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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kid N Ewe Round Up.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers and happy Thursday to everyone else! I just realised I forgot to blog about my trip (and purchases) to Boerne's fiber festival, Kid N Ewe. Bad Birdy!

This year I went mainly for the friends--I was determined NOT to buy yarn. Well not just any yarn...I was only going to buy bamboo lace weight. I saw this wonderous stuff last year AFTER I spent all my money, so I was determined to get my hot little hands on some THIS year.

Bamboo Laceweight


It's more grey in real life, but yes it does look like the sky. And because it's bamboo its so silky. Sigh. I love it! It also has a lot of yardage...I think around 1000. So it'll make a nice stole, or something. Not sure what I'll make yet.

Anyhoo, I got it from Fiberlady's Booth-they provide unspun bamboo fiber as well. If you are into that sort of thing (I am not, I won't let myself be...I have enough to do without spinning too!)

This was supposed to be it! Maybe buy some yarn as a gift, but then A. showed me undyed silk...1500 yards for TWENTY-FOUR DOLLARS!!! Dude...this stuff is usually twice that, or more. So it went home too.

Silk Laceweight


This is from Color Me...and I don't think I will dye it--I love it just this way. I am thinking though I might use this to knit an Estonian stole/shawl. I hear it whisper Estonian when I pet and stroke it. Grin.

The kids had fun running around and they got to see the animals and pose with the Alpacas (which Micci thought were lamas).

Lorelei and Micci with Alpacas


100_5119


Lorelei with Alpacas


I spent most of my time catching up with old friends from all over Texas...and knitting of course.

The LSSK Gals

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yarn Crawl

All the fun of this weekend wiped me out! I am just getting the photos edited and my thoughts collected.

My best friend, Phisto, was in town so we could go to the U2 concert in Dallas, and Yarn Crawl just happened to take place a few days before the concert. Her stash is quite sad and I thought it needed some bulking up. Mwhahaha.

The Yarn Crawl started on Friday and A., Phisto, the kids and I headed up to Fredericksburg to start the the trawling. Stonehill Yarn was awesome!

StonehillStonehill Signage


It has some very nice yarns and the owners where very very pleasant. The store itself felt very homey and inviting. Although none of the yarns screamed out BUY me, well maybe I heard a whimper, but I was on a BUDGET! Grin.

Inside Stonehill


Stonehill-inside


This is outside Stonehill where I got some pics of Phisto's AWESOME coat.

The coat


Next up was The Tinsmith's Wife in Comfort.

The Tinsmith's WifeThe Tinsmith's Wife Signage


This was my favourite store. I have been hearing AWESOME things about it since it opened a year ago, but hadn't the chance to go. We were greeted very enthusiastically by the owners husband, as soon as we stepped inside. The walls were LINED with yarn, all the way up to the ceiling. There were MANY yarns I craved: a milk fiber yarn was especially tempting. They also carried Handmaiden Sea Silk. Want/Pant! But this is what I fell for and brought home to my stash.

Guess which on came home with me?


Guess which one came home with me? The deep dark gorgeous red has now found a loving home at Casa Birdy. It's so gorgeous!! Lookie!!



Just luscious! It's also incredibly soft. It's String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn, called Caper Sock in the colourway Black Cherry. Personally I would have called it True Blood, but I am obsessed that way. ;-)

Next (I didn't take my camera out any more till Sunday), after a small detour we went to Boerne, first to Rosewood Yarns and then to Ewe and Eye. Rosewood was very nice, the kids coloured while we inhaled yarn fumes and molested the fibers. Ewe and Eye was a delightful place full of awesome toys AND yarn. Both were awesome. I found some beautiful mystery laceweight, in a lovely yellow gold.

Mystery Cone


In reality it's a darker gold. Light was weird and I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes during my photo shoot.

Then we went home. And rested.

On Saturday, after I took Mic to the clinic. Poor kid came down with a nasty ear infection (I had thought it was a sinus infection). Then I picked up Phisto and off we went to the San Antonio Yarn stores. I scored an awesome deal to knit a store sample from my own pattern (more tomorrow!) at Yarnivore, using this delicate yarn, Elegant Yarns, Daphne.

