Archive for the knitting Category

Shawl City

Posted in knitting, Uncategorized with tags , on October 13, 2017 by needlefingers

Well, the big ol’ mystery shawl is complete!

WTF Side A

Below is technically the reverse side, but I really like it almost more than the right side.

IMG_20171005_135143421.jpg

So then, it’s on to a new big ol’ shawl! This one was a mystery when I joined, but I didn’t get to start it until now. This is Joji Locatelli’s Starting Point.

Starting Point beginning

There’s two other mystery KALs I’ve joined, but I’m focusing on my current knit. The good news is both of them look to be things I will want to make. Another mystery I was watching but had not joined moved into the ‘nah’ territory, so yay for not buying that one. ;)

Fall weather may have finally arrived in our area, knock wood, so if it’s fall in your area, get out there and enjoy the gorgeous weather!

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Socktoberfest!

Posted in knitting, Socktoberfest on October 1, 2017 by needlefingers

It’s Socktoberfest!

And I have a pair of socks started, sort of.

See, I’m in Big Damn Shawl (like Big Damn Heroes of Firefly, but different) mode.  I was discussing it with a friend, and I think she got to the heart of the matter when she said, “Adult security blankies!”  And if there ever was a time to need a security blanket, this would be it.

First, I finally finished the Stephen West mystery KAL from, um, March.

Then I started the Andrea Mowry mystery KAL.

And once this is done, I’m going back to the Joji Locatelli. I might have a mystery KAL problem. After that, I have yarn to make the Wonder Woman shawl.

So socks?  Yeah, not really on the radar this year.

Back again!

Posted in dyeing, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn with tags , , , on August 3, 2017 by needlefingers

Wooo, look at me posting again! (still don’t have the app downloaded though)

As you can probably deduce from the lack of posts and sheer volume of yammering when I do post, it’s been a bit busy ’round here.  In fact, even though there are still things percolating, last Thursday was really a point where I could take a breath and go, “Whew!”  What does a knitter do at that point?  She (in this particular case) casts on socks.

Nothing like a quick pair of socks to cleanse the ol' knitting palate. What's next? #knitting #sockknitting

A post shared by Needlefingers (@needlefingers) on

And then, once she finishes that pair in three days, she casts on a shawl out of the skein of yarn she simply could not bear to part with for the yarn crawl.

(Yes, I know you can see these in the widget on the side bar, but isn’t this more personal like we’re actually talking about them?)

I know I have more things looming (ha – weaving joke!  Yes, there’s also a bunch of stuff I need to weave), but for right now, I’m enjoying the relative freedom to do whatever I want for the next couple of weeks.  Just so long as what I want to do is make about 60 pounds of soap and dye skeins and skeins of yarn.  Fortunately, that’s exactly what I want to do.  :)

I’m back – again

Posted in knitting, soap-making, Travel, Uncategorized, yarn with tags , on July 27, 2017 by needlefingers

Well, let’s see what I said last time and what needs updates.  I feel like I have been on a constant run since, um, April?  March?

The new spring craft show I tried was a bust. They have a very well attended fall show, but this was the first spring show. I heard varying reports of other things going on in the town, so that may have contributed to the low turnout. Then we didn’t have a great location, with many people not realizing there were booths at our end of the hallway. So, I’ll stick with smaller shows in smaller towns and the ever-popular Etsy.

I actually had a small show at a new location and did really well there.  I had found out about it late, and they were already full, but took my contact information.  Five days before the show, they called to say they had a cancellation, and I was in if I wanted.  I had prepped for a show at Ramblin’s work a couple of weeks after that, so I jumped on it. Did really well.  Got a call from the local health food store needing a restock on things. Then we had our annual spinning/knitting/sock-cranking/weaving/do-whatever-makes-you-happy retreat in May, and I sold yarn and soapy things there.  The next week was the show at Ramblin’s work, and it went phenomenally well.  All the while, I worked late into the evenings to make more lotions, scrubs, and bath bombs for the next event.  Soap has to cure for 4-6 weeks, so I just hoped I didn’t run out.  It was close.

The rest of May was spent winding up my new-to-me Literature class.  So much relief to post the grades.  Then, the first weekend in June, we did something fun!  Ragged and Cynical had invited us to go along with them to the Walker Stalker Con in Nashville.  We’re casual fans of the show.  This means none of us spent $100 for photos or $50 for autographs and selfies.  It was cool to see the stars of the show, albeit from varying distances.

