Category Archives: stuff to love

A little something extra….

I love dresses. I want to sew a ton of dresses, but have no time to actually do it, it seems. So my closet is lacking. And to buy some? Well, I never seem to find any that live up to what I’m wishing for.

Then I received an e-mail last week from Shabby Apple. Would my readers like a coupon? I visited the site and thought, oh yes, would they ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the dresses… beautiful, practical, vintage styling…gorgeous. I could wear these on a date night, I could wear them to the store. So, a little gift for you this weekend. Enter the coupon code knittymama10off by April 30th to receive 10% off your order. Enjoy!!

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Knitters

It’s been a knitterly few days. I’m lucky to live in Minneapolis. Not only do we have scads of wonderful LYS’s but we get Yarnover, the Knitter’s Guild Spring knitting extravaganza along with an amazing line up of knitters to bring and share their skills. The list was long but in the last few days I was able to hear both Cat Bordhi and Franklin Habit speak and take classes with Meg Swanson and Cookie A.

Yarnover started with a sweet and funny keynote by Cat Bordhi. She spoke eloquently about knitting and what is was that made it so magical.

After Cat’s speech it was time to take my first class of the day:  two color knitting, taught by Meg Swanson and Amy Detjen. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. Sixty knitters in one room? But I was amazed by the information she shared. Not only did I leave with a mile long list of knitting tips, but the stories she shared about her mother were priceless. The artistry and talent were amazing, and the sweaters she brought…..gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. I feel like I want to spend the entire year knitting nothing but Schoolhouse Patterns. Maybe time to do that intensive EZ study I’ve always wanted to do?

And the best part? I can finally knit with one color in each hand as well as easily trap my stitches. Time for some Armenian knitting, perhaps?

Meg Swanson's 2 color hat

After lunch I had a class with Cookie A on resizing stitch patterns. Unfortunately, half the class thought they were going to learn how to resize actual patterns, not stitch patterns. Poor Cookie! However, she did her best to teach everyone what they wanted to know and I did gain the skills I wanted. The best part was that the class broke up a little early (I think they all wanted to hit the yarn market before it closed) so I had the chance to sit down with Cookie one on one and take a look at how she would resize a complicated pattern from one of her socks. Not only did I learn how to resize but I also learned about the design process, stitch patterns and charting. Talking through it with Cookie was very helpful.

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Cookie’s sock and pattern; my attempt at making it bigger. I was waaaaay off track. The trick is to start with the biggest lines in the pattern, not the smallest.

Knowing that Shepherd’s Harvest was coming up in a few weeks, I restrained myself and bought only one thing I’ve always wanted, the Wild Apple Bohus hat kit from Fairy Hare Yarns*. It was quite a splurge ($50 for a hat? really, $50 for a hat? the Skeptic kept saying…) but I did have birthday money I had been saving for the occasion. So yes. $50 for a rare hat kit; totally worth it.

I had two days to soak in all this knitterly goodness before the grand finale of this long weekend, Franklin Habit.

Franklin was the guest speaker at the Knitter’s Guild and he was fantastic. His presentation was all about historical knitting. Now, I knew he had his column on Knitty but had no idea that he’d been doing so much research into how knitting went from something passed on from one person to another to something written down in instruction form. He was funny and extremely knowledgeable about the subject, and made that old and forgotten history major in me perk right up. Considering that written patterns began with absolutely no standardization whatsoever, it’s quite amazing today that somehow we’ve managed to come up with a cohesive language for knitting at all.

Not only did Franklin share the history, but he brought samples of the historical patterns he’s worked up and I had the chance to take a look. He made an excellent point about going back to these historical patterns. We’ve lost some useful things over the years. The baby hood? Padded around the edges for extra warmth and protection. And the nightcap? Why did we stop using nightcaps? I live in an old house and I freeze at night. And the orange? Well, you know how we knitters all like knitting fruit just because we can. That’s always been around.