Daphne


I also finally got to really meet and chat with one of the other employees at Yarnivore, Julia. So sweet and I had an awesome time gabbing with her while Phisto prowled the aisles.

Next we were off to Yarn Barn, which thankfully we got there in the nick of time...well 5 nicks past, but they still let us in. Yarn Barn is as awesome as always and after making out with the Handmaiden Sea Silk for a few minutes, I picked up some more Blue Sky Cotton for a Christmas knitting present.

Blue Sky Cotton


Then Home, more rest! For tomorrow is Dallas!!

We decided to hit some yarn shops along I-35 in Austin as we headed up to Dallas for the U2 concert.

First was The Knitting Nest, love this place...Stacy is awesome! Once again I fell under the sway of the malabrigo. BUT this time it was the sock yarn. Malabrigo SO had my number. I loved the squishy softness of it, but I was able to walk away, but then THEN, I felt the store sample. Dude! DUDES!! The softness and the drapiness. Was intoxicating. So this went home with me:

Malabrigo


I want to roll around nude in this stuff...so soft. Yes yes get a room...

Next Hill Country Weavers--otherwise known as Yarn Heaven. I always forget to document this store. How the yarn lines the walls and jumps out of you from the ceiling, bins, and walls. I have a friend, who is tragically allergic to wool, can't stand more than a few minutes because of the wool fibers in the AIR!!! So much yarn! Also by this time I finally learned something about Phisto. Sparkly yarns are her favourite and her temptress. Every store we went to she zeroed in on the bright and shiny. It was no different here. But it wasn't till the next store, that I truly understood.

So next, and lastly, Guage (I finally remembered again I had a camera).

Guage Signage


And this THIS is what I understood:

Um yeah


I blame the blurriness and the shakiness on that damn seducing sparkly yarn!

Gauge was nice, very boutiquey (new word alert!), but not enough laceweight or silk. But that's just me and my needs. ;-)

Whew and then we drove to Dallas! Had an extraordinary time...but that's for another blog and another post.

The participants in the Yarn Crawl got loot and a bag to put it into!

All the Swag


It was all very awesome and impressive. I unfortunately forgot to turn in my passport, so a chance at the AWESOME prizes is gone for me. But good luck to everyone else that had a brain!

Here's is the loot I bought. I think I was very restrained.

All the Yarn I Bought at the Crawl

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sunday With Amy and Yarn

I somehow managed to re-work the alignment of planets and arrange everything just so; and was able to go up to Austin (The Knitting Nest) to meet and hang with Amy Singer (the editor of Knitty). It was a terrific afternoon.

My hubby confused the dates (I explicitly told him the date) and didn't have the day off. Aiiiieeee!! I was able to arrange not one, but TWO! babysitters. Woot! It was well worth it. I got to listen to Amy softly strum her uke, while my own tin whistle sat in my bag--too nervous to come out.

I completely forgot my camera (bad knit blogger no cookie) and even though I reminded myself, forgot to tell Wendy (my ride up) to bring HER camera. So no pics of Amy. Although we all did learn how to take awesome pictures (Wendy rocks)--because photographs are taking a 3D object and turning it 2D. Optical illusions are our friend and to be used! Double chin? Stick your neck out as far forward as you can and voila beautiful neck! and only one chin!!

I had great fun talking and knitting with Amy and other assorted Austin knitters. I even got to meet Sandra Singh! I also got sucked in by the malabrigo. Second only to Handmaiden Sea Silk--Malabrigo lures me in. I now have 7 different colours (8 hanks) of Malabrigo laceweight and not a bit of it knit up. This has GOT to change.

I was hemming over this minty Water Green hanging lovingly, temptingly on a rack.

Malabrigo-Water Green


Mint Green is one of my new IT colours. Although, red still is IT, always will be IT. But the other colours pass in and out of IT-ness. Plum and lavender have left to allow minty to come to the forefront of my senses. Lately, I have been wanting to pair minty green with this:

Malabrigo in Chocolate


Then I saw this colour:

Malabrigo-Emerald


And something exploded in my brain when I did this to the two hanks of Malabrigo:

Marriage of Malabrigo


Wowazza!!! I am going to make something exquisite with these two hanks of deliciousness.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Of Lost Videos and Found Yarn

Today I recorded some video of my lace surgery. But no one will get to see it. At first, I thought the video was lost. I had taken three videos...one showed up, one was not even a second in length, and the third was GONE. Poof. Disappeared.

