Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Goodbye to 2014, and Hello to 2015

It's the end of 2014 and I feel like the year was mostly consumed with buying our first house!   We started looking in May, made an offer in June, and moved in August.  As I look back at my first post of the year here on my blog, and read through my goals for 2014, I realize that I didn't accomplish any of it!  Well, OK, I did make some more hexipuffs, but that was it.  My crafting definitely took a back seat to our house buying adventure!  

It was also harder to get things accomplished as we started doing IVF treatments this year.  If you have ever done fertility treatments, you know that crafting + fertility meds does not equal productivity.  My brain was so scrambled from the meds, that any attempt at knitting ended up with a lot of ripping out and starting over, my sewing machine appeared too daunting to touch, just thinking about dyeing yarn made me exhausted, and spinning, well, spinning is probably the easiest out of all the above, but even that didn't get accomplished.  I'm actually considering writing a blog about our fertility journey because I feel like it might be a therapeutic and helpful way to process all that goes into it.  

So what did I get done this year?  Here are a few knitted items I was able to crank out despite life getting in the way...

"Whimsical Wallingford"
Hand dyed by my friend, Beth
Knitted by Me
Pattern is "Wallingford" by Jen Lucas
Yarn:  Mountain Colors Barefoot
Pattern:  "Pogona" by Stephen West

"Preparing for Kalamazoo Cowl"
Yarn:  Three Irish Girls Springvale DK in You are my Sunshine
Pattern:  Ingot by Lisa Mutch

"Kool Socks"
Yarn is BFL hand dyed by Me
Pattern from the book "Sensational Knitted Socks"

For 2015, I'm not going to make a list of goals for my crafting.  It just seems like too much pressure on me right now, and that's the last thing I need.  Instead, I'm just going to go into the New Year with an open mind and see what comes of it.  

Wishing you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Purled Ewe is having a SALE!

I'm so thankful for all of my fans and customers!  

My gift to you is 10% OFF at my Etsy Store, THE PURLED EWE!  Use coupon code THANKFUL10 at checkout.  Offer is good through Tuesday, December 2nd.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Winner is....

The Colorway Naming Contest is now finished and the winner has been announced.

The winner is....Ravelry user CRINOIDEA!  

Thank you to everyone who participated in this contest!  It was not easy to choose the winning name given that so many names fit this colorway so well!  

The new colorway name is "Fuchsia"!  Check out this lovely colorway on 100% merino top roving at my Etsy Store today.  

Click HERE for the listing.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Colorway Naming Contest on Ravelry

I'm hosting a Colorway Naming Contest over at my Ravelry Group, The Purled Ewe.  Contest will run now through Oct 27th.  Help me name this lovely Merino fiber that I dyed with food grade dyes.

To enter the contest, visit The Purled Ewe on Ravelry. Join my group and you'll find the contest below.

The winner will receive a 10% off discount to my Etsy store.  :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Purled Ewe is Back!

I'm happy to announce that The Purled Ewe is back online as of today!  Now that things are settling down around the new house a bit, I can get back to my fiber and fabric fun!  :)  

Thank you for your patience while I've been busy!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sock Success!

August is here already, and I haven't had a lot of time to knit or spin this summer.  Certainly haven't had time to dye!  We are waiting to take possession of our new house and we have other things going on so we are just super busy!  I did, however, manage to successfully make a pair of socks!  

If you remember back to one of my earlier posts from this year, one of my knitting resolutions was to enhance my sock making skills.  I've tried doing 2 socks at a time using magic loop, one at a time on double pointed needles, and now one at a time on 2 circular needles.  My socks have turned out OK, but by no means great.  I think my best pair was a small pair I made for my oldest nephew when he was younger.  Out of all these different methods, doing one at a time on two circular needles is my new favorite method! 

I also LOVE the yarn I used for these.  Some of the pairs I've made in the past either didn't fit me well or they were way too itchy (I can't stand Opal yarn yet I have 2 pairs of socks made out of the stuff!).  This is BFL yarn that my friend, Beth, gave me to dye.  She and I dyed it using Kool Aid and wow, is it soft and lovely to knit with!  This is my "Purple Sunset" yarn.  

And here are my Kool Socks!

So soft!  So comfortable!  They feel wonderful on my feet right now!  

If you are a member of Ravelry, you can visit my project page HERE.  

