Friday, May 31, 2013


How many projects should you have in your que on Ravelry?  I mean really, right now I have 533 things to knit in my que.  There are a lot of sweaters in there.  If I knitted 8 hours a day for the rest of my life Im not sure that I could knit all the items in my que.  It takes me about three evenings to knit a sock so potentially I could knit 52 pairs of socks in a year.  Provided that no frogging was involved and we all know how that goes.  I either need to stop adding things to my que (difficult as there are so many cute cardi's out there that are begging to be knit) or dedicate more time to knitting.  Right now I only have two projects on the needles, Tempest by Ann Weaver in Breathless Ore and Love Potion.  I'm thinking of adding one large stripe towards the top in Blue Raspberry but haven't committed to that yet.  I'm also working on the second sock for the new sock design.

Ive gotten really distracted by the needle felting.  Which is great, but it's really cutting into my knitting time.  I spent a week working on this owl.  She is close to life size. 

I'm also working on a large mushroom house for the gnomes from the last post.  While I did order a crazy number of couple of felting kit's Ive also been using some roving that I purchased at my first MDSW.  It came in a huge bag and wound up being courser than what I like to spin. I've tried to re home it several times and there haven't been any takers.  I'm so glad it stayed here because Ive really been having a blast needle felting it.  

Does anyone have fun plans for the weekend?  Tonight I'm making Wiener Schnitzel, German Potato Salad and cooked red cabbage.  We are going fishing either tomorrow or Sunday and I'm really hoping we can go to the movies and see Star Trek.  A few years ago a new theater was put in and it has stadium seating with arm rests that can flip up.  The seats are really comfortable and it's a great place to go on a hot summer day.  We are also working on plans for a new patio area.  I'll have progress pictures soon (I hope!).

PS I finished Ardelise but need to block it!  Yay!  That was a LOT of stockinette!  And did you see that Signature Needle Arts now has convertible needles?  They look super cool!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Blocking With Noodles

Blocking with noodles she says.  Interesting concept, but sounds like it could be a bit messy.  I always have a bit of a quandary when blocking a large object that has been knit in the round like an infinity scarf.  Anne Hanson who has been a wonderful mentor and who I have test knit for recommends rotating the knitted object as it drys to prevent creasing.  This works really well and will guarantee that there will not be any creases.  Sometimes though, I forget that I put something out to dry or I'm limited on time that day and worry that my nice infinity scarf won't block well.  Connie came up with a very easy way to Block It and Forget It (like the infomercial - Set It and Forget It).  She used paper towel tubes at each end with a towel wrapped around them and said it worked like a charm.  Andy and I were walking around a sporting goods store and I spotted some pool noodles and the light bulb went off.  I picked one up and walked around with it while we shopped.  I have to give Andy a lot of credit, he never asked why I wanted a pool noodle even though we don't have a pool!  When it was time to block the new infinity scarf I took a good chopping knife and cut the size I needed.  The cut noodles worked like a charm:

And we have a name for the new pattern: Kracken.  While it wasn't one of the ones that were posted in the comments, it's gone over really well with everyone we told.  I used the random number generator to choose the pattern winner.  Congratulations to: JudyH. Please PM me on Ravelry (SpinningLara) with your information and when the pattern is published I will send you a copy.  We are hoping to do a photo shoot for for it this weekend.  Test knitter's Liz and Shannon have been knitting away on theirs.  Liz has been working on two Kracken's and Shannon is doing one in two colors that is really amazing.

Here is the new sock design that I've been working on:

It's a really fun and quick knit.  I'm casting on for it's mate over the long weekend and should have the pattern ready for test knitting sometime next week.  If you are interested in test knitting please let me know.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend.  Please take a moment to remember our fallen hero's.  They gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedom's that we are fortunate enough to have.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I'm not sure how it slipped my mind, but this month is my 2 year Blogaversary.  My friend Tierney encouraged me to start a blog for quite some time before that.  I really wasn't sure what I would write about since I often have a hard time coming up with things to say.  I know a few of my friends who are probably laughing at that last statement, but I really do have to think about things before speaking most of the time. 

