Friday, December 19, 2014

The Annual Festivus Post



The Festivus post started a couple of years ago when I had a few grievances and thought maybe some of you could use a place to air yours without hurting anyone's feelings.  Continuing in this tradition, leave your grievance comment here on my blog by midnight on Festivus (December 21) for a chance to win a three skeins of Berroco Linus with a pattern booklet from Berroco (both are from my stash), and as second prize a choice of one of my patterns.  If you are lucky enough not to have a grievance you can post your Feat of Strength, or Festivus Miracle.  Did you knit twelve pairs of socks over the last few weeks? Well, we want to hear about it!  I'll be drawing the name by random number generator.  Please reply within 48 hours or I will have to choose another winner.  You can email me at my name at aol dot com if you would prefer that I post the comment for you so that you can remain anonymous.


I'll get things started with a grievance.

Dear Crazy: I've had enough of you this year to last me a freaking lifetime.  You come in many forms and show up in many ways and I'm sick of your shit.  Are you some sort of poltergeist that jumps from being to being showing up just when I've had enough time to relax and let my guard down?  Move the hell on and don't show up in 2105.  Enough is enough.





Friday, December 12, 2014

Miss Babs Knitting Tour

Just before we left for our trip to Florida this fall I received a wonderful email from Miss Babs asking if I would like to be one of the designers for the Miss Babs Knitting Tour in 2015.  Of course I said yes, and I am so pleased and excited to be part of this years tour! If you haven't heard of the Knitting Tour before, it's a year long journey to far off places all done from the comfort of your own home.  Four delightful packages are sent out in March, June, September, and December.  Miss Babs has a group just for the Tour on Ravelry where participants can ask questions, chat, show off their projects and generally have a great time: Miss Babs Knitting Tour  You can check out projects from past Tours there as well.  I'm sworn to secrecy about where we will be traveling to this year, but I can tell you it will be a lot of fun.  

Sign ups are open now, just in time for Christmas and holiday gift giving (or receiving, heh!).  Click on the picture below to take you to the sign up page which has a lot more information about the tour as well.

http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c7c5e7a2fc73ede364af2fbc7&id=75bc119067&e=cfa881eff5

Pack your knitting bag and get ready for a year of travel fun!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Knitting

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Thank you so much for the support during my Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday Sale.  Now that you have stocked your Ravelry Library with some new patterns and did a bit of stash enhancement from the sales lists that Marly Bird and Lisa from Indie Untangled put together it's time to figure out what to cast on!   I'll be casting on a couple of pairs of Intersect Mitt's tonight for gift giving.  They knit up so quickly and it's a really fun pattern.  I have some nice yarn from Indieway Yarns in my stash that I plan on using for both pairs.

I also will be working on a few new designs in the coming months and am really looking forward to getting started on them.  One of them is going to be in this delicious yarn from Bare Naked Wools.  It's called Confection Sport, and there is good reason for that.  If you look up confection in the dictionary it should say: See Bare Naked Wools, but all it says is: a dish or delicacy made with sweet ingredients.  It's absolutely scrumptious!  This colorway is called Nougat, but it comes in several other delicious colorways like: Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate.  Yum!!

 I hope that you are enjoying the holiday season and remember to take time to relax and knit in between going to the market and trying to fit in all of the festivities.  Speaking of which, my annual Festivus post is coming right up and I have some fun prizes to give away! 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from
Lara Smoot Designs
All patterns in my Ravelry Pattern Shop will be 30% beginning November 27 and ending on Midnight December 1.
No coupon code required.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Yarn Snobbery

Pam MacKenzie wrote a blog post entitled "Being a Yarn Snow has it's Limitations" last week and it got me thinking.  In her post Pam talks about yarn snobs limit themselves to all natural fibers or just wool.  It really made me reflect on how I perceive yarn snobbery.  I had always thought that a yarn snob limited themselves to more expensive and fancier yarns and wouldn't be caught dead purchasing yarn from a big box store or a craft store.  I know some knitters who are like that, which was where my train of thought was coming from.  I also have considered myself to be a full blown yarn snob because I only knit with yarn that I really like and isn't that what knitting is all about?  Having a yarn that feels wonderful and is even prettier to look at, glide across your needles and produce something that you or someone you care about will enjoy wearing?   I think we are all a little bit biased when it comes to our favorite yarns.

When I go shopping for yarn, the first thing that always gets my attention is the color.  I think that's the case for most knitters, we are naturally drawn to colors that we like.  If I am shopping in person and not on line the next thing I notice is how the yarn feels.  I have a really hard time putting a skein of yarn down if it is really soft and luxurious to the touch.  The final decision maker is how the yarn smells.  Yes, I know it's weird, but I smell the yarn.  I have no idea what the ladies at Maple Creek Farm use to wash their yarn with, but they really should sell it.  It's fragrant but not overpowering and smells nice while I'm knitting.  It's a little bonus feature that I think is pretty cool. 

