monthly.
Country Sampler has been owned by Emmis since 1999.
###
Annie’s (Annies-Publishing.com) is part of the third-generation Muselman family business headquartered in Berne, Ind., near Fort Wayne. It is well known to crafters and nostalgia buffs for its print and digital magazines, pattern books and other related products, sold primarily via mail, websites and catalogs. The Muselman business began in 1925 with the founding of Economy Printing Concern in Berne. EP Graphics, as it is known today, is still owned by the Muselman family. It specializes in high-quality, four-color web printing for catalogs and magazines.


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