Monday, October 24, 2011

A Tale of Three Chitties...Umm Ladies At Fiber Fest Ann Arbor

Tis early morn my little ones & I arise from my slumber.  I am upright.  The little light upon my coffee maker glows red.  Swiftly I stab its little eye and it glows green and begins to gurgle awake.  My teeth are brushed & I am dressed.   The aroma of Java permeates the air.  I gratefully gulp & send up a silent prayer of gratitude that the man I married was wise enough to set up the life giving caffeine machine the night before.  It is a beautiful fall Saturday & Ann Arbor has fiber.  Lots & lots of lovely fiber.  I can smell it in the air.  Some would say the scent is Fall, in all its splendor, but I know better.  It is the smell of fiber.  Gently it has been teased from animals more than willing to part with their heavy coats for the small price of some grain, some water and a little shelter.  So begets the point of a fiberfest.  The owners pay the sheep in grain, water and shelter & I pay the owner in odd pieces of paper of green & white.  I think I am getting the better deal but would appreciate it if you don’t tell the sheeps, alpacas, bunnies, goats etc.  owners. 
I alight upon my trusted Mighty steed, otherwise known as my van, and hastily make my way to the abodes of two of my cohorts.  Not the sanest two either, mores the pity, for it would have been a much smoother day had they been less addled.  I knew trouble was brewing when Lady Suzy came rushing out to The Mighty Steed at full speed, with her eyes glowing in a maniacal manner.  Lady Suzy moves at a snail pace on a good day.  I knew by the drool coming from one corner of her mouth and the insane Fiber, needles, fiber, needles she was muttering this was not a good day and I could look forward to apologizing for her lunacy all damn day.   Pardon this gentle woman’s cursing and assume there will be much more, as Lady Suzy on Fiber fest days could try the patience of a saint. 
Thrice, like a mongrel, Lady Suzy circled The Mighty Steed before I could herd her inside.  Note to self.  Bopping Lady Suzy lightly on the snout, ummmm, I mean nose with a newspaper and offering her a treat works the best for getting her to mind. 
Swiftly we ventured on to pick up Lady Amy.  She fancies her name is KnitChaos.  Take the knit part off and you pretty much have an accurate picture of Lady Amy.  When we arrive she startles the living daylights out of us by throwing open the door to her castle & yells like a baudy from some foul smelling mens gaming establishment, Trick or treat, smells me feet, gives me fiber, else I’ll get you my pretty, you and that small little dog of yers.  I hastily told her to silence herself, otherwise known as shut the F up & no more watching Wizard of Oz AND for all our sakes she was not allowed to spend the day pretending to be a pirate.  Pouting into her petticoats, Lady Amy sulkily made her way to The Mighty Steed.  As she approached , I saw that she too had a slight bit of drool and a maniacal glint.  I sucked in my stays and prayed with all my might to any Fiber Fairies that might be listening.  I also asked God what I did to deserve these two lunatics and he just answered in a sing song voice, “You knoooooooowaaaaah!”  Never tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor. 
With much luck and fortitude we arrived at our destination.  It was on.  I prayed mightily that the gentle women within would not find any need to remove us from the premises with malice, contempt or violence.  I didn’t fancy I had a hope in hell, but I prayed it just the same.  Let me just say now that what commenced was in no way my fault & I apologize to all the gentle women in Ann Arbor.  As I find it distasteful to tell tales out of the schoolroom I will just hint & allude to.  You must sully your minds to draw your own conclusions on what actually happened.  My constitution is much too delicate…well, I will simply tell you what should not happen…think what you will.

Ten Things you should never do at a Fiber Festival!

1-Never enter a Fiber stall yelling FIRE at the top of your lungs just to clear out the mass of shoppers so you can have an easier time looking.  Unless there is an actual fire, heavens forbid, you should not be doing this.  I think you all know of whom I speak. 

2-Never release a horde of moths at a Fiberfest and follow it up by screaming, I want a discount, I want a discount. 

