Friday, October 18, 2013

Spinning FO

Hey blog!

Today's post is a Spinning FO. I participated in two different SALS with this 4 oz braid of BFL. I'm really enjoying the SALs because they encourage me to try new things and I get exposed to new things that I might not have heard of otherwise! I've learned a LOT from doing the New-to-you Spin along with The Yarnraising podcast, and I also entered this in Fat Squirrels squirreled away SAL ^^;; Squee!

So this was a birthday present last year. I really thought I was going to buy myself a wheel for christmas last year but it just didn't pan out, bit of a bummer, but I got my wheel this August so this story has a happy ending :) I've been saving this braid until I felt like I had practiced a bit on the wheel, and so I was confident that I wouldn't  "ruin" it.

What I did was split the braid in half and spin each half on a seperate bobbin in order to do a two ply. The idea with this was to maintain the color changes without chain plying. On that end it was only a partial success, I did maintain some of the color change BUT I also got some barber polling. This is a combo of not splitting the braid evenly (maybe) and also because I didn't spin both singles consistantly. One was noticably thiner than the other. Oh well.

I am very pleased with the yarn over all though. At 26-30 WPI its the closest to lace weight I've ever spun. I also paid a lot of attention to the plying this time because I prefer yarns with a tighter twist in the ply and I feel like my previous yarns perhaps didn't have as much plying twist in them as I probably wanted. 

Ended up with 700 yards in the main skien. I had extra on one bobbin and got maybe 40 yards of chain ply from that :)

Thanks for reading, make sure to check out the other cool FOs at Tami's!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WIP all the things

Hey blog!

How are you? I'm doing good. My weekend was FULL of crafty goodness, I went to my first ever Spinning group meeting on Sunday, and then on Monday I spent a whole evening sewing a corset! It's my first ever project on my new sewing machine and (knock on wood) it's going well so far, I think I'm about halfway done!

Anyway, Lots going on in the knitting world too. I finished the Rikke Hat

I'm a little nervous about it. If it were for me it would be fine, but it is for a coworker and he hasn't been around to try the hat on - nerve racking. This is a heavy modification of the pattern which calls for DK weight, I had to drop down to size 4 needles and cast on 88 stitches instead of 96 and I STILL think it turned out a little slouchier than the original.... hope he likes it because I've already woven in all the ends. Lolz.

This is my second finished challenge for Nerd Wars!  I haven't posted it yet because.... It's going into the discovery challenge; something related to the atmosphere. That's easy, I'm gonna say the colors remind me of a stormy sky. The hard part is tying in both team spirit AND the Team unity project - that's a lot of writing that I don't feel like doing today XD

It's ok. I've already started on a project for my next challenge

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out Tami's for more WIPs!

Friday, October 11, 2013

FO Los Loirios

Hello blog!

As you may remember, I recently joined my first Mystery KAL, the Los Lirios Pattern by al-abrigo. It ran through the month of September and the pattern was free for people participating in the KAL. Unfortunately it's not available for free anymore, but it is an extremely well made pattern and it turned out very nice, so you should definitely consider buying it :)

the pattern calls for between 550-700 yards of lace weight yarn. I did the small size and used Juniper Moon Farm Findley a 50/50 silk/wool blend laceweight that comes with nearly 800 yards, so I had more than enough left over!
Knit on size 6 needles, and I love the way it drapes. I probably could have gone down a needle size or too, but I think it's very nice the way it came out :)

You shouldn't be surprised to hear, this is going to be part of my flex schedule entry for Nerd Wars Round 1.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Nerd Wars T9 Begins

Hello blog!

How are you? I've been busy and knitting more than usual this past week, because Nerd Wars Started on October 1st.  Have you heard of Nerd Wars?  It is a group on ravelry and a knitting game that spans three months. You join a team and complete monthly challenges to earn points and glory. There is also the option of doing a 'dissertation' project challenging enough to span all three months. If you are at all competitive and like to try to beat strange goals, this game might be for you. Of course sign ups for Tournament 9 teams have ended, but you can always play as a ninja or lurk until T10 starts ;)

I've already completed one challenge, under the encyclopedia category this months challenge was something inspired by a zoo trip. My husband and I spent two whole days at zoos during our honeymoon so I had lots of sources of inspiration. I chose to knit this baby giraffe hat because we saw lots of baby animals, including giraffes, on our visit :)

I have so many more things on the needles right now including another hat and a pair of mittens.  I've also finished the MKAL and am working up another 4oz braid on my wheel :)

My dissertation project is going to be the something pretty blanket, yes I'm using crochet for my big three month challenge. I'm knitting it in hobby lobby I love this cotton!, the flowers are going to be various shades of orange and yellow.

