Friday, April 30, 2010

My name is Paige, and I'm a yarnoholic.

So the problem with having a knitting group full of designers, dyers, and distributors, is that your stash has the ability to grow without ever going to a yarn store. (I still totally go to yarn stores, but this is pretty darn convenient) Here's how it goes: you're sitting there, minding your own knitting, gossiping with the other ladies and then suddenly Nicole from Imbued fibers pulls out a brand-spankin'-new green she's been playing with. And green is totally your color. And the color's name is "Sexy Paige Green". Okay, the color hasn't officially been named yet, so for now it's "Sexy Paige Green". And oh- by the way- there's a discount for me, making it very impossible to pass on "Sexy Paige Green". Naturally the checkbook comes out and that yarn comes home with me.

You pick out a pattern. Let's say that pattern is "Haruni" from Knitty. You tell Nicole at Imbued that you plan on making this, and she draws to your attention that there's not actually enough yarn in this skein to make Haruni (you cheeky devil!)Actually that's totally not the yarn's fault, the pattern requires 480 yards, most sock yarns come in lengths between 400 and 440 yards. So I'm going to need another "Sexy Paige Green". We then decide on giving back original SPG and she was going to dye me 2 more SPGs in a different base (same base as Hydrangea Bouquet if you're interested) and then she brought that in for me last night. And to make things even cooler, she wants to make a Haruni with me. If you are planning on making a Haruni, let either Nicole or myself know and we'll be sure to let you know when our knit-along is happening. We both decided last night that we should probably finish a few more projects first before casting on something big and lacy, so it might be a while.

So here we go, "Sexy Paige Green" and the nature shot of the day!

Garden Frog is shocked that I bought more yarn.
Tubby Custard....can't decide on an emotion towards my new yarn. But that face means she either thinks it's awesome, hates it, or Spot the neighbor cat is outside and she's plotting his demise.
And pretty purple flowers. No idea what they are, but I'm glad they're in my yard!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Curse of Rowan

So you may or may not remember my trip to Scotland last year, where I spent my life savings on Rowan and met Ysolda Teague. Some of the Rowan that came home with me is slowly turning in to Seascape by Kieran Folly, the other (3 skeins of Colourscape) taunts me from my stash.
The thing about Rowan yarns (you could say the curse of them) is that you can't make something mediocre with Rowan. Okay. You totally CAN make something mediocre with Rowan. But your very average project will always taunt you. You knitted it into something just to knit it. You didn't wait. You didn't hunt. You didn't strive for the perfect project that will make your Rowan shine like a diamond. And so you end up with a crappy scarf that only uses a fraction of what you just bought and had to throw away clothes in the Birmingham airport to bring back with you. And not just any clothes- your very favorite Purdue Repertory Dance Company hoodie and a rugby shirt from the year your team made it to state. So this project better be flippin' awesome. But the point is, you've got a mediocre scarf out of Rowan that you bought in Scotland. The day you met Ysolda Teague. It's like giving a homeless person a squirt of Chanel number 5. It's just offensive to Rowan. So you frog crappy scarf and check Ravelry to see what everyone else is making with their Colourscape. And you look and look and look and finally say, "Seriously? You're making CAT BEDS out of ROWAN?" Now I love my kitty-babies to death, but I have a hard time buying rowan for myself, not to mention FELTING (shudders) and giving it to a cat who will never appreciate the magic of rowan or the potential the yarn had until it was kitty-pied and felted.

Crappy scarf was frogged and reskeined and put in to a dark corner where I hoped to forget about it for a while. Except it didn't work. This trick tends to work with entire sweaters' worths of Cascade 220 that you may be feeling a little buyer's remorse from (why did I need that much orange again?) but the Rowan sat there. I told it to marinade a little longer until it told me how to use each and every one of my 3 beautiful skeins, but it just taunted. It seriously and honestly stressed me out. So I bought another skein. Surely I can do something with 4? I tried a mediocre top-down cardi, but the rowan just didn't shine like I knew it could. So I bought another with the intention of making a fun turtleneck with a big cable running down the front (but not the middle). And that was only mediocre too. And so I frogged it again and let it sit in the dark corner again amongst the single skeins of this and that and that bright orange Cascade 220. And then it hit me! I have enough for a sweater, but I should totally make it a shawl! So I casted on some fan and feather and knitted. And you guessed it- BOring. Back in the dark corner. At this point I considered selling the whole lot of it for something ridiculously low so it couldn't taunt me whenever I went in to my studio looking for that phantom size 7 dpn or a tape measure. And then on Sunday morning at the butt crack of dawn, I rolled away and swatted at a kitten that was telling me she was hungry and then thought...ENTRELAC! I wrote it down on a post-it because I tend to forget seriously awesome ideas that are born out of sleep deprevation. (That being said, most of the time I wake up and read these post-its, only to find that they said totally stupid things like "carrot hat" or "un-nose jobs") But there it sat- Rowan Colourscape- Entrelac shawl. And I think (but I can't be sure yet) that I absolutely love this entrelac shawl and this will be the end of the Rowan curse. Here's the shawl with Baaaarbara McFleece, the Highland lass that I also picked up that day. At the same store, too!

