Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WIP Wednesday: The Sweater Returns!

(Apparently I'm writing all of my blog headlines this week as though they are campy movie titles...)

I have spent a lot of time working on two sweaters that haven't been mentioned in quite a while on this blog - the first is the Fieldwork Cardigan, which I seamed late last week and began the arduous task of knitting the edging over the weekend. On the plus side, all of the many ends are woven in from alternating skeins as I knit, so I'll just have a few ends to contend with when it's all said and done. Here's a shot before I started the edgings - it's looking so sweater-like!

For those of you who are fans of PomPom Quarterly, you can now preview all of the patterns from the fall issue on Ravelry. Yet again, there are some really gorgeous designs; I don't know how they do it, but this is fast becoming my #1 favorite knitting magazine. It may be pricey to order the print copy, but it's totally worth it (click here to read my review of Issue 5).

I can't really allow myself to start any new sweaters until I finish what's on my needles, right? To that end, the second sweater I've been working this week has been hibernating since February of this year. I think we can all agree that there's nothing sadder than a sweater that can't be finished because you ran out of yarn. Naturally, I had to choose a color of Anzula Squishy that is apparently hard to find - but of course, Ravelry often comes to the rescue, and the skein I needed to finish the job was in my hot little hands within just a few days courtesy of my sweater savior, kitfox!

The moral of the story? Always buy a safety skein! ALWAYS!

Thanks for joining me this week! For more WIP Wednesday inspiration, visit the Tami's Amis Blog!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Flight of the Sock Monkey!

First off, it's semi-well-documented that I have a sock monkey obsession. At the very least, there is photographic evidence:

This is why I totally flipped out when I heard about Team Sock Monkey, who competed in the Red Bull Flugtag in Ottawa over the weekend. I was hanging out with Jen from Eucalan at TNNA (who happens to be one of my clients) and she told me about how her husband and his friends were entering the Red Bull Flugtag with a giant flying sock monkey contraption named Sockrates.

My natural curiousity got the best of me and I asked her if she'd mind asking the guys a few questions on my behalf for my blog. Below are their answers and some photos from the event courtesy of their Facebook page, be sure to check it out!

Me: I’m guessing no one on your team had ever designed a giant flying sock monkey. What was the process like from conception to reality?

Team Sock Monkey (TSM): We started with a stuffed sock monkey that we thought was pretty funny and then drew out a sketch of a monkey on a frame. Red Bull had given us specs that we had to stick with so we adjusted the sock monkey drawing to fit those dimensions. It came together quite smoothly and the final design looks very close to our original design.

Me: How did your team decide who would be piloting Sockrates at the Flugtag?

TSM: At 5'10" and 198 lbs, Ken is the lightest of the team and the whole contraption must weigh under 400 lbs. Actually the guy who decided to get the team together had to be pilot by default since it was his crazy idea.

Me: Tell us about the big day! 

TSM: We got solid 9's from every judge - flew 39' and we're standing solid! Everyone is good and Pilot Ken didn't get hurt!. We scored 5th overall out of 30 teams and are absolutely thrilled!

(You can watch the video here on Facebook.)

Me: What will happen to Sockrates now that the Flugtag is over?

TSM: We rescued Socrates' head and he lives to see another day!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Spinning Saturday: Tour de Fleece Finish Line!

Last Sunday the Tour de Fleece drew to a close. After spinning like crazy to finish up the singles I had in progress last Saturday, I spent all day Sunday plying them. I crossed the finish line with some lovely skeins of natural polwarth spun on my Ladybug and the merino/silk I'd been spinning on my Victoria!

Here's my 2013 Tour de Fleece collage - as you can imagine, my handpun yarn bin is now overflowing!

The purple merino/silk top was the project I took on my trip to Kansas City earlier this month, and I ended up spinning in a few of my favorite spots around town such as the Nelson-Atkins Sculpture Garden:

And the Loose Park Rose Garden:

Thanks for joining me back here for one more Spinning Saturday! I'll be taking a break while I figure out what to knit with all of my pretty new yarns. Hopefully I'll see you back here for Spinzilla, which will be happening this fall!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Craftsy Summer Supplies Sale

Need to get ready for fall crafting? Starting to make those holiday knitting plans? There are some killer heals over at the Craftsy Supply Sale this weekend. Below are just a few of my top picks, but they won't last long at these prices!