I never thought I would enjoy making socks this much!  I'm already planning a pair for my husband now.  :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Anniversary to The Purled Ewe!

July 7th marked the one year anniversary of The Purled Ewe!  I have been in such a daze with purchasing a house, packing for our move, and other life happenings that I forgot to celebrate.  

In honor of my 1 year anniversary, I'm giving everyone 15% off an order of $20.00 or more through the end of July!  Use Coupon Code 2014Anniversary15 at checkout to get your discount.  If you are local to Dayton and want to arrange a pickup, I can give you FREE shipping too!  Just send me a message on Facebook, email, or Ravelry and I'll create a special listing for you (must be done prior to checkout for this offer!).  

Thank you for supporting my shop!  

Picture from http://newbbc.accura.net

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Insanity or Commitment?

Over a year has passed since I began working on the Beekeeper's Quilt pattern.  I made my very first hexipuff in March of 2013.  My initial goal was to just knit like crazy, and hopefully finish a quilt in a year.  I laugh at that thought now after finishing 100 hexipuffs this very morning!

For those of you asking "What is a hexipuff?" here is a picture of one.  A hexipuff is a knitted hexagon that you can stuff or leave unstuffed.  I stuff mine with 100% bamboo fill.  

Hexipuff knit with leftover Madeline Tosh yarn
Let's put this into prospective.  I have a blanket that is 50" x 70".  I layer the blanket out on the floor and placed my 100 colorful, squishy, cute hexipuffs on that blanket to see how far I have come in making a quilt.  This is what I have so far...

A quilt, I have not.  A good start, yes, but if I wanted to make a 50" by 70" quilt with my hexiupffs, I'm probably looking at knitting 800 more!  Maybe not that many, but that's how it feels!  

All lined up
I wouldn't have made it to 100 hexipuffs if it hadn't been for a friend of mine on Ravelry challenging me this week.  We wanted to see if we could make it to 100 in one week.  Both of us completed the challenge, and both of us realized how far we have to go to make something with our hexipuffs.  I'm beginning to understand why many people end up making pillows or smaller projects with hexipuffs rather than quilts.  

Gifted sock yarn turned into a colorful hexipuff
I'm so grateful to my friends and even complete strangers who have sent me their leftover sock yarn for my hexipuffs.  So many colors!  Everything from hand dyed to handspun.  
BFL sock yarn hand dyed by my friend, Beth, using Kool Aid
Being this far into the project, I'm definitely going to keep going.  800 hexipuffs, probably not, but we'll see where I am in another year.  Knitting these puffs may seem like insanity to other knitters, but to me, they are little finished objects.  When I'm getting tired of working on something bigger, I know I can pick up my hexipuff materials and make one in 40 min or less and have another hexipuff for my quilt.  They are easy to carry along with me when I'm on the go, and I can knit them from memory when I'm tired at the end of the day.  If I get bored of them, I can put them aside, work on other projects, and come back to them without having to remember where I was in a pattern or what row I finished with.  I just start a new one and finish it, so easy!  Someday, I'll have enough hexipuffs to make something bigger.  Then the task of sewing them all together will be at my finger tips, and I'll probably call "insanity" at that point.  :)  Until then, I'm committed and will keep buzzing away making hexipuffs.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Remembering my sons today

Most people look forward to celebrating their children's 2nd birthday.  They plan parties, send out invitations, and think of decorations.  They buy gifts and think about the milestones that have happened in the past two years.  As a mother without her children, thinking of my boys' second birthday isn't a happy time for me.  I don't get to plan parties, buy gifts, or share photos of how my boys have grown.  I don't get to go onto Facebook and post videos of my family and friends singing Happy Birthday to my kids.  Instead, I sit here, remembering July 1st of 2012.  The day my world shattered.  The day time stood still.  The day I lost my precious twin sons, Liam & Colin.  

Our boys were born prematurely at 20 weeks and passed away shortly after.  We had no warning.  We were told just days before at our first ultrasound that they were doing great...growing and looking healthy.  We didn't even know there were two until that ultrasound, and it was such a shock and a joy all at once!  I wish I could think back on their birthday as a peaceful day...find some joy in it to cling to.  For me, it was a hellish, nightmare of a day that I will never forget.  No mother ever wants to think of their children's birthday in that way.

