Friday, January 31, 2014


Friday is finally here and what a relief!  It's been one of those weeks that even the simplest task seems to go wonky.  I plan on knitting on my Intersect Hat and relaxing while watching Neftlix or The Soprano's tonight.  We recently subscribed to HBO (there was a special deal) and have been able to watch a lot of shows that are new to us as well as get caught up on Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire.  We have also been watching Girls, which is a really odd show, but I can't seem to stop watching it so go figure! The best thing about tonight is that Andy has offered to cook.  He is making Italian Sausage, colored peppers, onions in a homemade sauce over Penne pasta.  I found some Cannoli at Fresh Market that the pastry chef guaranteed didn't come in contact with tree nuts, so we even have dessert.
The Scrowl pattern is now available and is 20% off with coupon code: ShaliMarch2014 until 2/7.  Margi did an awesome job test knitting it and said she really liked the pattern.  I enjoyed knitting it and also wearing it.  It really blocks out the wind on the bone chilling days we have had recently.

From the pattern:

The Scrowl! It’s a scarf, it’s a wrap, it’s a cowl all in one; the perfect accessory to keep you warm and cozy while still looking stylish.

This is a very easy to knit pattern and uses two full skeins of Shalimar Yarns Edie Aran. Shown in the Penny Candy colorway. A great alternative would be Enzo Aran.

Both written and charted instructions are included.
I'm including this selfie so you can see what it looks like with a winter jacket.

My goal is to create patterns that are fun to knit and easy to follow and understand.  Knitting should be fun and patterns shouldn't be confusing!  There is nothing more frustrating (at least for me) than being in the middle of a pattern and not understanding what comes next or a technique that is being used.

I feel so blessed to have a  such a wonderful group of test knitters.  They give me feedback on what they like and don't like about how something is written or designed.  I know if something is working for me, but it's really important to have other eyes and hands on it so that it will work for others as well. 

I hope that you will find my patterns to be well written and enjoyable.  I would love to hear from you and see your projects!  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cabin Fever

Well we finally had some snow here!  I know, I know, if you are living in one of the colder ares of the country you probably are sick and tired of the snow that has been inundating most of the country.  The forecasters have been promising snow for weeks now and Monday they predicted a blizzard.  Growing up in Maine when the forecasters call for a blizzard we knew to get prepared.  Here in Virginia preparation is still good, but not quite to the extreme that is called for elsewhere.  Are you ready to see the massive amount of snow that we got?

Yup, that's grass sticking up through the snow there.  If you look carefully you can see the nearly bare street in front of our house.  I took this picture early in the morning and by lunchtime most of the snow had melted. 

It has been pretty cold here over the past couple of weeks.  I'm taking full advantage of being inside for most of the day by working on some projects.  There is a really great tutorial from Martha Stewart on how to make Felted Knitting Baskets from old wool sweaters.  I had saved a sweater that had shrunk when I washed it to use for craft projects and decided to give this a go.  I tossed it in the washer with hot water and a little Dawn.  After it dried, I followed Martha's directions and voila!

That's Best Worsted from Indieway Yarns in Howlin' Wolf on the left, I'll be Home for Christmas in the center, Black Currant in the very back and a skein of Gnome Acres fingering in Aquaman peeking out on the right (that was from Andy for Christmas because I had a crush on Aquaman when I was a kid).

The basket was so easy and fun to make that I headed over to Goodwill to see if they had any wool sweaters that could work for another one.  I wound up finding two in the men's section for $3.75 each!  I felted both of them and have already turned one into a basket.

I put them on the shelf in the living room for now.  Eventually when the yarn/craft room/office is organized they will go in there. 

I have a couple of new designs that will be coming out very soon.  Margi just finished test knitting Scrowl and it will be released next Friday (1/31).  It's knit up in Shalimar Yarns Edie Aran and only takes two skeins.  It's a very versatile accessory and can be worn as a cowl, wrap, and a scarf!

I finally figured out a name for the socks in Peppino!  I'm calling it: Frostwork.  Margi and Andi are test knitting it and the release date is February 21.

 The other upcoming release will be Spark.  It's knit up in Shalimar Yarns Enzo Worsted and will be part of the ShaliMarch celebration.  Beth is test knitting it and it will be released in late February. Spark takes about 200 yards of the main color and 70 yards of each contrasting color.

I finished up the handspun sweater and I am so happy with it!  After shopping around at a couple craft stores, I wound up finding the ribbon for the button band at JoAnn's.  I know it's a little glitzy as an accent for natural yarn, but I couldn't resist it.

I'm really pleased with the way it fits.  It's also super warm and very soft.  There is really nothing that compares to wool.  I love the way it feels, the natural warmth of it and the weight of it too.  I have an entralac throw that I knitted a few years ago from two Jacob fleeces. It's my go to wrap in the evenings when it's cold out.

To finish up, here are a couple of skeins that I recently spun.  The fiber is from Rivers Edge Fiber Arts.

