St. Louis Yarn Crawl

2 weekends ago I had the luxury of going on

the St. Louis yarn crawl with 3 great friends. You printed out a passport that you turned in at the end and they drew names for door prizes! With each stop they stamped the passport and gave out a free pattern.

Our first stop was Weaving Department/Myers House.  As soon as we pulled up I was in love! The house was built in 1867 and has amazing charm.  If you want to learn more about it you can click here.  The yarn store has the whole bottom floor of this house and room upon room of yarn, spinning wheels, roving, and weaving materials.  I had no idea this little jewel existed and it goes on my list to stop at when I am out that way. I purchased a set of Knitters Pride double pointed needles and a skein of sock yarn while I was there.

Next we went to Kirkwood Knittery. This was a small store with a nice button assortment and some super cute locally made stitch markers.  While the yarn selection was sparse I did snatch up some very cute elephant stitch markers.  

After our stop there it was time for lunch. We decided to go to Mellow Mushroom. The one in Kirkwood has a great outdoor space where we ate and even found a sculpture of "yarn balls".  

After lunch we made our way to Knitorious (one of my favorite places!) and they were giving away free Ted Drewes to all the "crawlers".  I only picked up a skein of the yarn I needed to swatch the Ashland pullover since they didn't have my order in yet.

We still had 2 more places to hit before our day was over and we went to HearthStone Knits next.  I found some amazingly soft chenille yarn (Sirdar Smudge) in a gorgeous cream color that I picked up to make a baby blanket with.  I have 4 babies to knit for and 2 have already been born! The last place we went was The Bead Place. They have a bead store in front and a yarn room in back.  I found some scrumptious Frabjous Fibers roving there that went home with me.

This was my first time doing a yarn crawl and had an amazing time doing it.  I will definitely be attending next years! Oh, and the little blonde in the blue (who always wins something wherever we go!) won one of the prizes from The Bead Place!

 

Ashland Sweater

My favorite  local yarn shop (Knitorious)  is having a class for the Ashland Sweater by Brooklyn Tweed. I love taking classes there as I get to learn new things and knit with amazing people.  The class I took in the spring I did my first ever steeks! Having someone hold your hand as you cut through umpteen hours of fair isle makes it a lot less scary.

Ashland is a classic piece that I will be able to wear for years to come.  I had 2 full skeins of Harrisville Shetland wool (in grey and green) leftover from the Bruntsfield Vest (Ysolda Teague) I made in the spring that would work great for the contrasting colors in this sweater.  I chose a cream for the main color.  Unfortunately, the yarn shop only had 3 when I went in 2 weeks ago and put me on a special order list.  I went back last weekend and picked up 1 skein of the cream so I could start swatching.

I really need to start swatching as I can never get the correct gauge on what the pattern calls for.  I am a tight knitter and normally have to go up a needle size or 2.  For the Bruntsfield vest I ended up making 4 swatches and never got the exact gauge, but did some math and worked out measurements to fit me.  Ashland calls for 4 different needle sizes to be used over the project and row gauge is somewhat critical so I am sure it will take quite a few swatches to figure out which needles sizes will work best for me.

 

 

Handspun in Action

I knit hat with the rainbow handspun I recently finished. I loved the yarn so much that it flew off the needles.

I bought this pom-pom last fall, but could never find the right yarn or pattern to use it with. When I pulled it out and tried it with this hat it was a perfect match.

Originally, this hat was for me, but my daughter has fallen in love with it so I will let her borrow it as much as she wants. Let's hope I don't have to looking in the lost and found at school for it!

Shirsty Cat Design Handspun

Last year several of my friends went to Vogue Knitting Live in Minneapolis.  I sadly did not get to go, but they did bring me back some goodies. One of the things I got was a 4oz braid of rainbow merino and tencel roving from Shirsty Cat Designs.  I finally got around to spinning it this month (8 months in the stash isn't that long).  I wish I had taken a before picture, but you can visit her page linked above to see her beautiful yarns and rovings. It spun up beautifully into 220 yards of heavy fingering weight yarn.  I caked it as soon as it was dry and started a hat with it.  I bought a fur pom-pom last winter and never found quite the right hat to put in on, but it will go perfect on with this yarn.  Stay tuned to see how it knits up.

 

Build The Life You Want

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Fiber arts are a big portion of my life and my dream is to one day own  my own little slice of heaven aka a knitting store.  This year I decided to work on a plan to make that dream a reality, but it is still several years off.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading and podcast listening on entrepreneurship and one thing that keeps popping up is build the life you want.  It’s hard for me to set long term goals since I’m an in the moment person and a 5 year plan feels like a lifetime.  I started writing down smalls steps I could take now that would help me achieve my dream and working through TKGA (The Knitting Guild Association) Master Hand Knitting Program is my next step.

I found out about this program in early 2016 while browsing ravelry. I knew it was something I wanted to do, but I wasn’t sure I had the time. I had just went back to work and have 3 active kids so I put it off.  Fast forward a year later- I am now working full time (that yarn shop isn’t going to fund itself!) and still have 3 busy kids, but I feel like it’s the right time to take this on.

You are given 12 months to complete the first level of the program. Level 1 consists of writing a report on the blocking of hand knits, 19 swatches (now is the time to tell you I really don’t like swatching), filling out some worksheets, answering 20+ questions, and making a mitten.  Once you finish all this you put it all into a portfolio and off it goes to The Committee ( a group of volunteers who have already received the Master Hand Knitter title).  There all your work gets reviewed and feedback is given. If you have an item(s) that didn’t pass inspection you are given the chance to resubmit it within the cost of the program.  If you need to resubmit items multiple times you have to pay the shipping. Hopefully, I can pass on the first go round, but I am always learning new things with every project I take on so we will see.

If you want to learn more about the TKGA Master Hand Knitting program head over to TKGA or to the ravelry group.

 

 

Summer, Socks, and Startitis

Today has been the hottest day of the year topping out at 102° yet here I am working on wool socks. Really that should say sock since the chance of the second sock ever being knit is slim to none.  Normally I knit socks two at a time, because that is the only way I’ve ever finished a matching pair.  This sock was cast on in haste as I needed a brainless project for a trip I took a few weeks ago.  I was flying half way across the country for my cousin’s wedding and needed a project to take with me.  The projects I had going were either too large or complex for the trip so I went to my old standby- vanilla socks.

Now I had ANOTHER vanilla sock finished from a vacation I took in May.  One might think “Oh, this would be a good time to make that second sock.”, but that is not what went through my brain. Oh no, startitis is something I struggle with daily and when you have a rather large amount of sock yarn sometimes a skein just calls your name.

I can’t be the only one who has a collection of single socks or a collection of sock yarn calling out to you.  Please tell me there are those of you like me that have a drawer full of single socks just waiting for their mate to be made.  Mine might as well give up since I’ve started wearing them mismatched.  They say opposites attract right???