****You're totally allowed to think that my entrelac is ugly and that I should have made a felted cat bed, just don't tell me. At least for a while. Let me bask in wrap-love for a little while first.
******By the way, all of the shawl pictured is after the first skein. It's a pretty generous hank, should you be wondering how far each of these five skeins will go. I'm pretty sure they will be a generous sized wrap, but I have an extra skein on hold just in case.
And for the nature/Madeline lovers out there (I know I can't be the only one!):

Saturday, April 24, 2010


So it's eleven o'clock on a Saturday night. I'm sitting at the computer in an itty-bitty black and white dress, tall black heels, and my favorite black pearl necklace. There's other stuff too, but that's less important. I had a date at 9. He didn't show. So here I am dressed to the nines, tens and elevens, blogging about shearing alpacas.

Yesterday, I headed to work a couple hours early, loaded up in J's Jeep and headed down to Sheep Street, a yarn/fiber store that I'd heard awesome things about, but had never actually been. We were only there to drop off some yarn and talk about shearing briefly, but were introduced to the sheep, two Great Pyrenees dogs, and 2 of J's alpacas, Armstong and...Moe? Anyhoo, left Sheep Street and hit the road again, heading to Georgetown. J's farm is there and there were alpacas to shear. There were 9, including a baby that had been born just on Monday(omg so stinkin' cute!). We sheared 7 of them because the baby should probably hang on to it's coat for a few more weeks while it warms up and another was getting a special shearing later so her fleece would show well in competition.
So we sheared, gave shots, dodged spit and played with dogs in the creek. It was pretty much flawless! The only injury of the day was a minor one-I jabbed myself with a giant needle in the hand while filling up syringes to de-worm the alpacas. Now I'm spitting excessively and growing super thick hair. Not too bad actually. Just another adventure in fiber.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thank You, Ingrid.

So one of my favorite singer/song writer/hippies that I listen to is Ingrid Michaelson- the lady who did that if you are chilly, here take my sweater/your head is aching, I'll make it better/ because I love the way you call me baby/and you take me the way I am song. She has another one that she introduces on her CD as "a song about giving up, but it's a good thing".

I am giving up on greener grasses/ I am giving up on making passes/ I am giving up on half-empty glasses/ I am giving up.

And so, Marine aka Lieutenant Dan, I am giving up. I want to be your girlfriend/SO/person you can talk to, but I find myself waiting in the wings, hoping you don't get a better option. I've always struggled with self-confidence, and I'm stepping out of this game while I scrape up what I have left of myself and move on. Things are going really well for me right now with work and stuff on the side, and I can't- I won't have this taken away from me because I'm sitting around waiting for a call that probably won't come anyway. Thanks, but this isn't best for ME. And that's really who I need to focus on right now. And thank you Ingrid, for phrasing it better than I ever could. There will be greener grasses and half-full glasses, but it will be because I made them that way.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lace + Beads = Love

So I wasn't going to say anything for a while, but I just can't keep it bottled up anymore! I am teaching a class in Sarasota, FL next month and I'm so excited I could drop a stitch! I'm teaching Lucy Robson's "Candle Light Shawl" pattern, which I made earlier this year in DIC
Starry in the Happy Forest colorway. After Susan (the owner of A Good Yarn in Sarasota, where I will be teaching on May 22nd and 23rd)and I agreed on the class dates and such, only one pattern came to mind for a lace shawl that I want to knit (over and over) again and I think it's a great pattern for beginner lace knitters as well.