So I swore and grumped, then got over it.

THEN I found the third video. But then I watched it. 90% of the video is of my very freckly shoulder.

Thunk.

I have two options right now: I can wait until I make another mistake (I surely will) or I can enlist the help of my husband as the cameraman to hold the camera over my head away from my shoulder, make sure the lace is in focus and I can ladder back down AGAIN and pretend that I didn't fix the mistake at all.

If I chose the later, I may have video for your on Friday. The former? Well who knows the next time I make a mistake...could be tomorrow...or in several weeks.

No video today, but I do have yarn pr0n.

Manos Silky Blend


I bought this Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend from Yarnivore on Sunday during the good bye party for one of my knitty friends. Not sure if I am going to make one of the scarves that is SO very popular to be made with this yarn...or something else...I was thinking perhaps something vesty.

So this made me think though. WHY DO I KEEP BUYING YARN!! I put myself on a yarn diet. I don't need any more...I have enough knitting bunnies chewing up my brains to give them more fertile ground with all this new yarn.

THIS is the yarn I have been buying since I put myself on a yarn diet.

Recently purchased yarn


And every one of those skeins were bought with some sort of rationale why I NEEDED the yarn despite being on a yarn diet. (I did forget to include the yarn I bought at Myrtle Beach, tho). Okay that green yarn, bought in Alexandria at Knit Happens: it's vacation yarn. The big hank of red Baruffa Cashwool is also vacation yarn, bought from Aylse Woolgather's. The gold bamboo and red lace cake (it's alpaca) was WHIBSIB yarn. The yarn cake in the cool autumn colours and the red Malabrigo I bought while I was up in Austin seeing the Yarn Harlot. It's all special!!! The pink in the back...well that WAS an impulse buy months ago at Yarnivore.

I really need to stop buying yarn...

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Yarny Side of Vacation

The best part about vacation for me is vacation yarn shopping! We were so buzzing busy this year it's amazing I got to go to any yarn shops. My mom took me to two yarn shops in the D.C area (I am highly disappointed in her lack of enthusiasm over the 10 other shops she won't look for). And i scored some MORE red lace weight.

Barafulla- Red


It's funny: after YEARS of searching for red lace weight and coming up empty, suddenly I have been able to find some nearly every where I go. I got these pretty specimen (and as you can tell it's rather large) at Aylin's Woolgatherer.

I found some pretty Schaeffer Anne at Knit Happens in Alexandria. My Mom hated trying to park (in the rain no less), but I told her Knit Happens happens to be my favourite yarn store in her area.

Schaeffer Yarn-Anne


I am seeing a pretty elven scarf for this yarn.

We were only in Waynesboro a short time so I couldn't go to my all time favourite yarn shop (poot!), but next year I WILL take myself to On The Lamb (many times in fact!).

On the way our of Myrtle Beach we stopped in Knitting Up A Storm. We got yarn for Granny's Christmas presents and yarn for me.

Yarn for Granny's shawl


This is for a warm shawl for Granny, I am thinking a triangle shawl with a feather and fan pattern. Something like this. I might chance up a few things...not sure if I will use the exact stitch pattern. And I will definitely chart it out. Written out lace instructions are just too long and cumbersome.

This will be felted slippers for Granny


I will be making some felted slippers with this yarn. Not totally sure what sort...I was thinking I would like a high cuff to keep her ankles warm, but I also like the lower style too. We shall see.

A pretty scarf


So pretty and soft...I am thinking it will make pretty cowl or something.

I knit quite a bit on vacation--with the 24 drive up (and back) and the driving all over VA and down to SC. Then there's the beach and pool--even with 70+ SPF I still don't spend much time in the sun and water...so I knit under umbrellas.

I knit on my beach sock when I was at the beach and poolside.






