Tuesday, August 24, 2010


It's like kismet. You know how when you do something totally and completely new, unexpected, terrifying, etc. and things just fall into place? It seems like no matter what comes your way, anything and everything that could go wrong, well ... doesn't? That's kismet. And ladies and gentlemen ... that is what I am living.

I am, by nature, hard on myself. I think everything I do should be done perfectly, the first time. If I don't get a new technique or pattern done right the first time, then what the fuck is wrong with me? Why didn't I see that coming? I should do it RIGHT, dammit. Sometimes it takes me a few wrong tries and a few days of frustrated tears before I calm down and realize ... wait ... I've only been here 16 days and I've already accomplished all of that? Wow. Not bad.

And then you see a view of the mountains and you forget about all that crap and just wonder at the beauty for a few minutes.
Coming back from Boulder, where we spent a lovely day last weekend walking around and buying under-ski-clothes. The view on the way there was even more breathtaking, but I was on the phone and didn't get to my camera in time.

And now, Things That Make Me Go "SQUEE!"

I began a project for a friend of mine as a trade -- she's going to do a couple of web ads for me, and in exchange I'm making her Elijah by Ysolda Teague. It's the cutest knitted elephant perfect for wee little ones with wee little hands itching to grab on to something. Jennifer is a hippie by nature, and so she asked for a tie-dyed Elijah. He's being knit out of Berroco Comfort DK, perfect to wash and you couldn't ask for brighter colors.

Obviously, not quite finished. This is the head and body, still awaiting arms, legs and ears. I'm really excited to see the finished elephant ... this is my first knitted stuffed animal and while fairly complicated, it's not as frightening as I expected (after that first bout of previously aforementioned frustrated tears).

I finally got the chance to purchase my own Phat Fiber box. Phat Fiber is a monthly mystery box compiled by independent knitterly folk looking to spread the word about their hand-made products. Each box is a little different but shares the same theme (this month is "Africa"), and they sell out faster than most Muggles would believe a box of fluff and string can sell out (two sale times in one day, and each sale sells out in less than 4 minutes. I'm not kidding). But look at all the pretty!

I haven't cracked open any of the packages to start playing yet, but I fully plan to sometime this week. I'll do individual reviews as I play, but an initial listing of those who participated in my particular box are:

(click name to see their shop or site)
Neurotic Knitterz
Light Brown Hare (who I purchased from for my Damsen shawl; she's a peach and a doll, and I highly recommend her yarns)
Lexi Spice
To-Ply Fiber Arts
Plum Crazy Ranch and Fiber Art
Lil Bit of Heaven Fibers
Color Bug Yarns
Orange Jello
All For Love Of Yarn
Island Yarn
Farmgirl Chic
Fiber Fancy
Out of Step Dyeworks
Spinning a Yarn
Feistywoman Designs
and patterns featured from Brenda Brauner, Maggie Fangmann and Treasure Goddess.

My particular favorites, based on nothing other than initial touch and fondling are these three lovelies:

Clockwise from top, that's black alpaca and superfine merino from Natchwoolie; "Storm in a Teacup" fiber from Spinning a Yarn; and a blended batt of 75% merino and 25% baby camel from Feistywoman Designs. I'm super excited to try spinning with baby camel, but I think I need to watch a little more of my "Start Spinning" DVD so I can spin off a batt properly.

In the meantime, I am continuing my work at home to get my own Etsy shop up and running -- rest assured, when it is set to go, I will be posting a big fat blog post here to let everyone know. In the meantime, you can visit me on specific Saturdays at Fancy Tiger, where I will be teaching their Knitting 101 class from now until the end of November (and hopefully beyond). I'm also in the process of beginning work for the Lamb Shoppe here in Denver to take over some of their web stuff and perhaps pick up a floor shift or seven, and I will be sure to post about those things as they develop as well.

Just a quick moment to thank everyone who has supported me as I start this new chapter ... especially Dear and my mother. I couldn't have done this without the confidence that you instill in my when my own falls a bit short, and it does not go unnoticed. So thanks.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Posting from a New City!

It's been a while since my last post, and for good reason. In the last month, I quit my job, said goodbye to friends and family, moved to Denver, Colorado and have spent the last two weeks unpacking, organizing, meeting deliveries, re-connecting with friends from high school that live in the Denver area, exploring the neighborhood and the city-at-large, hanging out at craft nights and stitch-and-bitches ... and oh yeah ... knitting. And spinning. And dyeing.

Those in the Denver area can look for me to be hanging around Fancy Tiger and the Lamb Shoppe. I visited both of these shops when I vacationed here in October and May, and have attended a craft night at Fancy Tiger already since moving here (and plan on attending more -- and their classes -- and the store in general). I'll be bringing samples of my dyeds and spuns to the Fancy Tiger Craft Night and the Denver Downtown Stitch and Bitch {rav link}, so if you like free stuff? You know where to find me.

It's a photo-heavy post, but I've done a poor job of remembering to take my camera with me when I go out exploring. So these are projects I've been working on, but expect to see pictures of neighborhoods and hang-outs as I get back into my old habits (I only just dug out my camera cord today, otherwise this post would have happened a couple days ago. I searched everywhere for that damn camera cord -- boxes, crates, drawers of junk, places I thought I had seen it. Turns out? It was in my nightstand drawer, where I always kept it. Right).

First up: Tulip Monkeys! {project page}
Knit from the Tulip colorway by Tanis Fiber Arts. The yarn was gifted to me for my birthday by my friend Katie, and I cast on within a few days -- something I don't usually do. I just love the colors and wanted to do a pattern that would really make the variegated stand out. Cookie A's Monkey was perfect. I love love love these socks and cannot wait until it's prime sock-showing-off weather. I also got some TFA fiber (in Prism and Tulip) for my birthday that I'm looking forward to playing with. Stay tuned for that one.
I've been playing with some dyes, too ... after promptly staining my kitchen counter bright blue (stupid turkey baster not sucking up dye properly), I came up with a color I'm really pleased with. Meet "The Grass is Always Greener."

Some other experiments that I haven't decided will be repeated yet or not -- I rather like the blue and yellow, and the orange is definitely ... well, orange.

Before we left Houston, I somehow managed to spin up four full ounces of Pigeon Roof Studio's Chrysanthemum roving. I bought this months ago -- I loved the colors and thought if I had something I was excited to spin, I would practice more.

Turns out I was just crap at spinning with a drop spindle. As soon as I got my wheel, I was totally hooked and gave a little "squee" of delight when I dug this up out of my stash.

No idea what the yardage is, but it's a nice strong 3-ply (my first Navajo ply), and it's a yummy BFL. Softened right up in my wool wash bath and I can't wait to make a hat from it so my cute little ears don't get cold.

I whipped this out for a neighbor of mine -- an unusual custom request, but it was fun nonetheless. A Dirty/Clean sign for her dishwasher so she and her boyfriend will no longer put away dirty dishes, or re-wash clean ones.

And this one I just finished last night (holy crap, I've been busy these last two weeks ... no wonder I haven't been blogging). The Frock Camisole {rav link} from Interweave Knits, knit up in a Knit Picks pima cotton blend.

Expect to see lots more of me in the coming weeks! I have lots of work to do and many things I'm working on developing, but it's a resolution of mine to keep my camera with me more often and get over my shyness of photographing seemingly random objects and situations. Denver is a great city and it has lots to offer -- I'm excited to be a part of their craft revolution and spread the knitting/ spinning bug as much as I can.