Watch this space I'm sure there will be more to come!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


So, we hit all nine stores, it’s 8 PM, we are facing a 2 ½ hour drive home.  Someone kindly gave us cash for coffee so we grabbed dinner at a nearby subway, filled the tank with gas, got our coffee, and headed out.

I don’t really drink coffee, but Amanda noticed they had my favorite candy bar at the gas station, so I had that instead.

Amanda drove, I tried my best to stay awake and keep the conversation up, but towards the end I think we were just randomly repeating phrases like “That yarn store was awesome “  “I’ve never Spun Targhee”  “ Weren’t those Ladies nice”  “Luke is awesome”  ECT, Then there was the inevitable buyers remorse….. Not remorse over things bought, but over things left behind. “Wish I had got that”  or  “man, I really liked such-and –such”

In conclusion. We can’t wait to go back, it was lots of fun.
I feel a little dirty showing you this photo – and please understand that we planned and budgeted for this trip for MONTHS in advance, so you don’t even know what kinds of things we did without in order to scrounge up money. But I know everyone likes to see a good stash photo so….. here it is. My Shop Hop Haul.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Hello, and welcome back to knitwhim’s Shop Hop Saga.

So far we’ve covered 6 of the nine stores that participated in the hop. Today we’ll cover the last three…. If you remember we were racing against the clock. It was 4:30 PM, two of the remaining stores closed at 6 and they were half an hour apart, plus there was rush hour traffic. Could we make them in time??

Let me just tell you, this store just doesn’t play fair! They had a park bench loaded with malabrigo first thing next to the door. Don’t they know that yarn is like cat nip for knitters? I resisted the urge to touch it. This store was of the Open floor Plan variety, and they had a good selection of high-end (i.e Expensive ) yarns. They even had some very lovely hand dyed yarns from local artist. I always love to see that!
We had one more store on our list that closed at six, and we asked them if they thought we could make it. They told us, straight out : No way! Don’t even try. According to them, traffic would be so bad it would take us an hour to get there. It was 5:15 and my GPS said it would take 22 minutes, so Amanda and I decided to go for it. Almost immediately we got stuck at a red light, and we hit every other red light on our way to the freeway. Once we got there we thought we would be able to speed a little to make up time, but it was slow too! My GPS predicted we wouldn’t arrive until 6:05 PM, So close! I decided to call the store in advance and find out if maybe they could possibly stay open for us…… And they said yes! The man who answered the phone said he wouldn’t mind staying open an extra 15 minutes. Score!
But as we crawled along in a nerve-racking slow speed, our ETA  prediction got more and more dire.  We were only 5 miles away and yet it said it would take us 15 minutes to get there. I called again,  to say that it was going to take us longer to get there, and we understood if he wanted to just leave, *but he didn’t * oh no, he stayed open and we arrived at Rare Purls the happiest most thankfull knitters on the planet. Luke, you are awesome!

Honestly we didn’t really get a good look at this store, we felt bad making  Luke stay late and just wanted to find something to buy fast. They did have some of my favorite hand-knit items of the day on display. There was this one red shawl I really liked – it had a row of ribbon yarn mixed in randomly throughout, very cool! It was draped over a gorgeous spinning wheel, Kind of a shame they had it all covered up, but I’m guessing it must have been fragile because they had a ‘do not touch’ sign attached to it.  I made my first fiber purchase here and we took off at light speed.

The 9th and final stop on the Yarn Hop! It was 45 minutes back in the direction we had come, but they were the only sore open until 8PM which is why we had saved them for last. We got there at 7:30, whew! Plenty of time.