I had completed the toe increases before I left for vacation and while on the drive I frogged a few dozen rows. I was going for a pattern but I came to my senses and just kept it simple.

I did bring nearly all my projects, but really the only other project I worked on was the silk Isobel scarf.

IsobelIsobel got knocked out


It's nearly finished. And in the heat we endured on the drive back...silk was the only fiber I wanted to touch.

I was also on vacation from the Knitting Bunnies, but on the drive back inspiration hit and I got some great ideas for the wildflower scarf that's been simmering in my cerebellum. Now that I am back home, I got some patterns to work on and some gift knitting and perhaps some baby knitting, as well (and NOT for me).

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Adventures in Knitting...meeting Famouz Knitters.

Warning: picture heavy...

Thursday my husband and I left San Antonio for our trip to Austin to meet Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot. The plan was to hit several yarn shops on the way up, peddling out Birdy's Knits goodies. (The biggest benefit I've gotten due to Jamey's increased interest in Birdy's Knits and the creation of Birdy's Baubles is that now he takes me to yarn shops without me asking {read: begging, pleading} and willing with out grumping buys me yarn). Before I left the house I made sure to dig into my personal stash of Shiner Black: I've been keeping up with the Yarn Harlot's blog and knew she's had an extraordinarily hard week. She needed the beer...she needed Beer O'Clock to be NOW!

We left a bit late so our trip to The Yellow Sweater in Buda had to be skipped and post-poned. I have been dying to go and support this particular yarn shop because she started and is running her business without any debt what so ever...it's a purely cash funded business. I LOVE this. We are currently trying to get out of debt and have eschewed getting into more debt for the past 3 years (we had a small hiccup when we had that car accident and had to take out a loan to buy our van. 2006 was a BAD year that ate our savings and our emergency fund).

We hit The Knitting Nest, in south Austin. In which I found some LOVELY and red lace Malabrigo.

Lace Malabrigo


I am now the proud owner of 6 hanks of Malabrigo lace...some browns, blues, lavenders, greens, and now RED!! One of these days I will make some very pretty somethings. I love this lace so much...I just want to make a nest out of it!

Then on to Hill Country Weavers...Yarn Heaven!! I always forget to take pictures of this lovely space. I think it's the yarn fumes and the yarn overload. It swipes my mind. There's yarn coming at your from above, below, straight at you...everywhere you look you see yarn. I rescued these two luscious hanks.

Baby Alpaca Lace


More RED!! I am seeing a gorgeous wee shall. Maybe with cherries.

I almost walked out of the store without this sock yarn...thank dia I saw it because the LOVE!!

Araucania Sock Yarn


I love it so much that I made a collage. Just to show y'all every beauteous wonderful angle this hank possesses. I am not sure what sort of socks I'll make. I am leaning toward plain stockinette socks, but depending on how it winds up I may make up a simple pattern.

Yarn Collage


It's Araucania Yarn Itata Multy. It's 70% superwash wool, 15% silk and 15% bamboo. I didn't realise the content until I got home, I was so mesmerised by the colour way.

Okay...yes, I did meet the Yarn Harlot, but come on ya gotta enjoy the YARN LOVE!! I need another moment with the pretty fiber. So pretty.

Yes, after a teeny detour we made it to Book People to hear Stephanie speak at about 5 pm. Two hours before her talk, but I wanted a good seat. And who did I see, but the lovely Diane! I sat right next to her front and center. I have missed her...but she is nearly done with school and we all know how tough that final sprint is (so I forgive her. Grin). By getting there early, I was trapped by Book People's rigid no large bag rule (others skated by), so for the evening this was my knitting "bag."

My new Knitting Bag


It was amazingly heavy: I carry too much stuff. BUT, I need all that knitting, what if I get bored? What if it's the wrong sort of knitting: I need more or less attention. A knitter must always be prepared.

Unexpectedly, my Austin friend, Becky (a fresh law school grad!) snagged me to go upstairs to a private reception for Stephanie. Woot!! Private time with Stephanie and the Doctor!!

Stephanie was always surrounded by gads of Knitters...