3-Never say to a gentle fiber vendor, “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours!”  It was quite pitiful to see the poor seller woman throw up her hands and go running and shrieking, for the hills.  It was even more disturbing to see you know who on her hands and knees cackling to herself & collecting the fiber the gob smacked woman left behind.  I beheld Lady Suzy allegedly grab one handful of roving out of the mud and mutter, “Ye are a beauty ain’t ye.” 

4-Never spit anywhere at a fiberfest and I mean anywhere.  I am too much a lady to speak of this further, other than to say again, DON’T!!!  Do watch out for the camels, llamas & alpacas as they will spit, and ummm, lick yer head, as they are prone to ignoring the best of advice.

5-Warning to Vendors-If an addle-pated woman approaches your beasties pen dragging a large sack of carrots & clover, assume she is dangerous.  Remove all sharp implements out of reach and walk away from her.  Please walk in a backward fashion, never taking your eyes off her  & move slowly, so as not to startle Lady Amy, ummm, I mean, the addle pated woman.  She is forever trying to fill my small yard with a herd of fiber shedding animals and I am forever, having to explain to shepherds why their flock chose my yard for an impromptu picnic.

6-Never, upon arrival, disappear into a water closet & come out in a change of sack cloth and ashes.  While we are at it, you might also refrain from using a fake English accent and using it to go begging from vendor to vendor screeching pitifully, “More fiber, please sir.  Me hasn’t had a bite to eat all day”.  I know, it makes no sense, but then lunatics rarely do.

7-Never go to a fiberfest if you are allergic to animal dander.  Thusly, never grab a vendors fiber, soundly sneeze into it and then snidely remark that a God bless you would be most appreciated. 

8-Never take a flask of spirits to a fiberfest. I’m just saying… A lady should never pull a flask from her skirts, take a long swig and sing yo ho ho, fiber and a bottle of rum.  I should also never have to hear a lady say, “Ooooh, I dropped me flask in me bloomers and now me girlie bits have the hiccups.”  Again I know this makes no sense…so stop expecting sense and this whole telling will be easier.

9-Nobody wants to see a lady disrobed and rolling nekkid in a vendors fiber, except perverted old men and they don’t seem to be thick on the ground at these things.

10-And finally, Never, ever, ever, ever, ever yell at the top of yer lungs, “Acrylic Rocks!” at a fiber fest.

Twas much merriment & I admit, much shame as we rode away in The Mighty Steed.  Bursting with a new tote bag, felting needles, instructional books, a lamb toy or two, sweater shavers, sushi mats for felting and bag loads of fiber out our delicate little kazoos.  Our purses were lighter, our families poorer,  our cries of, “Let’s get ready to needle felt” in a WWF announcers voice, filled the night. 
We ended the day of mayhem by getting the crabs.  As a lady I am not at liberty to go into this last statement with any degree of detail.  Please be assured that a few swipes of a large disinfectant wipe and we were all fine again…ladies to the end.

I, Lady Crystal, do solemnly swear, that all of the above is partially factual & quite possibly, some of it is true, but rest assured it is filled with lies…while remaining positively accurate…keeping in mind I am not capable of being honest unless I am lying in which case you cannot believe a thing I say unless I tell you you can trust me, in which case….I could go on like this all day.  Just believe what you will, while knowing all of the above is factually based…heeheehee!
The End!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Knitting For Love-A Poem

Just liked this!

The sheep are shorn
The wool all washed
The carding done
The wheel spun
The needles fine
A grand design
The fingers know
Which way to go
The river swift
Flows softly knit
You place upon
The garment don
Always done
Forever it goes on

Thursday, October 13, 2011

All Felt up addendum

This is my Needle Felting site  and I changed the name to KnitSis Does Needle Felting!  Yah Yah Yah, I'm clever or just a fourth needle shy of a set of straits, heehee!  So far the only posting I made is pretty much a repeat of what I put here this evening.  Thanks Ciao!

All Felt up & Knit Night

Dear Fiber Fairies,
I have been playing with fiber all week whenever I could catch a spare minute.  I have begun to stick my toe in the water in the land of Needle Felting.  What I have discovered is with all the tutorials and tips out there, there seems to be a lot that is left out.  I am using what help I can find, from all the generous fiber fairies out in webbie land, but at the same time finding there could be more.  I am going to devote my personal blog Knitsister to felting tips I come across and what I figure out on my own.  I will put pictures of my own felting on there; the good, the bad and the downright awful.  Even the gad awful I learn something from.  