This store was wicked awesome, I’m not going to lie. If Augusta ever gets a LYS (Fat Chance ) I hope it takes notes here!  The Neon sign has knitting needles on it, I’m not sure if  you can tell from my blurry photo.  This store had a very open design, complete with a ‘living room’ area with two couches. There were two women spinning on their wheels there. Squee ^^;; I was so happy to see spinners out and about, it made me happy.  The spinners were very friendly too, I didn’t even get to look at the yarn for the first ten minutes, because we were having too much fun chatting!

The yarn selection was impeccable  - They were the only store to stock more elle rea than cascade, but they had it in ALL the colors, which is what is really more important, you know?

They had some really awesome fiber, including Gales Art and fiber from Lorna’s Laces. (I got the later. )

I also found out that they have a monthly sock club, with sock yarn designed specially for them.…..

So yes, the store had it all. Even a kitchen sink.

And that’s it!  We got our 9th stamp, made sure our names were on the passports, and turned them in.  We’ll find out in two weeks if we win anything or not. Obviously we would really like to win something… we certainly wouldn’t complain if  we won the grand prize J  But honestly, and I’m being completely serious here, I feel like we are already winners. Hitting all nine stores in one day seemed like an impossibility – for about 4 hours there I really didn’t think we’d be able to do it. But we did, we stayed on budget, mostly, and scored a lot of delicious yarn and fiber.  We will definitely be doing the Shop Hop again next year, and for those of you in the Atlanta area, if you didn’t participate this year, mark your calendars, I think you’ll enjoy it!

Friday, October 4, 2013


Hello Again! Welcome to another segment of my Shop Hop adventure, in case you missed out last time, so far I’ve already covered 3 of the nine shops, Yarn Garden, Strings and Strands, and Needle Nook.

By this time it’s like 2PM and we haven’t eaten since breakfast. We’re also ready for a rest stop so we make a quick detour to Starbucks for a quick fix, Really quick though because we are on a time crunch. Several of the yarn stores on our list close before 6 PM and they are all about 20-30 minutes apart. Time to motor!


one of the smaller shops on the hop, Sheepish had a few really good things going for them. First off, an amazing window dressing!  They were also one of the only stores to support spinning and Amanda scored some really nice Targhee roving there.  They also had stray kittens for adoption, aren’t they cute?


I really wanted one, but I know my husband would have killed me if I brought home a cat with my fiber!  Besides, Yarn Crawls are hard work and we couldn’t afford the dead weight. Speed was Key.


Next shop had the distinguished privilege of having a male sales clerk!  What a sweet guy too, he patiently answered my questions (it’s harder to find solid colored sport weight yarn in a store than you’d think!), and good-naturedly informed us that while he doesn’t knit or spin and is color blind, he writes the articles for the stores’ blog. He also had an amazing amount of knowledge about all of the yarn in the store, and the knitted designs on display.   Oh, and did I mentioned the cricket loom casually displayed on a table?  Oh yeah, we want one. So. Bad.

I must admit, I feel a little bad about cast on cottage. It was HUGE. They had everything you could possibly want. Yarn was organized by brand – so you could easily find the brand and weight of yarn that you wanted. AND they had an AMAZING color selection. One of the things that we noticed on the Hop was that while most stores carried the brands we wanted, they usually only offered one weight/type of yarn of the brand, in a limited color palette. Not  Cast-On-Cottage! They had everything and MORE!  I’m sure we could easily have spent hours looking, not to mention our whole yarn budget, but by that time we were so sure we wouldn’t be able to get to all nine stores before they closed, that we had given ourselves a mere ten minutes to pick something and pay.  I did mention a desire to find the trendy cubic needles, and how I was surprised none of the shops so far had them. The lady in the store promptly turned around and pulled out a small box of cubic needles from a cabinet  O.0;; I had already made my purchase by then and wasn’t going to make another, but I was a little…. Surprised?  Why were they kept hidden back there?  How many of the other yarn stores also secretly carried them??  The Clock was Ticking though, so we left in a hurry.  Stay Tuned to find out what happened next!