So I made another one so Susan can keep it at the shop until the workshop in May. This time I used Imbued Fibers "Hydrangea Bouquet" (or was it Hyacinth? Help, Nicole?) and I decided to get a little snazzy and throw in some of the leftover beads from Sheree's wedding shawl. So here we go- one of my new favorite FO's EVER.
Just a reminder of how awesome the yarn is even before you knit it...
And the glamor shots. Give it to me! Yes! Yes! Whew...I think I may need
a cigarette after that one.
The new stuff from my trip to Fiberworks in Dayton Ohio this weekend. Back to front: awesome merino roving in a funky orange color, Kraemer Sterling and finally some Araucania Ruca Multy, which is 100% sugar cane. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but I had never seen sugarcane before and I thought I should have some. It feels like a strange cross between cotton & bamboo to me.
And finally, Madeline going on helter-skelter on some dishcloth cotton that fell out of my grocery bag. Good girl. We only use that crap for potholders anyway. (nothing against it, I just can't convince myself to make anything other than a potholder out of it- too hard on my hands)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring has Sprung

I's a little late to be posting this, but blogging has been minimal since the eating of the keyboard by hellkitten. Spring always seems to sneak up on me. It's just another long, grey day of winter and you leave the warehouse and drive home and on your way down the driveway you notice...was that a crocus? Are those daffodils? And so I decided to take pictures as the flowers around my house hit their peak and show the world why spring kicks seasonal butt. Enjoy- I certainly am.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

And sometimes things go really far up really fast, and then crash and burn before you have time to Are you serious? This applies to my recent dating adventures with a certain Marine, and not my adventures in fiber. And those adventures are much more fun, so let's talk about those, shall we?

(I'm on the Mac since my hell-kitten at the keys off my keyboard and since I'm a seriously Mac-challenged individual, I apologize for any blog funkyness that isn't the result of a man-hating mood swing).

So...Greencastle. Saturday began with Mandie calling at 7:30 am (for future references, there better be a fire or a 90% off shoe sale if you plan on calling me at's not pretty) and saying that I should come pick her up to go to Greencastle. Okay. So showered and primped and at Mandie's at 9:30, and at Jill's house shortly after that. Jill drove, which theoretically means I was free to knit, but we ended up gossiping about a certain Marine who will not be mentioned again. Go there and saw Laurie right off the bat as we were parking (I'm sorry Laurie! We couldn't catch up!) and then headed in to the first barn. There was fiber. Lots of fiber. And even a few familiar faces! (Left to right- Jill, Zionsville knitter's sister, Zionsville knitter whose name escapes me at the moment). I seriously love Zionsville knitter's shirt. YAAARRRRN!
After that we ran in to Carol (you've probably seen that sexy bi-atch on knitty modeling Mandie's Summit wrap. It's a cool wrap. I need one. I just need to finish another scabillion projects first). Anyhoo, Carol is a totally awesome spinning and was at the Trading Post (in Pendleton for the record) checking out Susan's impressive fiber stands.
A few minutes after that, Jill found a friend in the bunny barn. I thought about sticking this one down my shirt and taking him home with me. So soft! I told myself at the fiber fair that I don't need an angora rabbit...but now I'm not so sure. Have been seriously contemplating a large rabbit hutch in the screened in porch and a few bunny-wunnies to keep each other company. And yes. Bunny-wunnies.
And then I got a little star-struck when I met Lana, the designer of Skew (funk-tastic socks in this season's Knitty) and when Mandie and her silk shawl of awesome stood next to her, it was just cool. All that talent in one picture. I'm glad I got them together- my camera had been acting up all day but magically healed itself shortly after this picture. Even a Fujifilm knows how awesome it is to have 2 knitty designers together in the same room.
I bet you're wanting to know what came home with me, right? I know. The suspense is killing me too. I really didn't buy a whole lot, since I'm trying this new "quality over quantity" thing. So that means I got a couple projects worth of fiber (both from the Trading Post), a hank of sock yarn from Sandy's Palette (not pictured, but I got 2 of them last year and love them to pieces. Best. Socks. Ever.) and I even got the rug hooking ladies to help me out and set up a little project for me. My biggest investment was a new hook that promises to be much nicer than the hook I had been using for my cheap-ass sh*t-fiber rug hooking kit, as does the cloth and wool. It's a sheep so it will go along with my other sheepies that are scattered around the upstairs of my house. And that's all I have for right now. I took some pretty pictures of the flowers around my house, but they all deserve their own post, which will be a post where I really don't have anything to say. But for now, I'm going to go curl up with a trashy romance novel and an ornery kitten and call it a night. Wooly wishes and sweet dreams, readers.