Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter.....Sheep?

Some people color Easter eggs, some use Easter egg dyes to color yarn, and some color sheep?  Well, maybe not, but this puts a whole new meaning to "dyed in the wool."  :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cute Pic of the Day

Had to share this picture I saw on Facebook today from Hoegger Supply Co's page.  Look very closely at the picture, and you'll notice the sweetest, little face of a 1 day old Angora goat under his mother.  AWE!!!    

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Black Swamp Spinners Guild Market Day & Fiber Fair


Today I road tripped with a couple of friends up to Bowling Green, OH for the Black Swamp Spinners Guild Market Day & Fiber Fair.  This was probably the smallest fiber festival I've ever attended, but I did find some nice goodies!  :)  








I had a lovely conversation with a farmer from Riverside Farm.  His booth is shown to the left.  He was selling Lincoln raw wool and roving.  I was amazed by how many different colors from one breed of sheep!  So beautiful!  I've  never spun Lincoln before, so I bought some roving.  



I purchased a couple of different rovings from Wooly Knob Fiber Mill Inc out of La Otto, IN.  The one to the left is a 4oz mix of Columbia, Rombox, and Silk.  I don't know what "Rombox" is, but that's what was on the card.  If anyone knows if that is correct, please let me know.  Doing a quick internet search revealed nothing, even with varying spellings....so might have to contact them to see if I wrote it down wrong.  













This is 4oz of Jacob/BFL.  While I've spun BFL before, I've not worked with Jacob.  It's pretty soft and I love the natural color!  










This is Icelandic lambs wool from Little Cabin Farms in Bowling Green, OH.  Another new fiber for me to spin and it's SO soft and smooshy!  

Last, but not least, is a cute, little, felted sheep bag I found!  This is perfect for knitting notions or as a little coin purse.  Handmade in Nepal.  Isn't it adorable?  :)   

 Now...to find some empty bobbins and spin!  I know I have some...somewhere....

Car Knitting

On our way to a Fiber Festival. Getting some work done as we go.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Phat Has Landed

My Phat Fiber Fluff box arrived this afternoon!  Pleasant surprise after having to take my hubby to the ENT for allergy testing (poor guy!).  

So I know you are wondering "What's in the box???" so I'll get right to the pictures.  

And of course, Oreo had to help me unpack.  :)  Where's there is fluff, there is fur-ball!  Here is a pic of the fluff box.  Taking a pic of the fibers next to Oreo, gives you a good idea of the size of everything.  The fiber samples are probably no more than an ounce each, many are less than that.  

I got a couple of patterns, one for some mitts and another for a cape.  Will definitely be making the mitts, not sure about the cape yet.  

The fluff samples are mostly merino, but there are some fibers that I've not spun before.  
Merino

80% merino, 20% silk

Merino


A few  notions were in the box, and, sadly, not the spinning earrings I wanted from the preview video.  :(  But I did get two buttons and a Celtic stitch marker (LOVE the stitch marker!).  

Also got a needle felting needle in the box.  I have a few of these already, but this one will go into my portable knit-kit so that I always have one handy.

More fluff samples.  I was happy to have some Polworth/Silk blend in the box since I've never spun with Polworth and hear that it is easy to work with.  
Polworth and Silk


Also happy to find some Shetland in the box.  Another new thing for me to spin.






This is interesting.  A mix of merino, bamboo, carbonized bamboo, and soy silk.  I'm interested to see how well this combination spins up.
Beautiful green merino
Superwash Merino, Bamboo, & Nylon



Alpaca locks mixed with all sorts of other things.

This one is very cool!  Black welsh mountain wool with silk.  I love the history on this one.

                                                   And some more lovely wool roving.  

So from doing this, I have learned some things that will be helpful to you, if you ever want to buy a Phat box.

1.  It costs $36.00 for every box, whether it be fluff, fiber, or a mix of both.

2.  Each box is apparently different (did not know this until just now from seeing pics online of other people's boxes).  So my fluff box is different from another.  I find this to be disappointing.  I was looking at pics of one fluff box online, and the samples she got look much larger than the one's in my box.  I guess the thought behind making them different is that one person could buy 4 fluff boxes and get lots of different samples that way.

3.  You have to be VERY quick to purchase.  There are tricks to snagging a box on the Phat Fiber Sampler Box group on Ravelry.  

4.  The weekend of the box sale, the Ravelry will provide a list of Phattie stores with sales that weekend.  There are more incentives to buy after you get your box in the form of coupons within the box, and on Ravelry, plus a drawing if you tell the Ravelry group what you bought at the Phattie stores online.  

All in all, I'm happy I got a box and had this experience to write about.  Would I do it again?  Not sure.  I would really have to like the theme of the box to go for it again.  The Celtic theme caught my eye, so had to go for it.  