I try not to dwell on their birth and passing.  I think about the five months they were with me.  I remember finding out that I was pregnant, and how blissfully happy Chris and I were that day.  I remember hearing their heartbeats, and thinking it was magical that heartbeats could be that fast!  I remember the morning sickness that would come and go randomly throughout the days, and how I kept thinking it would pass at some point...when it lasted all the way up until the day they were born.  They traveled with me to Michigan, to Ohio, even to California.  I said "Good Morning!" to them every day and "Good Night" every night.  I remember feeling them move for the first time, like butterflies in my stomach.  I remember being the happiest pregnant woman on the planet!  Every day, I was so thankful to be pregnant after enduring three years of negative pregnancy tests and failed fertility treatments.  I remember my wonderful midwife, Michelle, and how she was always there to answer questions and to reassure me.  I remember coming to Ohio and looking at apartments with Chris and thinking of where we would all live together.  These happy memories are the things I cling to now.  They are the things I want to remember always.  Never forgetting my time with my sweet boys.

In these past two years, my husband and I have endured much, but have remained ever so close.  

There are no words to describe how much I miss my sons.  Those who have lost babies truly understand, and those who haven't, well, I'm thankful you don't understand completely.  I've been grateful for the support we have received from family, friends, and others.  

There isn't a day that passes in which I don't think about Liam & Colin and wish that they were still here with us.  

Liam & Colin Beck~ Forever in our Hearts
Larkspur--July Birth Flower

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sale Continues and DESTASH!

My pre-moving SALE is still going on over at The Purled Ewe Etsy Shop 
through the end of June!  

10% OFF an order of $20.00 or more with coupon code JUNEMOVE10
15% OFF an order of $40.00 or more with coupon code JUNEMOVE15

You must input your coupon code PRIOR to checkout in order for it to be applied to the order.

Live in the Dayton area? Contact me PRIOR to ordering and I’ll set you up with a special coupon code for FREE SHIPPING! We can arrange a pickup or drop off of your order without messing with the post office. :)

I'm also going through my personal stash and selling off some of my yarns and items.  If you are a fan of The Purled Ewe on Facebook, then you have probably seen the yarns and items I've posted so far.  There will probably be more added as I continue to pack!  

Thanks for your support!  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pre-Moving SALE!


In preparation for our upcoming move to our new house, 
I’m offering a SALE through the end of June.

10% OFF an order of $20.00 or more with coupon code JUNEMOVE10
15% OFF an order of $40.00 or more with coupon code JUNEMOVE15

You must input your coupon code PRIOR to checkout in order 
for it to be applied to the order.

Live in the Dayton area? Contact me PRIOR to ordering and I’ll set you up with a special coupon code for FREE SHIPPING! We can arrange a pickup or drop off of your order without messing with the post office. :)

Questions, feel free to contact me.


Monday, March 24, 2014

March Happenings and Contest Winner

Spring is here...wait...is it?  23 degrees this morning makes it feel like Spring has not yet Sprung here in the Miami Valley.  I'm so ready for warmer days!  Though I did enjoy a lovely 70 degree, sunny day on Friday!  It was just too lovely to stay indoors, so I packed my hiking bag with some knitting and headed over to Cox Arboretum in Dayton.  It was a perfect place to spend the afternoon.  I hiked through the woods, sat by the pond and knitted for awhile, and then hiked some more.  

 I began working on Rill Scarf by Miriam L. Felton.  I have wanted to do this scarf for a few months now, but wasn't sure what yarn to use for it.  My stash was lacking in lace weight yarn, which is what this pattern calls for.  After a lot of thought and perusing Etsy shops, I decided I wanted to buy some bare yarn, dye it myself, and use it for this scarf.  I found some merino/silk lace weight yarn on Etsy that was perfect for this project.  As for the color, I dyed it using Kool Aid and Wilton's Food coloring.  It is actually more variegated than this picture shows.  It has areas of lighter green and darker, mossy green.  I absolutely love how it turned out!  I named the yarn "Shamrock".  

Feels good to be knitting again after taking a bit of a hiatus over the winter.  

I finished spinning and plying some merino/silk fiber for a friend of mine.  She had purchased the roving at a local auction and had me spin it on commission.  The original roving reminded me a of a Tribble from Star Trek.

 Here's the yarn I made from it...

 2 ply, 494 yards, fingering weight yarn

This past week, I added some new hand dyed lovelies to my shop.  This organic polwarth top was part of my colorway naming contest in my Ravelry group.  The winning name is "Mermaid's Hair" which was suggested by Ravelry user DKBach.  