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport, $8.60/sk  - Superwash yarn is always great for gift knitting!
Louet Drop Spindle Course Kit - get everything you need to learn how to spin for under $20!
Manos Silk Blend, $9.88/sk - ultra luxurious silk/merino DK yarn!
Sketch Books, $3.92/each - great for gifting or keeping track of projects and designs!

Sale is happening now through July 28th. Enjoy!

You might like to know: I am a Craftsy Affiliate. Your purchases using my affiliate links helps support this blog, and I think you for it!

FO Friday: New and Improved Scalloped Rib Socks!

Hooray, it's FO Friday, and I am especially excited to share my finished project with you this week:

See how excited I am??
Based on a vintage stitch pattern, the Scalloped Rib Socks have always been near and dear to my heart. I am thrilled to offer a totally new version of this design knit in Baah! La Jolla superwash merino sock yarn. It's delightful to knit with and the perfect way to show off this stitch pattern!

Version 2.0 of the Scalloped Rib Sock pattern includes an additional size option, clearer instructions, and most importantly, CHARTS! If you have already purchased this pattern, you will receive the updated PDF free of charge!

Pattern Details:
Yarn: 1 skein Baah La Jolla (400 yards) - both sizes
Needles: US #1
Gauge: 30sts = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Size Options: Women's S/M (7" circumference) or Women's M/L (8" circumference)

Click here to purchase on Ravelry.

I strongly recommend signing up for newsletter using the widget located on the right-hand sidebar....the next issue might have a coupon code for this pattern!

Thanks for stopping by this week - for more FO Friday inspiration, visit the Tami's Amis blog

Have a crafty weekend!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wooly App & WIP Wednesday

Wooly App

I was first introduced to the Wooly App when I was researching an article for Yarn Market News; shortly thereafter, I ran into them at YarnCon here in Chicago, though I was in such a daze from all of the pretty yarns and fibers, I didn't spend much time in their booth. Recently, I came across their Kickstarter campaign to create a juiced-up new version of the app for iOS users (think iPhone and iPad), with the possibility of creating an Android version, too!

John Stys (one of the developers) lives here in Chicago, and we met up earlier this week to talk more about the Wooly app and their Kickstarter campaign, which is getting very close to their funding goal with 13 days to go!

John showed me the current version of the app, which is a reader for the notebook section of the user's account and also features a nifty photo editor that allows you to take and edit photos to upload directly to your Ravelry account. It's got a great look and feel - you'd never guess that this was a homebrewed app which is programmed completely in-house! Dave & John Stys are both brothers who share a love for knitting and and technology, and they've got BIG plans for version 2.0 of the Wooly app (and beyond!).

Screenshot: current interface
(watch their Kickstarter video
for a sneak peek at v2.0!)
Here's just a partial list of new features in Wooly 2.0
  • Pattern Search!
  • Offline access - your notebook content stored on your device
  • Filter and sort results
  • Add to queue
  • Cast on/create a project from a pattern
  • Sharing
  • Projects (list, create, edit, add photos, share)
  • Queue (add to queue, re-order, edit, share)
  • Stash (view list, details, edit, add, yards remaining, share)
  • Needles (view inventory chart, add/edit/delete needles, share)
  • Friends (view friends and their projects
  • Messages (Ravelry inbox, read and compose)
Click here to learn more about their Kickstarter campaign - please consider making a pledge and sharing it with your knitting buddies! If you don't select a reward that includes a free download of the Wooly app, you might want to purchase it now so that you can get the free upgrade when version 2.0 is live.

I am really excited about this app and am really hoping they can exceed their goal so that an Android version becomes a reality, too!

WIP Wednesday

I don't have many projects I can share with you this week, but I have made some significant progress on my MadTosh shawl - last night I started the ribbed border!

Thanks for joining me this week! For more WIP Wednesday inspiration, visit the Tami's Amis Blog!

You might like to know: I didn't receive any compensation for this endorsement of the Wooly App Kickstarter campaign - just wanted to spread the word and support our awesome knitting community! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Craftsy Sweet Summer Sale extended!

Woo hoo! The Craftsy Sweet Summer Sale has been extended through today - click the banner below to enroll in select classes for up to 75% off!


Not sure what classes to sign up for? Click here to read my Craftsy class reviews

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Spinning Saturday - Tour De Fleece Week 3

The Tour de Fleece ends tomorrow, which means that I am going to be spinning like mad this weekend. Before I left for vacation, I was nearly done with a merino/silk single to ply with one of the first singles I completed during the tour (Wine Country BFL/silk from the Sweet Georgia Fibre Club). This week, I managed to finish what was on my wheel and ply the two together, and I am so thrilled with the results!