Now the question is, what to spin first?  

As Tom Petty once said...

"The waiting is the hardest part."
I'm patiently waiting for my Phat Fiber Fluff Box to come in the mail today or tomorrow!  SQUEEE!  


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fiber Goodies Weekend Continues...

Not only did I score a Phat Fiber Fluff box yesterday, but my Knit Picks order arrived in the mail!  :)  Let me show you what was in the box...

Here is a skein of Knit Picks Bare 100% Peruvian Highland wool.  I'm going to make mini-skeins out of it, dye them different colors, and use them for my Beekeeper's Quilt!  :)  

Next, we have some Knit Picks Dishie multi 100% cotton yarn.  This is going to be knitted into a gift that I'll write about later.  Don't want to spoil.  ;)


Some lovely Shine Worsted in Crocus colorway.  60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal.  Also to be knitted into a gift.

Here is Knit Picks Stroll Fingering weight called "Diving Board Multi."  This colorway is not what I expected when I looked on Knit Picks.  Knit Picks shows this picture for the colorway.  
Looks more on the bluish side to my eyes.  But in reality, it's more on the greenish-blue side and brighter than the Knit Picks picture shows.   

It is so hard to get it to photograph correctly, even playing with all the manual settings on my camera and using an Ott light.  But it is definitely more greenish-blue than blue.  At first, I was disappointed that it wasn't closer to what Knit Picks shows on their site, but I think it will make some cute hexipuffs for my quilt.  

Remember I wrote about the Color Affection Shawl I want to make?  Here's a reminder pic of what it looks like.  


I now have the yarns I'll use for it!  Again, the colors shown on Knit Picks were not accurate to real life, but I'm OK with it.  I've been trying for 2 days now to get the most accurate photos of this yarn to show you what they really look like, but even I'm having trouble.

To the left,  is a pic from Knit Picks showing their Pacific Tonal Color.  It looks like deep blues, right?  Not so much in real life.  It has more of a teal quality to it, which I love, but makes it really hard to photograph for some reason.  The closest I could get to accurate is the picture on the right.  


  

More differences between what you see on Knit Picks, and how they look in real life.  Above, you see the Springtime Tonal colorway.  On the left, is the picture you find on Knit Picks.  On the right, is what the yarn actually looks like.  It is VERY bright compared to what you see online.  I wish it was a bit more like the Knit Picks picture, but it's growing on me.  
The picture above left is from Knit Picks, and it is ACTUALLY QUITE ACCURATE when you look at the picture I took on the right of the yarn.  I think the 3 colors together are going to make a beautiful shawl for Spring.

This morning, Oreo decided that if he couldn't play with my fiber goodness, then he was going to at least take advantage of the Knit Picks box.  He had a great time playing!  So much so that he had to take a belly-up nap. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Phat Fiber Score!

Have you heard of Phat Fiber Sampler boxes?  I hadn't either until about a month ago when I was perusing the spinning groups on Ravelry and someone mentioned Phat Fibers.  I found the Phat Fiber Sampler Box group on Ravelry and started investigating.  

Apparently, there are thousands, yes, I said THOUSANDS, of people interested in these sampler boxes.  The group on Ravelry currently has 3,569 members!  So what is this popular  Phat Fiber box?  Here's what the website says...


What is Phat Fiber?Phat Fiber is a mystery box of awesome samples for the yarn and fiber enthusiast in us all. With a focus on the independent artisan, this box is a super grass-roots treat for the senses. When your box arrives, chock full of samples, expect to be overwhelmed with the sight and feel of artful yarns, bits of roving, small batts, stitch markers, original patterns, valuable discount coupons and much much more. Inside, you could find anything that yarn and fiber enthusiasts would love...even an herbal tea or two! Phat Fiber seeks to bridge the gap between talented online artisans and consumers hungry to support the independent small business.  http://www.phatfiber.com/

Each month, a new theme is revealed in the Ravelry group.  The excitement builds until the email arrives in your inbox (after you have signed up of course) the details on when the Phat Fiber boxes go on sale.  A few days before, you can find preview videos on Ravelry of what will be in the boxes...though they do not divulge which sample is in which box.  There are three box choices, one with yarn samples, one with yarn and fluff, and one with just fluff.

Last month, I wasn't too thrilled about the theme or the items in the previews.  This month, however, was a game changer.  The theme was CELTIC!  You can watch the preview videos on the Phat Fiber Blog.  I dare you not to drool over the fiber goodies in there!  I just had to try and snag a box of fluff after seeing the preview videos!