In celebration of my Blogaversary I'm having a sale in my Ravelry Pattern Shop.  10% off all patterns until May 22.  Just use coupon code: Blogaversay when checking out. 

The two secret projects that I have had in the works are complete.  One has been sent off for submission to an online knitting magazine.  My fingers are crossed that I did the submission correctly and that the editors like the pattern.  The second one is waiting to be released in the next couple of weeks.  I can't wait to show you pictures of both of them.  The Amazing Beth test knitted both of these patterns.  She can't really be bribed to show them off, unless you offer some luxury yarn or perhaps chocolate.  I'm really not very good at keeping surprises to myself and this is killing me!

I do have a new sock pattern in the works.  It's cute little design and works up nicely in tonal colors. 

Ive been coveting the beautiful hand thrown yarn bowls that I keep seeing on Etsy and at the fiber festivals.  While they are beautiful, they are really expensive and I kept putting off getting one.  Mostly because the one's that I really like are around $100 and $100 can buy a lot of yarn.  I was cleaning the dining room to get ready to paint the bottom of the wall and took this cute little bowl down from the top of the pantry. 

I found it at an estate sale for less than $10.  At the time I thought it was for making baked apples, but then realized that the hole in the center could let the apples juices drip into the oven.  It's really too small to be a bunt pan so it wound up sitting around collecting dust.  As I washed it off of it, it occurred to me that  it looked like it could work as a yarn bowl!  I stuck a center pull ball in it and voila! Instant yarn bowl. It works like a charm and the yarn feeds nicely out of the center pull ball like it's supposed to.

One really cool thing I found at MDSW this year was at a brand new vendor, Going Gnome.  Ive done a little needle felting here and there, and have always enjoyed it.  I wish I had taken some pictures of their tent.  It was really too cute for words. The top of the tent was bright red and had big white polka dots on it to resemble a mushroom.  I wound up going back to the tent a few times over the weekend.  They have some pictures of the beautiful things they make on their blog.  I picked up a couple kits from them and made these guys:

I enjoyed making them so much, that Ive called Jen and had her send a couple more kit's and supplies.  I've had a stressful few weeks with my Grandmother not doing well health wise and our dog Roper having some health issues as well (when it rains it pours).  The needle felting has been a huge stress reliever.  There is nothing like stabbing something repeatedly to make you feel better, and even better than that is you get a cute little wool guy when you are done. 

Thank you so much for reading my blog :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Maryland Sheep & Wool

Last Friday Andy, Shannon and I headed up to Maryland for the weekend.  We all got to stay with Kristi and Paul from Shalimar and I have to say we had a blast!  It was non stop fun from the moment we got there until we headed home on Sunday.  When we arrived on Friday we all pitched in for the Shalimar Yarns Annual MDSW party.  Before we knew it, people started arriving and the fun started.  I got to meet Julia Trice in person.  Have you ever worried about going to a party and having the same outfit on?  Well, this time it worked out really well! Julia and I both had our Adiri sweaters on.  She is so much fun and I had a great time getting to know her better over the weekend.

I only briefly got to talk to Kyrie who I haven't seen since last year.  She's an avid horse woman and couldn't stay long at the party.  A friends horse had foaled and poor little guy needed to be bottle fed due to a foaling complication.  From what Ive seen on Facebook the foal seems to be doing much better.  I bet Kyrie's helping hands had a lot to do with that!  Here she is with Andy.  They look like they were having a great time, it makes you wonder what they were talking about.

Here are Laurie and I working in the kitchen.  Laurie and I are kindred spirits and we kind of took over the kitchen when we got there.  She's a fantastic knitter and if you would like to see what she has made her Ravelry name is Ellejay119.  I have to say that I wish I lived closer to Laurie because I think we could have a lot of fun and possibly get into a lot of trouble together!