In vacationing news, we went on a bus tour to New Orleans in mid-June and brought Ramblin’s parents along. I had been to New Orleans before and really enjoyed it more than I thought I would, so I was eager for them to see what an interesting city it was. I’m not sure if it was just the bus-tour aspect, but it wasn’t as fantastic as the first time I went. I think we would have enjoyed it more on our own schedule, and Ramblin is game to go back one day.

The local yarn crawl just wrapped up, and I was very pleased with the result. My LYS (local yarn shop for the non-yarny folks reading) had my yarns and soap+soap-related products during the crawl, and I only brought home a tiny bitof yarn, and a little over half of the soap products.  Considering I took a lot of stuff, that’s pretty good.

Yarn and soap at the 2017 Illiana Yarn Crawl at Atkinson Farm Yarns

Guessing what colors will be popular is really like playing a game of whack-a-mole.  Things I thought would sell – didn’t; things I thought might not go – did.  My LYS owner said she has quit trying to guess and just gets a wide selection of colors.  A fun thing I did both last year and this year was make a soap to match the special yarn crawl yarn.

Yarn Crawl shawl designed by Jane Campbell and matching soap made by yours truly

I hit my reading challenge for the year.  It was a modest 24 books, since I hadn’t read anything close to that in years.  Last year I read nine (sheesh!) and in 2015 I read 13, 14 in 2014 (appropriate!), 13 in 2013 (appropriate again!), and 23 in 2012.  In 2012, I was finishing my master’s degree and starting the graduate certificate, so I’m sure none of those were fun.  But, thanks to the Goodreads stats (oh how I do love numbers!), I know that the best year for pages read had been 2014 with 10133 pages (thanks, A Song of Ice and Fire series) compared to only one less book in 2013 for a total of 5,486 pages.  This year, I’m at 10,333 pages read so far.  I’m currently actively reading two books (you can keep up with that in the right hand column, should you so desire – yeah, I know it says four, but one was just opened on the Kindle and the other may never get finished)  and would love to hit 50 books by year’s end.  I mostly read on devices, but I do have the analog Dark Tower series.  Maybe after I finish with Odd Thomas.

I have a new smartphone, thanks to Amazon Prime Phones, Prime Day, and Tracfone BYOP.  Yes, I love technology, but I’m cheap.  The phone I had before was smart-ish, but had so little memory it couldn’t do – well, anything.  So now, I should be able to accomplish all kinds of things.  Or so I tell myself.

It’s been a slow summer, student-wise.  I had eight, but that’s dropped to five, and really only three are dedicated.  That should change this fall when I’m theoretically going to be teaching Comp I online to 75 high school students.  So, I’m enjoying the downtime right now.  I have big dyeing plans for the LYS as the owner and I have cooked up some really fun things.  Things like a shop colorway – you heard it hear first.

And that’s been my spring/summer so far.  Maybe I’ll download the WP app and make updating more convenient to do.

Don’t worry, I probably won’t make a habit out of this

Posted in knitting, spinning on February 7, 2017 by needlefingers

Eh, so it’s only been a month, but I decided to come back.  I really need to keep up on the blog because it’s a great memory tool.  “When did we do that thing?  Oh yeah, here it is on the blog.”

Well, let’s have a little check in on how my goals are doing.  No macarons or tie-dyes yet, but I can swear in Croatian.  And reading!  I’m reading!  I should, for goodness sake, with all the devices.  A small wrinkle popped up when I discovered my library had switched from Overdrive to 3M Cloud Library (or CL, as they call themselves).  The problem with that is CL does not work on e-ink devices.  It’s an app, so your device needs to be app-compatible.  The nifty Paperwhite Ramblin’ got for me?  Nope.  So, to read ebooks from my library, I have to use the eye-searing tablet.  I don’t mind surfing the internet, but I hate reading large amounts on backlit screens.  But CL doesn’t appear to be particularly interested in that.  And no easy way to contact them from the website.

So, about three weeks ago, we had a beautiful weekend weatherwise and took that opportunity to visit Ramblin’s parents.  You never know what you’re going to get in winter, so we saw the chance and went for it.  Ramblin’s mom had found a yarn shop for us to visit, right across the street from a quilt shop.  We went to the yarn shop first, and I did a little damage, then we went over to to the quilt shop.  Ramblin’s mom hand-pieces the most beautiful quilts.  She found a good scrap pattern to help clean up her stash, and we left just in time so that I didn’t wind up buying a kit.  It was purple (of course), and my resolve was fading fast.  Then we traveled to Clarksville for lunch at the Cracker Barrel.