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Armed with a list of the nine shops, their addresses, and closing times, Amanda and I headed out from Augusta at 9:30AM – of course we would have left much earlier, but somebody had mandatory PT  that morning (that’s working out in military speak. ) .  Since the first stores opened at 10 AM  and they closed pretty early  4PM-6PM  we knew it would be pretty hard to hit all nine in one day! 
We arrived at our first stop – Yarn Garden, around 11:30

First thing I noticed walking into Yarn Garden was the knitters! I automatically know I’m going to like a yarn store when the first thing I see is other people sitting around knitting. There was a charming little table with three ladies sitting there knitting away. A fourth knitter was scanning the Wall of Cascade, her adorable little baby sitting on the floor by her feet.

You could also see the two ladies working in the shop busy winding yarn into cakes for a waiting customer. Perfect! I still remember when I first started visiting yarn stores, skein winding wasn’t very common or expected – and some places charged for it! So great to see this service has become so much more widespread and accepted as a regular (free) part of the yarn experience.

That being said Amanda and I did not get our yarn wound in any of the stores we visited.  Takes too much time and we were in a big hurry! 

We asked which yarn store was closest and they said a Rare Purl However we knew they would be open until 6 and were afraid that the stores that were only open to 5 would be harder to get to, so we skipped it vowing to return. That was a mistake that almost cost us a stamp    

Next Stop, Strings and Strands

This shop has the honor of being the first one that had yarn bombing on display. Love it!   They also had a large selection of high-end yarn, including art yarn, yarn with beads or sequins spun in it, and exotic lace weight.  I definitely could smell the yarn fumes in there. Fortunately for me my shop hop strategy was set in stone. I had a list of very specifics yarns to get for patterns I planned to knit soon, so I avoided temptation, stayed on budget, and bought the yarn that I needed. But there was so much more there that I wish I could have brought home with  me!

The next stop was the Needle Nook.

There are two basic layouts for yarn stores : Open, or Not.  Open yarn stores like Yarn Garden have all of the yarn displayed along the walls, leaving the middle of the floor open for sitting/standing/talking. Not open stores have rows and rows of shelves, much like a bookstore, turning them in to crowded fiber caverns. That’s definitely what Needle Nook was like!  And don’t misunderstand me- both layouts have their pro’s and cons. Needle Nook shined in having a HUGE variety in all of my favorite things. Shelves and Shelves of lace weight in various types of fiber, A huge cotton/linen section, and Malabrigo. Oh, The Malabrigo.  I don’t know how you feel about this brand of yarn, but for me, it’s like crack. I really have a hard time resisting it. My favorite is their lace weight – and many of the stores we went to had that and the worsted single ply, but needle nook had RIOS, a fairly new plied Malabrigo worsted weight. I may have blacked out momentarily and gone off budget in this store, RIOS was definitely NOT on my shopping list, but I’ve been dying to try it and she had the most amazing selection of colors!!!  Ok, I know I’m drooling so I’m going to stop here before I really embarrass myself.  Notice how I’ve only mentioned 3 stores? Brace yourself, there are 6 more to go, so stay tuned for next time to find out what happened next! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


SEP 28- OCT 6

Hello Blog,

Recently a friend and I participated in Shop Hop Atlanta, A Yarn Crawl of nine shops in the Atlanta Georgia Area.  Over the next week or so I will be sharing with you some photos from the hop.

In addition to the fun of spending a whole day buying yarn, the shop hop was a great opportunity to get out there and see what variety the yarn stores in Atlanta had to offer. Since we lived a good 2 ½ hours away, we probably never would have felt the need to visit any of these lovely stores without the shop hop incentive. Now that we’ve seen all of the nice stuff  they have in stock, we wont be able to resist going back.

As if that wasn’t enough, there is a competitive side to the shop hop too. Prizes! Each shop gave away a free knitting pattern, and spending $10 earned you  a stamp on the Shop Hop Passport and an entry in a prize drawing – each shop has 3 prizes up for drawing.  In addition, people who get all nine stamps will be entered to win the grand prize : $900 in gift certificates, $100 from each store!

Here’s what our trunk looked like after one shop, tune in next time to find out what happened!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

WIP Tuseday


Things are brewing up around here. Lots of plans for future spinning projects

The fall issue of Ply magazine is pretty awesome! I've never read a craft magazine so chock full of interesting and useful articles! 

MKAL is progressing. I've got about 20 rows  left on clue 3. The 4th and final clue is already out.... Must knit faster....