Monday, June 24, 2013


The blessing of being a knitter is that you can and love to make gifts for other people. The curse of being a knitter is that you're often scrambling at the last minute to finish a gift.  I've been making a lot of gifts lately.  There are showers, birthdays, weddings, babies.  I feel like every weekend for the last month or so I've had a gift to give.  And I'm not done. I've got events the next three weekends that all need gifts. On top of all that, I'm also making things for the Etsy shop/craft shows and a few things for myself.  Before I go on vacation next week, I wanted to have my Concentric socks and a top I'm making myself done.  It's been hard finding the time to knit for myself when there's always a gift that needs knitting.  But I've been working hard trying to finish these up before my vacation.  I thought I was doing pretty good, but all of a sudden I find myself a little over a week away and I'm getting a bit panicky.

I've made good progress on my Concentric socks since I decided to pick them up on a Finish Friday (or weekend!)  I bring them with me to work on rainy days when I can't take a walk at lunch, I carry them in my purse for knitting on the go.  I finished the first one and just finished the heel of the second. (They look a bit lumpy until they're on the foot and then they fit great.)

If we have a rainy week, I may be able to get these done before I go.  I really want to have them done before I leave because I need the needles for my chosen vacation knitting project. I'm FINALLY going to knit the Tintagel socks from "The Enchanted Sole" by Janel Laidman. I really love this book.  It was one of the very few pattern books I've ever picked where I went "I MUST HAVE THIS!" (Susan B. Anderson's "Itty Bitty Toys" was another.) Janel comes up with some very creative,exciting and nerdy sock patterns, even if I don't always enjoy how she charts out everything. I'd rather have "Work k2, p2 rib for 2 inches" than have it charted out, but that's just me.  I want to knit almost every single pair in it the book and I can easily forgive her for her overzealous charts. I've already knit a couple pairs and I have yarn and plans to make others. I've had the yarn (Sanguin Gryffon Eidos in this really rich green colourway.  yummmo!) and beads in my stash for these socks for nearly 2 years and I want to get them knit!  But, I can't do it until I finish Concentric! So, pray for rain for me.  Ha!

I'm also knitting a cotton/linen blend top for myself.  I'm using the pattern for Parasola (which is a pattern I really want to make when I get the right yarn in my stash) but adapted to work with the gauge I'm getting, and then I think it's going to be a tank top because the sleeves just weren't working out.  I've been working on this for ages and ages (it seems. Really it's been about a month and a half.)  It's been slow going as I'm knitting on size 2's and rotating skeins every 2 rows.  But I love the colourway of the Araucania yarn.  Blues, purples and greens:

Isn't it pretty? I just measured tonight and I'm only half an inch away from separating for the arms, but I'm really not sure I can get this done before I leave!  I want to wear it on my vacation, so I am very motivated to finish it.  BUT, before I can do that, I have to finish my last minute gifts!  So, say a prayer to Fiacre (possibly the patron saint of knitters) or maybe Saint Dymphna (the patron saint of mental illness!  ha!) that I find the time, that my needles fly true and that I make my deadlines!

Hope your summer knitting is going well,


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Spinning Again!

I don't remember exactly when I stopped spinning.  I think it was when I had the stress fracture in my foot and was in too much pain. But my poor wheel got shoved aside for stretchy bands and a stationary bike.  And I've been so busy with dyeing and knitting and other things that I've been able to ignore it when it has cried out for attention.  But something about the summer breeze in the window, children playing in the park across the street, the longer days and good light...I began to miss my wheel. So, finally this week I could take it no longer!  I put it back in its rightful place. I drew up the shade and opened the window and sat in my chair and began to spin.  And it was wonderful!

I realize I've lost some of my spinning muscles.  My fingers began to ache from drafting and pinching, my legs haven't been used to treadling, but very soon it all came back and I was amazed at how fast the yarn gathered on my spindle.   I finished 2 single ply projects that have been languishing for ages:

The first one I picked up at last year's WNY Fiber Festival.  It's 100% BFL and it self stripes, which I LOVE.  And the second one in some lovely Suri and Huacaya alpaca blended with Tencel. I got it when our knitting group went to Thistle Creek Alpaca Farm last autumn.  So, stuff I've had for awhile. Both are up on Etsy!

I started a new project, something I've had even longer. It's from a friend of mine, Shadawyn Fibers on Etsy, who does the loveliest colourways out of some of the most lush fibers. 

This one is Finn, which I haven't spun before and I'm really enjoying. The colourway is called Koi Pond and it makes you think of one when you're spinning it because there will be miles of blue and then you'll all of a sudden hit a bit of orange or brown like little fish swimming by. I can't wait to see how it plies up. If it's anything like the last fiber of hers I spun, I know it'll be great.

Oh, wheel,  how I've missed you.  I'm so glad we're back together again!

Hope you're getting lots of crafting done in the lovely summer weather, 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lots of News!

We've got so much going on, I'm going to do a quick list and then expand below, for those of you who appreciate organization, or who get bored with long posts.

  1.  June Etsy Sale.  Coupon Code JUNE2013
  2. Craft show at the Foundry this Saturday, June 8, 12-5
  3. Gifts for Father's Day!!
  4. World Wide Knit in Public Day, Sunday June 9, 2-5.  Bidwell Park.  Bring your knitting, something to sit on, and a treat to share.
  5. Yarn Bomb!  (shhhhh!)

1. We are running a sale at Etsy for 15% off your purchase for the month of June.  The coupon code is JUNE2013.  I've added a bunch of new yarn recently and I've got more coming.  Here are some teasers:

We also have a ton of stitch markers up on the site, which are always great gifts for swaps. AND, keep checking back because there will be more hand knit gifts added in the next couple weeks.

2. Besides the sale, we will be at The Foundry this coming Saturday from 12-5.  We LOVE this venue! If you haven't checked it out yet, stop on by!  There is food, music, demonstrations, activities for kids, and some really interesting and unique vendors that you don't see everywhere else.  PLUS, this is a great group of people trying to revitalize their east side neighborhood and provide space for artists, craftspeople and creative innovation. We feel they're a group well worth supporting.

3. We will be offering up some extra special items for Father's Day including hand knit ties, golf club covers, beer (or pop) cozies in Sabres/Bills colours, large sized oven mitts perfect for grilling and more! If you're looking for a special gift for dad or haven't had time to make something yourself, stop on by!!

4.  World Wide Knit in Public Day is a time for knitters to get together and be out in the community showing people that hey, we are here, and we are knitting!  It's a fun day to meet other knitters in the community, enjoy the sunshine (hopefully) and fresh air.  We like to move around and choose different locations.  Last year we were in Niagara Falls. This year we are going to be at Bidwell Park on the Zetti's side, not the Talking Leaves side.  We'll be there this Sunday, June 9, from 2-5.  Bring your knitting, something to sit on and a treat to share!  If it rains, we will meet at our usual spot, Ashker's Juice Bar on Elmwood (it's just a block north of Bidwell.)  Hope to see you there!!

5.  It's time for our 3rd Annual Yarn Bomb.  This year's theme is Baked Goods.  Keep an eye out, we will be posting pictures soon!  

Whew, I think that's everything for now!