Today is the day for the Phat Fiber sale.  I almost forgot about it this morning, but it jumped into my mind as I was waking up.  I looked at the clock and I had an hour before the sale...plenty of time to get to my computer.  About 10 min till, I sat with my laptop in my lap, on the sale page, and just waited.  I kept thinking it would be really cool to snag a box on my first try, but I had read how hard that can be through the online group.  Some people try every month with no success.  There are 2 sales within one day, and as soon as the clock hits the sale time, GAME ON!  You have to be quick and I think it can be rare to snag more than one box.  

I'm so happy to announce that I GOT A FLUFF BOX!!!!  :)  I was shocked that I got it, and tried to grab another box, but they were sold out WITHIN SECONDS!  It's that crazy folks.  I've never seen anything like it...and man I wish I had come up with the idea myself!  Those boxes go so fast.  As soon as I concluded the checkout process, I ran upstairs to tell my husband that I got a Phat box.  I was squealing with delight (well, it was more of a squeal, cough, wheeze sound from my cold, but you get the idea).  

I'm very excited to see what comes in the box, and I'll be sure to post pics of what I get.  For now, I wait and look forward to a box of lovely fluff to arrive in the mail.  

  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My First 2 Hexipuffs!

As planned, I began my hexipuff adventure yesterday to commemorate the 1 year anniversary of learning I was pregnant with my boys.  Beginning a hexipuff yesterday, and remembering that joyful day was very helpful to me.  I started a KAL (Knit A-Long) on Ravelry for my pregnancy loss friends to work on hexipuffs together.  Making these little puffs are so quick and fun, and it's been helpful having a project to focus on (even though my brain is foggy with a cold right now so focusing is a bit of a task!).  

These hexipuffs will be part of my Beekeeper's Quilt.  At this time, I don't have a particular number of hexipuffs in mind right now...I'm just going to make as many as I can this year and see what happens.  

Here are my first two hexipuffs!  If you are on Ravelry, you can view my project page HERE.

My first hexipuff!  
My first hexipuff was made out of purple Luxury Sock Yarn that I had on hand.  I used size US 4 circular needles with 32" cable for magic loop.  Cast on using Judy's magic cast on.  Filled with bamboo fiber-fill.  I used the 3 needle bind off technique described in the pattern.  I found that the bind off was a bit too tight for my liking, so I didn't do it on my 2nd one.  
My 2nd hexipuff!
My 2nd hexipuff is made with the same yarn as the first (sorry the pictures aren't great, using my camera on my phone).  Used Judy's magic cast on again, filled with bamboo fiber-fill, but this time did a Kitchener Stitch bind off.  It's been a long time since I've used this kind of bind off, so will take a bit of practice to get it just right.  19 rows, 20 stitches.    


Two hexipuffs to remind me of my sweet boys.  I'm trying to decide if I want to embroider something on the puffs or not.  I'll let you know what I decide.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Knit Project Planning

Now that I'm able to knit again, albeit slowly, I've been in project planning mode.  So many things that I want to knit!  I started on Wicker Cowl the other day.  A Ravelry friend of mine gave me the printout of this pattern and some beautiful, purple yarn to make it with in a swap I did last year.  I'm using Elsebeth Lavold Design Silky Wool (shown above).  

Isn't it pretty?  I think it is going to be gorgeous in the Silky wool yarn and perfect for Springtime.  

Another friend on Ravelry gifted me the Color Affection shawl pattern to cheer me up one day.  I've been eyeing this pattern for a while now, dreaming of what colors to use.  I found some yarns on Knit Picks that will be perfect for it!    Ordering those this week and will show you my choices when they arrive.

Today, another friend (I have so many wonderful friends on Ravelry!!!) gifted me the Beekeeper's Quilt pattern that I've been longing to do for quite some time.  This uses small amounts of sock weight yarn to make hexipuffs.  The hexipuffs are sewn together to make a wonderfully warm, squishy quilt in the end.  I am going stash diving today to pick out yarn for this, as I know I have a ton of scrap yarn that will work.  I think I will make my first one tomorrow to commemorate the the anniversary of my positive pregnancy test last year with my sons.  March 12, 2012 was one of the happiest days of my life, and such unexpected joy to find out that I was pregnant after years of fertility issues.  I want to mark tomorrow and remember that day with my boys...even though at that time, I had no idea that I was carrying twins.  It's really rough thinking about how much my life has changed since then.  

The pattern author of this quilt has an adorable video online talking about this pattern in more detail.  You can watch it here.  

I also have plans to knit at least 2 hats for my great Aunt.  She survived ovarian cancer last year at the age of 88.  I picked out some soft, cotton yarn for her hats.  I'll show those when they are finished.

Well, I think that is quite a bit of planning for now.  Those things should keep my fingers and brain busy for a while to come...at least a few months anyways.  ;)