Franklin was kind enough to let me snag a few photos……

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Wow, that’s some wild, escaping hair I’ve got going on there…..can you all tell I barely managed to escape the 3 boy tornado to get out of the house for this event? At least you can’t see the muddy hand print I discovered on my pants during the talk….

You can find the patterns for all of these items on Knitty in his column, Stitches in Time.

Now, it’s 11:43. A wise woman would realize she has to be up in six hours and go to bed. The unwise would head over to Ravelry to dig around in the Historical Knitting group. Or maybe go knit an orange.

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Phat Fiber

First, thanks for all the kind words. My leg is on the mend and I’m up and about and feeling pretty good. I was smart and stayed home Thursday as well despite the fact that the violins needed me, but oh well, they’ll survive as will the kids.   I’ve never quite had a muscle injury like that one before. The ice is my new enemy.

So…. Phat Fiber??

I scored a box:
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If you haven’t run across this yet, it’s a sample box of fiber, yarn and other goodies from indie sellers. I sold some yarn and had a little fiber money to spend so I thought I’d try this out for a change, and I’m so glad I did.

The box cost $33, and I’ll admit that after I placed my order I started thinking of how much fiber I could actually buy for $33, but then I realized I’m overrun with fiber and yarn right now. This is a great way to play with a bunch of new stuff and see how I like it all without committing to just one item. What will I do with it all? You’ll have to wait and see!

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(There is yarn content in here, I promise!!!)

I’m going to admit that my online attention has been elsewhere. I’ve barely read more than a handful of blogs in the last two weeks and rarely left a comment. And for what? My latest obsession, not yarn or fiber (although that’s always an obsession), but diapers.

A few of you will be in the know about this, but most of you will be thinking, “diapers?” How much time can a girl spend obsessing about diapers? Let me tell you, LOTS of time.

Because there is a lovely place called Hyenacart. Sort of like Etsy, but aimed more at families/natural living. There are gorgeous, gorgeous cloth diapers here. And while the Fuzzi Bunz and prefolds have served me well for the boys, they are old and worn and it’s time to step it up. This kid is getting handmade fitteds, such as my cute red monkey diaper I found this weekend.

The thing is, diaper shopping is as much work as yarn shopping when it comes to small, indie sellers. You basically need to stalk the sites and grab them when you have the chance. Plus, I’m trying to stick to some sort of budget. After all, cloth diapers are supposed to be saving me money, not break the bank. So I’ve been looking for a few nice splurges as well as the more budget friendly sellers as well. But wow, there is so much to choose from  (if I can only get to them first!)

And of course, this is not just a post about buying diapers. This is a blog about making things, and that includes diapers. So I’m also obsessing about sewing diapers and of course, knitting soakers. (See, there is knitting in here!!) But I’ve never sewn a diaper, and it’s been two years since I’ve made a soaker, so I’m out of the loop. There are patterns to look at and yarn to obsess about. Amazingly, my stash is not very full of good soaker yarn, and this is the best part I have to share with all of YOU knitters out there.

You see, I thought I was pretty up on my internet yarn sources. I’ve haunted Etsy and most of the smaller yarn sellers online, so I was sure I’d seen it all.  Nope. Because in all my soaker research/Hyenacart shopping, I’ve made a discovery. There is more yarn out there. Yarn I’ve never even heard of, dyers I’ve never run across, all that seem to lurk within the cloth diaper circuit. And this is nice stuff, beautiful colors, interesting yarns. A lot of very specific wools out there that would be nice for more than soakers. Lots of BFL, targhee, organic, rambouillet, handspun….a lot of beautiful yarn.

Want a peak? Go here. And here. Also here. And to see all of it, here. And don’t forget Spot’s Corner, where you can see who is selling off their stash (and you could sell yours!).

So hopefully, in exchange for some new yarn shopping for all of you, you’ll forgive my little blog-reading hiatus here. I promise I’ll be lurking around again soon, as soon as I’ve spent all my money:-)

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