 I think the name fits it perfectly!  Thanks to all who participated in my contest!  More contests to come!

Next we have a set of 2 skeins of merino/alpaca/nylon named "Purple Plum Love"  219 yards each. 

Next we have "Cornflowers" on 100% merino lace weight yarn.  440 yards.  

This one is "Marigolds" on merino lace weight yarn.  

And finally we have "Emerald" on lace weight yarn.

       Now to get back to more spinning commissions and knitting!  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Colorway Naming Contest

I've been dyeing for the last 3 days!  Lots of lovely items to be shown to you soon.  Just letting things dry.  :)  

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know about a contest I'm doing in my new Ravelry group.  If you are not a member of Ravelry, you can join my group HERE.  If you are a knitter, crocheter, weaver, fiber artist, or anyone interested in these things, I highly recommend joining Ravelry.com.  

I'm asking for name suggestions for this colorway...

The winning name will be chosen one week from today (March 23rd) and the winner will receive a 10% off coupon to my shop!  

So log onto Ravelry, join my group, and tell me what you think I should name this lovely organic Polwarth fiber!  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring is in the Air

I'm sure many of you can relate to feeling like it's time to come out of hibernation.  It has been a LONG winter here in Ohio.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the beautiful snow covered ground, but the bitter polar vortexes were rough!  Looking back at the crafting I accomplished over the last few months has been pretty scarce.  Just difficult to get my creative mojo going when all I want to do is curl up under a stack of blankets and sleep until Spring.

Today it's near 60 degrees, the sun is shining, the wind is blowing (quite strongly too!), and I have been hanging out in my kitchen dyeing yarn and fiber.  It's just been TOO LONG since I've cooked up some pretty items for my shop!

I also realized that my last blog post seems like ages ago!  I have done a few things that I wanted to show you since the items I'm dyeing won't be ready for viewing until a few days later.  

Last night, I finished plying this lovely merino/silk top for a friend of mine.  She had commissioned me to spin it and told me to do whatever I wanted to do with it.  It called out to me that it wanted to be a fingering weight yarn, so here you have it!  This picture doesn't quite do it justice.  It shimmers in the light due to the silk, and the colors range from light yellow, to gold, to orange, tan and deep brown.  It's soaking now and will be ready to pass off to my friend by Sunday.  Then I can start on another spinning commission for someone else.

I got back into the hexipuff making routine thanks to an new friend on Ravelry and Facebook.  She reignited my love of making these little things!  Here's just a taste of some I've knitted up over the last 2 months.

A few weeks ago, I got out my sewing machine and made a few bags out of some sheep fabric that had been sitting in my stash for too long.  

The first bag is a commission sew for a friend of mine.  Made out of organic fabric.  It's a medium sized bag...the pocket inside is big enough to fit a Kindle.  

I have just enough of this fabric left to make a small project bag with it.  If you are interested, I created a Preorder for it on my Etsy shop HERE.  

I also made some other adorable sheep bags for my Etsy store.  All organic fabric.

The bag above can be found in my shop HERE.  

The one you see below is listed HERE.  

The main difference between the two bags is the size.  
One is a medium sized bag and the other is a large.

I also completed two scarfs/shawlettes that I forgot to post for you to see.  One I started on while in DC in January, and the other is one I started in November.

This is the one I started on in DC...
This is Pogona pattern from Stephen West.  If you are on Ravelry, you can check out my project notes HERE.  My friend, Beth, gifted me some lovely Mountain Colors Barefoot yarn for Christmas.  She knew I had not knitted with Mohair before, and this yarn is a blend of wool, mohair and nylon.  Unfortunately, my sensitive skin can't handle it next to it, but it does drape nicely over my shoulders.  I just love the color!
This yarn was gifted to me by Beth as well (she spoils me!) for my birthday last year.  She dyed it with Kool Aid.  I made a "Whimsical Wallingford" scarf out of it.  So soft and light to wear this time of year.  The Wallingford pattern by Jen Lucas can be found on Ravelry HERE.  My project page is HERE.

Before I sign off, I wanted to let those of you who are on Ravelry know that I started a group for my business!  The Purled Ewe now has a home on Ravelry!   Please join us there! 

Now back to cleaning up my Kool Aid mess in the kitchen and putting away my dye stuffs for the day.  :)