The one on the left is Wild Berry Pie in Out of Oz. And the one on the right is Wine Festival in The Monkeys Uncle.

Can you tell I have had a little too much time on my hands and maybe a little too much time by myself?  At least I have put it to good use! 

Friday, January 17, 2014


Last Monday I was minding my own business and went to the doctor for some routine blood work.  I started to feel a little tired on Wednesday and by Thursday morning there was no way I was getting out of bed.  Coughing, fever and feeling like I had been hit by a truck.  I figured it was just a little bug and took some Dayquil and Nyquil.  By Saturday I was not improving so Andy hauled me back to the doctor (can you see the irony here?) where I found out that I had the flu.  Five days of Tamiflu and lot's of rest has me almost back to normal.  I normally don't go to the doctor when I first get sick as usually I get better fairly quickly.  This has been a huge learning experience and I have to say that if you are not feeling well and it's flu season, don't wait.  I could have been feeling much better sooner if I gone in when I first started feeling ill.

Now, on to much more fun stuff!  Today I released Frost in Bloom - The Hat.  It's introductory priced at $3.50 until February 1 in my Ravelry shop.  Shown here in Indieway Yarns First String in the Delicate Pastels colorway. I've also updated the Frost in Bloom infinity scarf pattern with new formatting and my logo. 

The handspun sweater that I had posted about last time is nearly done.  I'm so excited about it!  It fits me really well and I love how it kind of stripes in the center.  The fleece that I used was from a Jacob sheep which are multicolored.  It's a little difficult to blend the colors together evenly when processing fleece by hand so some of the skeins that I spun are darker or lighter and have a cool striping effect.  I think I was pretty lucky with where the darker stripe is. It sort of looks like it was intended that way and gives a slimming illusion in the waist area. 

I knitted the button and neck band all in one piece, adding a bit of mitering where they join.  It still needs a final steam to smooth out the button band.  I'm heading out tomorrow in search of ribbon to line the inside of the button band with.  The buttons are so cute!  I had purchased two of them a couple of years ago from Melissa Jean while I was at MDSW.  I had no idea what I would use them for and when I laid them out on this sweater I knew they were perfect!  I went to her online shop and ordered more (thankfully she had them in stock) and they arrived yesterday.  There will be nine of them, which is why I need to line the button band. 

The First Clue from the Intersect MKAL went out today.  I can't wait to see everyone's projects!  If you have a chance pop on over to the Indieway Yarns group on Ravelry to see all the Intersect projects!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

I always find the new year to be especially exciting.  It's full of hope and promise for good things to come.  While 2013 was hard in many ways, I try to look back and see the good things that happened.  Meeting new friends, publishing my first design, traveling a bit, and doing a few home improvements are just a few of the wonderful things from 2013.

I'm still working on my list of goals for 2014.  Organizing the yarn/craft/office is at the top of the ever growing list.  Each year in January I organize this room and by June I start to worry that the Hoarders show people are going to call to see if they can film an episode in this room.  I decided to start this year out a little bit ahead of time and did a stash toss in December.  I looked at all the yarn I had and put aside the skeins that I knew I wouldn't have time to knit with (they are in my Ravelry destash if you are looking to add to your stash).

I just finished blocking a new sock design that will be coming out in February.  It's knit in Peppino (don't you just love the name?!) from The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze.  This spectacular colorway is Frosted Windows and really pairs well with the lace motif in the sock.

I'm still working on naming them.  It's a good thing Andy and I didn't have children as they would have gone around without being named for quite some time!  If you watch True Blood, when Detective Belfleur had quadruplets he named them: One, Two, Three and Four.  I can totally see me doing this!

Peppino is a wonderful fingering weight yarn that glides through your hands while you knit.  This is my first time working with it, and I'm really impressed!

Along with the beautiful skeins of Frosted Windows that Rhichard sent was a lovely grouping of mini skeins for swatching with.  These are in his Merino Worsted which is just full of squishy goodness!

The first thing that I have cast on in 2014 is a cute little cardi.  I'm making up the pattern as I go - a bit of free spirited knitting! While I was looking through my stash I found some really nice Jacob yarn that I had spun a year or so ago.  It came from a fleece that I purchased at MDSW that I processed by hand.  It's from a lamb's first shearing so the fibers were a little short, but that worked out as some of the shorter fibers in the finished yarn look a little like flecks.  I tried to blend and card the fleece evenly before I spun it, but there is still some variation in the finished yarn.  I'm hoping to have it done in a week or two and will post more pictures of it as it progresses.

There is still time to get in on the Intersect Mystery Knit Along!  The first clue will be coming our on January 17.  Wendi is hosting the MKAL in the Indieway Yarns group on Ravelry and has generously offered a coupon code for $2 off per skein to use in her Etsy shop on MKAL yarn. 
Coupon Codes ($2/skn)
For 1 skein: 1mystery
For 2 skeins: 2mystery