TinyTen posingTinyTen  Posin'TinyTen, Knitters, and the Yarn Harlot


But Becky and I got in there. Pretty much by throwing beer into the mix. We were waiting out turn and one of her friends from Austin was apologising that she forgot the Shiner for Stephanie. Seeing her much put out, I piped up, "Oh don't worry! I got some Shiner in here," pointing to the TinyTardis hanging off my arm, "for you!" She was so relieved and incredulous, she grabbed by arm, "Really!?!?" Yes really just for you!

She was also thrilled with TinyTen.

Yarn Harlot holding TinyTen


She even remembered meeting TinyTen's cousin (or is it brother) KnitTen. (TinyTen is crocheted). She agreed to pose. And she even took a picture of me and Ten for HER blog. Woot!

Yarn Harlot, Me, and TinyTen


(So! I figure THIS out that night. I met and touched the Yarn Harlot. SHE was on The Graham Norton Show. And David Tennant was on the Graham Norton Show! It's sorta a connection, like only 3 degrees of separation! Yes, I am nuts and grasping at straws but it gives me a tickle.)

Becky also taught Stephanie the Hook 'Em Horns hand gesture.

Hook 'Em Horns!


Suna was also there. I am so proud of her: at first she said she was too shy to go up to Stephanie. And before I could grab her arm and drag her over there; she dived in head first and had a great chat with Stephanie(they have lot's in common).

the Yarn Harlot posing with Suna


I also got to see CJ and Judy from my Lone Star State Knitters yahoo group. I love catching up with far flung friends.

Okay down to the reading.

Lookie at all the knitters...the coolest thing, they are all knitting in sync. I have never been around this many knitters ALL knitting. It was fabulous.

TinyTen with KNITTERS in the wildKnitters!More Knitters


I did forget all the knitters that sat to the left of us. Sorry!

Okay the main event. Spike introduced Stephanie. Spike blogs for Hill Country Weavers at Knit Buzz.

Spike, introducing the Yarn Harlot


Stephanie waiting in the wings to make her grand (read second) entrance!

The Yarn Harlot before her Grand entrance.


Pay no attention to the yarn hoarder behind the curtain!!

Sock Pictures!


Stephanie's talk was AMAZING! She talked a lot about how misunderstood knitters are and how we span across all the boxes society seeks to place us into. We are a rainbow of deliciousness. We are not one religion, political ideology, gender, race, age group, economic position...we represent everyone--with one thing tying us together: our love and passion for knitting.

She also shared some AWESOME studies with us...specifically how smart and accepting knitting makes us. My favourite: A study from Cambridge, England (a report of the study and the actual study, for the brainiacs). It explains those that do repetitive, visual and spatial tasks while enduring a trauma are less traumatised. Meaning, knitting helps you cope in the aftermath of a traumatic event. Awesome.

Our favourite (and most ridiculous) part of the study was this:

The question is, how can this knowledge be used? It's not necessarily practical to carry around worry beads or "emergency knitting" for times of stress.

????

I always have knitting on me...heck I have 2 to 3 knitting projects with me at all times. Mainly because I NEED something to do with my hands at all times. For me no knitting would be trauma. Practical? My knitting keeps me from going ape shit from boredom. I also like the new scientific term for knitting: visuospatial task.

All in all Stephanie is a brilliant speaker, humourist and writer...I encourage y'all to see her if you get the chance. And at the very least read her books--they are full of win.

The Books!


Because I got a change to meet her earlier, I took to the very end of the long line to have my books signed. I got a chance to gab and catch up with my mate David (the other SA knitter that drove up for the event). She signed both my books (I bought her two latest books--Book People ran very short on copies of her book), one for me and one for Anne.

The AutographThe Autograph


And then she signed the TinyTen's Travel-log...with a special message for her geeky fans:

The Yarn Harlot Comforts the GeeksA Word to Who Fans...


I had a lovely time, the Yarn Harlot is delightful and funny and is a treasure. I am glad we have her as a fellow knitter.

I have made a few edits (a few pics and paragraphs) since I first posted: because while knitting supposedly gives you a better memory and recall--I, apparently, am too brain damaged to get that benefit.

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