Saturday at MDSW was crazy busy.  It was fun walking around, doing a little shopping and getting to spend time with friends that live in other parts of the country.  I had finished my Audrey in Unst in Breathless DK Copper Pennies and it was actually cold enough to wear it on Saturday morning.  The only problem was that I hadn't counted my buttons before knitting the button band.  A quick email to Melissa Jean and problem solved!  She had a button waiting for me when we got to her booth on Saturday and I sewed it on as soon as we left the booth.  Now that is some awesome customer service!

That cute guy in my lap is Enzo.  He is so much fun and really larger than life.  A bouncing ball of energy and fun.  He was waiting at our bedroom door each morning to come and jump onto the bed to cuddle.  Speaking of fun loving, Michelle Miller/FickleKnitter is one of the most fun people to hang out with!  We had a meet and greet with her at the Shalimar tent on Saturday.  It had warmed up and we had a chance to sit and knit and chat joke around and tease Shannon. She's a really lovely person and a wonderful designer.

Connie and I both wore our Frost in Bloom's in Shalimar Breathless and Homage on Saturday and Shannon was kind enough to take a quick picture.  Shannon had on her Ribbon Street Cowl and I was so lax with the camera this weekend that I forgot to take ANY pictures.  I wish I had because she really looked adorable in it, especially when she had it paired up with her straw cowboy hat.  Maybe I can coerce her into a photo shoot.

I finished up the new infinity scarf. If you have a name idea, please leave it in the comments of my last post.  The winner will receive a free copy of the pattern when it's published.  It's currently being test knitted and should be released around June 1st.

I'll have a bit more on MDSW in my next post with a few of the goodies that I picked up while we were there.  I picked up the cutest needle felting kit's from a new vendor!  More on that later :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Festival Fun

Last Saturday Andy, Shannon, Beth and her husband Andrew and I went to the Powhatan's Festival of Fiber.  Tera told me about the festival last fall and we have all been looking forward to since then.  We were all wondering what it was going to be like since it was the first year.  We arrived to a friendly parking attendant who guided us to where we should go.  There was a short line to get in that moved very quickly.  If you look very closely, I'm the one in the salmon colored jacket.

We walked out into a picturesque scene of sheep in a meadow and vendors with tents set up all through the field.  The sun was shining, the sky was a beautiful azure blue and a breeze was blowing.  We really couldn't have asked for better weather! 

The Festival Committee did an outstanding job organizing everything.  There was plenty of parking, demonstrations throughout the day, things for kid's to do, fantastic food vendors, lot's of sheep and other fiber animals, clean portable rest rooms and everyone was very friendly.  We all had a great time and are looking forward to making this an annual trip.

This is Beth and I at the first booth we stopped at. Check out her sweater!  It's really fantastic, she is an amazing knitter.

This is the wonderful group of ladies who organized the festival.  Thank you so much to them for such a wonderful and much needed local event!  There are more pictures and information about the festival on the Powhatan's Festival of Fiber Facebook Page.  All of the lovely photos on my blog from the fiber festival were taken by Al Sneden and used with permission. 

I was so inspired by all the wonderful things that we saw at Powhatan, that I started a new design on Sunday.  It's an infinity scarf with a bit of texture and short rows.  Shannon saw it at knit group yesterday and immediately jumped on test knitting it.  I should have the pattern written up by the end of next week and am looking for a couple more test knitters.  Please PM me on Ravelry (SpinningLara) if you are interested in test knitting this new infinity scarf. 

It really should have a name, don't you think?  Let's have a naming contest!  Leave a comment on my blog with your name suggestion and the winner will receive a copy of this pattern when it's released. I'm looking for unique and funky!  Please keep in mind that any names that are already in use in the Ravelry Pattern Database won't be able to be used.