I also took some leftover singles and plied them together, with not-as-exciting results:

Today, I am going to try to finish the Polwarth that is on my Ladybug:

And I am also going to try to finish the second Merino/Silk single that is on my Victoria so that I can ply it with this overfilled bobbin (I may have gotten carried away) of the same fiber and color:

With any luck, I'll be spending Sunday plying up a storm! 

Thanks for joining me for another Spinning Saturday! I'd love to hear about your Tour de Fleece progress in the comments! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Fun - Trip to KC!

As it turns out, my only FO for this week isn't ready to be revealed just yet! Instead, I'll be sharing a few highlights from my trip to Kansas City. Meet you back here tomorrow for another Tour de Fleece installment of Spinning Saturday! 
We stayed with Tyler's parents, who had a fantastic view of the
downtown Kansas City Skyline. 
As luck would have it, my dad snagged a bottle of the
hard-to-find Boulevard Coffee Ale for us to try!
Speaking of dear old Dad, I let him try out my Zoom Loom!
Here he is with his first woven square!
No trip to KC would be complete without at least a few
visits to Tyler's fave, Winstead's.
....or lots more tasty local beer!
Though there isn't much photographic evidence, I managed to
squeeze in plenty of knitting time.
I also managed to spin every day that we were
in KC, sometimes in the most unexpected places!
For instance, here I am spinning on the lawn of the
Nelson-Atkins Museum of art.
The entire grounds contains many sculptures, but the
gigantic shuttlecocks are probably the most well-known.
I also set up my Victoria wheel in the Loose Park Rose Garden,
spinning in 90-degree heat, no less.
I couldn't resist taking this photo of the resident condo cat,
Boo, who really enjoyed drinking from the kitchen sink!
We had a really fantastic trip, though I have to admit that I'm happy to be back home in Chicago. I'm looking forward to finishing up some more WIPs and getting back to my regularly scheduled blogging (for real this time)!

Thanks for stopping by this week - for your weekly dose of FO Friday inspiration, visit the Tami's Amis blog

Have a crafty weekend!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday!

We're back in Chicago after a great trip back home visiting friends and family. I have a mountain of work awaiting me and will be playing catch-up for the rest of the week, but I wanted to share my newest WIP today:

This is the Locale scarf (a free pattern on Ravelry), which I am knitting with two colors of Madtosh merino light; I cast on during the train ride down to Kansas City and finished the short-row section before the return trip. I am halfway through the wave and box pattern section and really liking how this is knitting up!

Today was a quick post, but I look forward to seeing you back here for FO Friday as I get back to my regularly scheduled blogging. Also, don't forget to enter my Facebook Fan page giveaway to win a skein of handspun yarn - click here for more info!

For more WIP Wednesday inspiration, visit the Tami's Amis Blog!

Monday, July 15, 2013

A few of my favorite things!

I'm visiting family in KC this week, so today's post will be a little different than the usual "anything goes" blogs I typically share with you - below is just a short list of fun fibery things that have been rocking my post-TNNA world! 

1. Yarnover Truck - How much do I wish we had a yarn truck here in Chicago?! These clever folks just won the 2013 Business Innovation Award at TNNA, and rightfully so! They even have exclusive colorways and patterns from folks like Anzula and FickleKnitter. I never thought I'd say it (what with the lack of sweater weather and all), but knitters in Southern California sure are lucky!

Image courtesy of FickleKnitter

2. KnitCrate subscription service: I met these folks at TNNA and they are super-awesome. Ever since then, I have been wanting to sign up for their sock yarn subscription, even though I am usually not into spending my hard-earned money on yarn I can't pick out myself. However, after getting to know the KnitCrate philosophy, I have total faith that each shipment would contain awesome stuff that I would love. It also might be a good way to diversify my very monochromatic sock yarn stash! 

Image courtesy of KnitCrate

3. My fiber friend LaurenS just opened an etsy shop filled with vintage buttons and her own handmade orifice threaders for your spinning wheel - click here to check it out! I've been using mine with my Victoria wheel - it's really easy to tuck in your purse or bag while spinning on-the-go!

