Maker Faire

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I spent my weekend at the Bay Area Maker Faire!  Spirit animals abounded!  Alternate modes of transportation were everywhere!

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There was so much to see, I barely scratched the surface! I spent most of my time in the Needle Arts Zone, teaching knitting and crochet!  They were also teaching spinning, weaving, cross stitch and needlepoint!

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I definitely made a few new knitters this weekend.  It was great to see how many people were interested in sitting down for an hour or more to knit.  With so much to see and do, I certainly didn’t expect the knitting section to be so popular.  I had 2-3 students at any given time.  There were 5-6 other volunteers working the knit & crochet section too.

Some people were just messing around, but the number of people taking it serious was awesome!  And they all got to take their yarn and needles home so hopefully they’ll stick with it.  The world needs more knitters!

I did break away from the knitting long enough to check out Tubby Wubby, the next booth over.  They were selling the cutest little sewing kits.

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All the bits are pre-cut and stuck to the instruction card.  The needle is pre-threaded.  The instructions have clear diagrams.  It really seemed set up for success so I gave it a try and signed up for 3 months!  They sent me home with a cow.  I was really excited to try it out.

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It took me about an hour and it turned out so cute!!

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Without a doubt, it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever sewn!  I can’t wait for Dolly the Llama to show up in June!  She’s getting stitched right up!

In the meantime, I’ll wait patiently with my knitting…

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Saturday Linkage

I’m off to my first Maker Faire today.  I’m volunteering to teach knitting in the NeedleArts Zone.  With the exception of the giant crowd, I’m looking forward to it!

In the meantime, here’s a few fiber related videos to keep you entertained!

Some super cute border collies meeting sheep for the first time…

It’s pretty amazing to see how instinctual herding behavior is.

This one is a bit longer but definitely worth a few minutes.  It’s a gorgeous short documentary about the sustainability of wool and what it means to the fashion supply chain.

New Zealand and Tasmania are definitely dream vacations for me.  Some day…

FO Friday – Instant Classic

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The second in my pair of Dotted Rays is now finished!  This is my sixth Dotted Rays so obviously, I like this pattern.  My most worn project of 2017 was this Dotted Rays…

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I knit many shawls a year, it’s pretty unusual for one to be my favorite for so long.  That prompted me to start a new ‘favorite’.  You can’t guarantee something will become a favorite but I stacked the deck as much as I could.  I picked a pattern I love wearing and knitting equally and I picked all my favorite colors from the stash.  It turns out, setting yourself up for success really works!

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Judging by the number of pictures alone, this has to be a favorite.  I just couldn’t stop.

I’m sure it helped that Golden Gate Park is dressed in gorgeous spring green this week!

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And now, it’s time for the weekend! After being virtually monogamous with the Dotted Rays, I plan on fraternizing with ALL the knits the weekend!  My old pal crochet might even get involved!

Happy Friday!  Hope you’re looking forward to your weekend as well!


 

 

 

 

 

Motivated Monday

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Last week’s lack of knitting mojo has definitely passed.  Turns out a new box of yarn from Mom was all I needed!  I thought the qiviut would be the first on the needles but no, I’m far too susceptible to the siren song of color.  Green and purple is such a classic combo, I couldn’t put it down once I’d started.  Brioche was the clear winner and so, a new Askews Me Shawl was born.

It’s a WestKnit, because WestKnits really are the best knits!  The original is only two colors but I’m definitely planning some stripes.

My only concern, it’s a worsted weight yarn.  The pattern is written for DK so not too much a departure but I’ve got a very stiff fabric.  The brioche keeps it cushy so it’s not a bullet proof fabric.  I’m into drape though.  I’m debating going up a needle size or two (which never happens to me??)

While that debate rages on, I decided another cast on was not only reasonable but necessary.

Bitten by the colorful stripe bug, I started another blanket for my impending nephew.  In knitting his first blanket, I remembered why I don’t like knitting blankets.  PURLING.  Yuck.  I’m down with texture, moss stitch, seed stitch, ribbing, yes!  Long straight rows of purls…NO.

The solution to this problem…Steeking!

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Yup, I cast on a blanket in the round.  I’m going to knit the whole thing.  No purls!  NO PURLS!  and then, I’m going to cut it open and turn the cut ends into fringe!  I’ve never been so excited about fringe!

Speaking of the impending nephew, my sister got her first Mother’s Day package this weekend!  And of course, it wasn’t for her at all.  I’m not sure she realizes her days of getting packages are over.  They’re all for the nephew from now on.