These are felted using cookie cutters.  You stuff them full of fiber and punch away.  You have to really hold the cookie cutters down tightly or the fiber will force its way out from under the cookie cutter.  It will take some experience to learn just how much to put into the cookie cutter and you have to pay attention to getting enough in the detail portions of the cutter.  I saw a lot of these made up for sale at the fiber fest and what I did not like about most that I saw were just how unfinished and messy they looked.  Yet still I was intrigued to try doing it.  I found it is not a throw away method of felting, it still takes time.  I also used scissors and carefully skimmed over the surface clipping stray fibers, working very closely to the project and cleaning it up.  The edges also took extra needle felting to clean them up.  The time I took really made the difference from the more unfinished I had seen.  So these are my first two and that is what I have learned so far.  Oh, I did miss photographing a tiny cookie cutter lamb I did.  I will get that up.  I found the smaller the cutter the easier it was to loose the teeny details.

This is my first Jack O' Lantern.  It was pretty easy and I first viewed Kay from Felt Alives free tutorial but I cannot find it now.  Here is her site though.  A wonderfully talented lady.
Here is another YouTube site that makes needle felted pumpkins and shows a great technique for making roving balls in your washer too.
My Jack O' Lantern isn't perfect or the cutest, but I thought not bad for the first one.
This is my second pumpkin.  This time not a Jack O' Lantern.  I made this for my friend Laura.  I was making a mouse on another night and placed it next to the pumpkin when it was partially done and immediately I saw it should become a Cinderella vignette & decided to make the glass slipper to go with it on top.  The shoe was a finicky project, but doable.  This pumpkin I did a little different too.  I am going to walk you through my version of a pumpkin on my Knitsister blog.  I think I like my version best.  For the slipper I used regular needle felting, but when it came to giving the shoe a sharper or more refined shaping I wet felted it too.  I also used a small pair of scissors to help hollow out the inside of the shoe to help give it more shape.  I used silver paint on the inside of the shoe and on the heel to further define it.  I wish I would have taken a more close up picture of the glass slipper, but again, I will walk you through one soon on my own blog.  I also used a very fine glitter paint on the whole thing to give the appearance of fairy dust.

Here is my unfinished Toad Stool House.
This is the You Tube video that will show you how to make your own.  There are three parts and above is part one & the rest can be found there too.  The video is well done and I am taking it one further and making a whole little world revolving around the house.  In the picture is the first of several felted mushrooms to go with it and a tree trunk chair.  The spindly legs on the chair will make more sense when I felt them to a base. 

Here is my first Gnome Girl.  She is not finished & I know she looks goofy but the face is far from done.  These felted things like many projects can look pretty awful half way through, but I wanted to show you my first so far.I used pipe cleaners to start her & it is just a pain not to hit that stupid armature when you are first starting a figure with one.  I still need to put the red lips on & the black in the pupil.  I may just paint the lashes on.  Her clothing needs done and she needs little boots...and for the love of all that is holy, her coif needs some attention.
This is my first Santa.  Horrible picture I know.  He's about 6 inches tall and I decided to try some curly fiber for his beard & mustache.  I cannot go any further with him until I get some flesh color fiber.  I will retake this ones picture & repost.  Because he is larger I used an inexpensive acrylic stuffing to start the basic cone shape of his body & then started adding the natural fibers to cover this when it was about the size I wanted.  The acrylic works fine for this and is good for making the machine washed balls in the washer.
These are my two hideous snowmen.  The first ones I have made and it shows.  I only like the mittens holding the snowball on the tall one.  The little one I don't like anything on him, but I learned something from both...I learned I make ugly snowmen, LOL!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fiber Fest, as told by the accurate & truthful orator of our generation, Crystal Sutliff

Four score and 7 years ago we discovered & planned a trip to Alleghan County fiber fest. We being Amy & myself, Crystal. Through snow or sleet or rain...we cared not, we were going. Then we sobered up and realized we had stolen the postal workers motto and we were not going to be able to make it that first year.