Image courtesy of LaurenS

I'll be back from my vacation tomorrow (yes, Tyler and I will be spending our 8th wedding anniversary on the train!), and everything should be back to 'normal' just in time for WIP Wednesday! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tour de Fleece: Week 2

I am currently visiting family, but don't worry - I have a foldable travel wheel for the occasion and I'm still spinning up a storm in the name of Team Woolery!

In fact, I am working on some gorgeous merino/silk fiber I recently purchased from The Woolery:

The purple-y fiber on the right came with me to KC, and the fiber on the left is currently in progress on my Ladybug at home:

I also bought some natural polwarth top that I was planning to ply with a Finn single I've had sitting around for a few months now:

Even though I've been spinning every day since the Tour de Fleece started, I really don't have any finished skeins to show for it - how is that possible?! I do have a bunch of singles, however...and I'm running out of bobbins! I still haven't plied the Wine Country or custom dyed top from last week, though the fiber I've got in progress on my Ladybug will hopefully be a good match for the Sweet Georgia single.

I spent most of the holiday weekend spinning the above singles of various leftover wool bits that have been lurking in my stash. Before I left town, I plied them together into my first-ever 3 ply yarn:

I am kind of in love with these skeins! Who would have guessed that a bunch of orphan fibers would produce such pretty yarn?

Thanks for joining me for another Spinning Saturday! I'd love to hear about your Tour de Fleece progress in the comments! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

FO Friday: Crocheted Unicorn

Today's FO is something I've been crocheting in secret and can finally share! I made this cute little amigurumi unicorn for a knitting friend named Patricia who has had a really rough year. I thought she could use a new friend to cheer her up (a little birdie told me she liked unicorns).

Besides being friends in knitting, we had the common bond of both being parents of kidney cats. Patricia's sweet kitteh Skye passed away earlier this year, and though I know nothing could replace her (that's certainly how I feel about Robin), hopefully this little guy will be a comforting companion.

Pattern: L'il Baby Unicorn by Sarah Hoe
Yarn: Cascade 220 and Manos Maxima

Thanks for stopping by this week - for more FO Friday inspiration, visit the Tami's Amis blog

Have a crafty weekend!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday/Off to KC!

Happy WIP Wednesday! I find myself with only a few projects on the needles right now, which means I'll be starting some new ones while visiting family this week.

First, I'll be destashing some MadTosh to make Locale, which is a free pattern on Ravelry. I also have some brand-new Knitter's Pride Dreamz needles to season:

It's time to get back to baby knitting, since everyone I know continues to announce they are expecting! Many of these new moms and moms-to-be read my blog occasionally, so I won't be posting much about this project, but I am excited to make something from this adorable book which I picked up at TNNA last month.

Tyler and I will be taking the Amtrak down to KC, which means I get 7 hours of uninterrupted crafting time - it sounds like heaven to me. I am a little concerned that the above two projects plus my halfway-finished sock project won't be enough to keep me out of trouble (read: away from the yarn store) while I'm in town. I am taking my Zoom Loom (packed in a nice heavy-duty project bag from Bijou Basin Ranch) and Victoria wheel for extra insurance. Here's hoping I'll get some fun photos of me spinning in unexpected places to share with you!

I have some posts scheduled for while I'm gone, though if you typically find this blog via Google +, I'll be running silent while I'm gone. You may want to follow me on Bloglovin if you haven't already!

And now, on to the WIPs:

I'm still working on my Baah socks; they took a nap after TNNA, but I am going to pick them back up and finish them on this trip:

I also joined the FreshStitches Mystery CAL last week, though I'm a little late to the party - the final clue came out yesterday! I ordered some Lettlopi yarn from Craftsy in a heathery ice blue that is super pretty and it arrived last Friday, so I spent most of this past weekend trying to get caught up.

Currently, I have a big box of mystery parts, and I'm going to try to get as much done as I can before leaving for the train this afternoon. However, I won't be packing this one for the road - trying to wrangle a bag of stuffing, some safety eyes, and various critter pieces doesn't sound like a good idea. I did happen to sneak a peek at the finished creature when I was printing out Clue 3 yesterday morning, but I won't spoil it for you. It did kind of make me squee, though!

Speaking of things I won't be taking on my trip: the Fieldwork Cardigan is going to take a short nap while I'm gone (mostly because I ran out of yarn, but that's a whole other story)! I am so excited to finish this sweater, but it'll have to wait til I get back home. Hopefully the yarn I ordered will have arrived by then!

Whew, that was a long post! Thanks for sticking with me today! For more WIP Wednesday inspiration, visit the Tami's Amis Blog!