In possibly the quickest stash-to-finished-object ever, I worked up two of the skeins I bought within a week and a half of purchase.

Fan Shawl

The cat was very interested in the picture-taking process.

fan-shaw-with-cat-1

fan-shaw-with-cat-4

fan-shaw-with-cat-6

Because of course everything a cat sees is his domain.

There has also been spinning with the lovely WooLee Winder-equipped Hansen.

fck-panda-in-lotus-washed

fck-panda-in-lotus-washed-closeup

fck-lotus-spun-closeup

The first two pictures are after a bath, so the third picture doesn’t quite reflect the poof afterward.  This was a 4.2 ounce braid of Merino/Bamboo/Nylon from Fat Cat Knits in the colorway Lotus.  ETA: about 600 yards of 2-ply, so heavy lace/light fingering weight. Very nice and springy, which is just what we need right now.  The temp hasn’t been awful, but oh my, the gray days are getting to me.

In soapy news, I’ve applied to be a vendor at a new show.  They have a well-established two-day show in the fall, and now the organizers are adding a one-day show in the spring.  I thought I would try things out for the spring show and maybe come back for the fall one.  As you read in the previous post, I won’t be attending the new show I tried in December.  ;)  I had a decent amount left from my soaping frenzy this fall, so I thought I might not have to make much for the early spring shows.  However, I’m delivering 20 bars tomorrow to various customers, so I may need to make just a tiny bit more.  Selling the equivalent of an entire batch in one day is a nice feeling.

Oh, and since we last chatted, I’ve become a literature teacher.  It happened in the space of an hour and a half.  The high school I was supposed to teach composition for changed their minds and wanted literature instead.  My boss asked if I could be credentialed in literature, and I asked if we could find out.  (college instructors need to have a minimum of a master’s degree and 18 graduate credits in that area – I have 32 hours in a mix of English and literature, then several more in miscellaneous subjects like liberal studies and instructional technology) An hour and a half later, BOOM, I’m a literature teacher.

And I’m going to be teaching my fifth dyeing class at the yarn shop.  This time we’re doing sprinkle dyes.  Should be a blast.

And now it’s snowing here!

Posted in knitting, spinning with tags , , on February 16, 2015 by needlefingers

After the snow left the blog, it took its own sweet time and arrived here.  Probably 5-6″, maybe more.  What’s one of the only good things about snow?  Snow cream.

Snow cream

It has been all soap, all the time around here. There’s currently a fundraiser going at the local high school, there may be another one coming down the pipe shortly, Ramblin’s work wants to hold one for the employee committee, and I’m doing a craft show at the end of March. Why aren’t I making soap right now?!

And there’s been a bit of knitting. I started a shawl, almost finished it, and started having second thoughts about the color arrangement. So that got put aside, and I started in on the Loopy Academy second semester project.

Full Spectrum beginning

Much better.

And there’s even been spinning!

Merlot Holocene

I didn’t get great pictures of this, but it hasn’t had its bath yet anyway, so maybe the sun will shine by the time I get around to doing that.  It is two plies of Knittyandcolor‘s Not Drinking Merlot and one ply Holocene, all on merino-silk.  That little skein on the left was the leftovers of the Not Drinking Merlot chain-plied.

I guess that’s all the news that’s fit to print.  I’ll try to come back before spring.  Whenever that will be.

It’s snowing on the blog!

Posted in knitting, soap-making, Uncategorized with tags , on December 8, 2014 by needlefingers

I always feel the need to announce that, like you can’t tell as soon as you open the page.

I haven’t knit any more socks since Socktoberfest, but I have been knitting other things. That’s not true since I started a pair of socks while this post has been marinating. (pictures were giving me fits, so I had to leave it for a few days)

First, I knitted a hat I thought was going to be for me, but then when I finished, I knew that it wasn’t.  I didn’t know who it was for, but the hat wasn’t saying, “Mine”.  Then when I learned my friend didn’t have a hat for winter, I realized she was who the hat belonged to.

Stark finished

Then, another Loopy Academy project, I knitted a cowl.

That Nice Stitch in Those Nice Colors done

And there’s been a sweater partially knitted as well, just needing the button bands and collar. Since I’m so close, I’ll just wait until it’s done for a picture.

And of course, there’s been soap.

Swirls

Well, not just soap, but other products.  Things like lotion bars.

Festive lotion bars

 

And Meringue, a lovely whipped body butter.

Meringue

And I’m already thinking about scents for Valentine’s Day.