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Baby’s first sweater, a stroller blanket and a little sleeping monster.  I finally got his eyes right!  I suspect he’s already become a cat toy.  Good thing I planned on making a whole slew of monsters!

Mom got a new knit for Mother’s Day too.  The latest Dotted Rays had her name on it from the beginning.  As I washed and blocked it, I couldn’t find the sticky sap spots?  I’m not sure how they went away on their own, but I’m glad they did.

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I’m nearing the end of the other Dotted Rays too.  I should finish it this week…assuming I don’t get distracted from all the other knitting.  I mean, I can’t just leave that qiviut to lay around and feel unloved!  No, I’m highly motivated to get some knitting done!

Happy Monday!  Woo!


 

Happy Friday!

Look Familiar?  Not much has changed.  Things have been meandering along this week.  I tried to generate some excitement last week but it didn’t work.

The baby sweater I cast on is sitting untouched in the corner.  I’m not sure the stripes I chose are a good idea, maybe I should just stick with the color blocking?  I still haven’t cast on a Local Yarn Shawl.  My colors aren’t quite right.  I need to dive a bit deeper into the stash.  Just a lot of meh going on.

May the Fourth inspired me to pull R2-D2 out of his corner.  And while, he’s gotten lots of love this week, it’s not entirely obvious, thanks to the effect of white stitches on a very pale blue background.  It doesn’t help that cross stitch makes knitting seem fast and efficient when done by hand.

Even my beloved Dotted Rays is stuck in a pit of ennui (<-that’s how bad it is, it’s turned French?!?).  Progress is being made, and it’s going to be awesome.  I’m ready for it to be done though.  It’s grown to very cumbersome, shlanket proportions.

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It WILL be done soon and I’m going to love wearing it.  Even that ‘purple’ stripe that is totally skewing pink is going to be great.  The whole thing is terrific.  Terrific is not exciting though.

And then, just when I thought all hope was lost, that moment when vacuuming seemed like a better idea than crafting…the mailman showed up!  Phew!  It was a close call.  The mailman arrived just in time.  He brought me a package from my Mom, a sort of reverse Mother’s Day package!  It’s an especially good one…

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Not one but TWO skeins of Magical Tundra Qiviut!  For those not in the know about this stuff, it’s the epitome of luxury fiber.  An incredibly soft, incredibly warm, incredibly lofty fiber from the arctic musk ox!  I always visit the musk ox booth at Stitches to pet the skeins but I’ve never brought any home with me.  This is Excitement (<- capital E!)

And, it turns out, fancy musk ox yarn, isn’t even the most exciting part of this package. Mom also sent 1000 yards of her own hand dyed amazingness!

Yes, FriYAY can officially commence now.  I love all of these colors!  I can’t wait to wind and swatch all afternoon!  Turns out I wasn’t meandering or bored all week.  I was just waiting for the right moment to get excited!  Patience is, indeed, a virtue. Wooooooo!

Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve all got excitement on your needles too!

 

 

 

Back in the SF groove

Took a few days but things are just about back to normal around here.  Re-entry is always harsh after vacation but it took me a few extra days.  It was really nice being in New Mexico where the population density is zero.  Coming back to the crowds of San Francisco has made me cranky.  It’s like I forgot how to suppress the urge to slap people while saying ‘get it together, idiot’.   So, it was a rough weekend but, I’ve got it under control now.  Getting back to the knitting routine was imperative!

I knit in public, on several buses and even managed a few FOs. The purple hat is just a basic beanie with a little garter ridge relief kind of design.  Something for the gift box because invariably when a random birthday arrives, everyone’s favorite color is purple, yes?

I put the sleeves on my nephew’s first sweater.  He’s due in July, so he doesn’t even need them.  They were really just a few rows of formality.  I washed it and got ready to block it.  Definitely didn’t need all the blocking mats for this wee sweater.  It’s so tiny!  They call this size 0-3 months.  If it fits him on day 1, I’ll be amazed!

My current WIP is the other dotted rays.   Of the two, this one is definitely my favorite.  I knew it wouldn’t languish, alone, in a corner, after vacation and it hasn’t.  It’s been growing at a rapid pace since I got back.

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So, with all that progress, it’s definitely time to cast on something new.  Here’s my pile of vacation yarn…

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The first thing I grabbed to wind was the Dream in Color.  I got Jilly & Smooshy both with Cashmere.  Obviously.  With Cashmere is always the answer.

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I wanted to cast on the Local Yarn Shawl from Local Yarn Store Day but I don’t think I’ve got the right colors.  At least not right here.  I’ve totally got the right colors somewhere…I just need to get the yarn out and spread it all around.  Any excuse, right?

Any excuse!!