Of course we all have our favorite fibers to work with, and mine happens to be wool or a wool blend.  I really enjoy the softness of cashmere and silk and when added to a nice merino it's like the icing on the cake.  Cake is good by itself, but put some icing on it and now we are talking! 

There are so many different types of yarn and fiber out there that to limit yourself to just one is like only eating one food for the rest of your life.  I like to try different yarns and fibers because you never know what you might like or how they will knit up.  A friend once gave me a skein of yarn that had been made from recycled bottles.  Sounds weird, I know.  It was kind of a boucle' and I wound up making a reusable market bag out of it.  

There are some yarns that I really don't enjoy knitting with and tend to avoid.  They tend to either be scratchy, contain a large amount of soy which makes me itch like I have poison ivy,  or just don't feel good when I fondle them.  It doesn't make them bad yarns, or yarns that shouldn't be used.  They just aren't right for me. 

Are you a yarn snob?  If so, what makes you one?  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Stash Bash

If you are like me and have little balls of sock yarn hidden away throughout your home, then it's time to cast on for Stash Bash 

Knit or Treat!!  Stash Bash is just $2.99 on Ravelry until November 5th and then it will be $6.00.  





I had such a great time designing and knitting Stash Bash.  Originally there was just one version, but when I finished knitting it I knew that I had to cast on for a second one!  It's such a fun knit and doesn't require a huge amount of concentration which makes it perfect to take to knit group or work on under your desk when your boss isn't around. 

The Mild version was knitted with the two skeins of Kismet Fingering  that I picked up at Mosaic Yarn Shop during the Yarn Crawl. This was a limited edition colorway and is no longer available, but Kismet Fiber Works now has Gradient Kits which would work up perfectly.



The Wild version was knitted with one full skein of Bugga (416 yards) and varying amounts of left over yarns for the contrast:
Contrasting Colors:
1. 4 gm/10 yards Indieway Yarns First String Plus Fingering
2. 9 gm/15 yards Painter's Palette Premium Merino
3. 12 gm/20 yards Verdant Gryphon Bugga
4. 13 gm/25 yards Socks That Rock Lightweight
5. 15 gm/30 yards Verdant Gryphon Bugga

6. 17 gm/35 yards Gnome Acres House Gnome
7. 19 gm/40 yards Plucky Feet
8. 21 gm/45 yards Socks That Rock Lightweight 



Friday, October 24, 2014

Seasons

I got an email from Carol at Rivers Edge Fiber Arts this week telling me to keep my eyes out for a package.  The mailman now thinks I am some sort of yarn crazed lunatic because I have been meeting him at the mailbox every day! When you are waiting for something exciting like yarn it really feels like time slows down and this week was no exception.  I was only a few moments too late to meet our mailman today and it makes me wonder if he has started speeding up his route to avoid the yarn stalker?  When I opened the mailbox, the package from Carol was there!  I opened the package up right away, and am so delighted at the amazing fall colors! 


This is Seasons, a blend of 70% Royal Baby Alpaca and 30% Tussah Silk.  It's so soft that I just want to wrap the skeins around my neck and wear them just like they are!  The colorway is Riverstone and can be found at RiversEdgeFiberArts.com  This is the same yarn that my Juliet pattern is designed for.  I was going to knit another Juliet in Riverstone, but when it arrived all I could think is what a fantastic cowl this yarn would be!  If you are heading to SAFF this weekend, be sure to stop by the Rivers Edge Fiber Arts booth and pick up a set of Seasons so you can make your own Juliet.  I have to warn you though, if you pick it up you will not be able to put it down.  It's that soft!


It's gotten chilly here and we had a bit of frost on the car's this week.  I thought it was time that Iggy had a proper hand knit sweater.  I don't really have much worsted yarn in my stash and wound up using left overs from the two Intersect projects.  Iggy doesn't seem to mind and I think the stripes are cute on him!  I made it on the large size so that he has some room for growing.  I also skipped blocking it since the yarn is superwash and I can get a bit of stretch to it if needed in a month or so. 


Just before we left for Florida I had a moment of panic and thought that I would run out of things to knit on our trip.  It happens every time we go away and not only have I yet to run out of something to knit, I can't remember finishing a project while on the road!  Back to the moment of panic...I went digging through my stash, skeins were flying everywhere, and I found a lovely skein of Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply in Perfectly Wreckless.  I wrote up a little cable and lace sock pattern and stuck it in my carry on bag.  Of course I didn't have time to work on it while we were on vacation!  Now that we are home and settled back into our routines, I have cast on and am really enjoying the yarn and creating the new design.