Well one year turned into about a hundred, but finally..yes, finally our time had come. We were on our way. Suzy, Joe, Amy & myself…Oh & our handy dandy pic-a-nic basket booboo.

Laura White & Laura White...yes you read that right...there are two of em with the same name...sister in laws. Such a simple thing but it amuses me anyhow. So Laura and Laura were going in a separate car and not that one...the other one, was coming home with us.

As usual our early morning start turned into more like mid-morning start and we were running behind. It didn’t help that I forgot the damn bread and our main dish for our pic-a-nic was tuna sammies…argh I rock!

People driving in front of me were a pain and were banished forever from attending fiber festivals by my forthright decree of "No Fiber for you"! I meant it then and I mean it now...harsh I know but what is a girl wanting to sniff fiber to do I ask you?

So there we were stopping every five minutes for breaks. We are sooo big on taking breaks. We have even been known to take breaks from taking breaks. We were planning on taking a break mid fest and set up our chairs and have a loooooovvvveeeelllllyyyy pic-a-nic and maybe knit a bit and have a high ole time. What a bunch of rubes. First off, totally my fault, we weren't staying over cuz I made the mistake of accepting an obligation for Sunday and so we could not stay over on Saturday. However, I never take responsibility when I can pass it off on someone else and so blame the rest of this band of merry fiber feelers for being heavy drinkers and not having the money to pay for their share of the hotel due to excessive drinking.

So back to where I was, I could complain all damn day about those women and their liquor.

Oh, I forgot we stopped at a yard sale when we were almost there and I scored THE cutest purple knit carrier bag…adorable (I am singing this part, your loss that you cannot hear me, I sound just like a nightingale, sort of).

Anyhow, three women and one man enter the hallowed grounds of FiberFest. The angel of the Lord appeared unto them and said Blessed are you…wait…wrong story…No angels just an old man with a fanny pouch asking us to pay either our first born or 5 dollars each to get in. I said my first born was 31 and they could have him, to which he snottily replied that the cut off for taking ones children was 30, just give me the 5 bucks lady and quit being a cheapskate. I promptly smacked him with some inferior yarn and yelled I thought old men in fanny packs were supposed to be nice so you don’t laugh at them and we roared off to get lost in the festival. We got out of the van and Suzy smacked me in the back of the head for being a smart mouth and Amy tripped me for almost getting us kicked out. Joe didn’t do anything, he was still grumbling I never wanted to come, I knew this was a mistake.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Still alive and kicking!

Hi everyone!
I realized the other day that we have been neglecting our Blog. With a few of our members lacking a computer and others just being to busy we've been absent for a little while.
Never fear though we are still stitching and uh... bitching on Thursday nights at the Riverside Yarn Gallery in Wyandotte.
Here is what is happening with our current group:
1. Chris is working on the lovely Miyoko top. While the pattern is beautiful she is holding out on her verdict. Personally I think once she wears it she will love it.
2. Crystal is working on an adorable baby sweater that I really want to put in to my own knitting bag when she isn't looking. I haven't forgotten about the purple sock yarn she has either. I'm totally in love with that as well!
3. Amy is crocheting a ripple shawl that I'm totally jealous of! I can certainly crochet; and in fact, I taught Amy; but I'm definitely more of a knitter. Does that make Amy and I bistitchual?
4. Erin has been also knitting adorable baby sweaters, I believe her last count was 3 in the last 3 weeks? If only the rest of us could keep up with you!
5.Dani has been absent for a few weeks due to her foot surgery. I miss our resident yarn sniffer and sock guru!
6. Ev is crocheting another purse I believe. Totally gives a new spin on the whole bag lady thing. Ev is the total opposite of the little old lady with the shopping bag walking down the street; in part because the purses she crochets are so lovely.
7. Susie is working on her twirly scarf and finishing up a Christmas stocking. I give her props because of how many times she had to correct the pattern writers math!
8. I've been working on a sock and a few other random things. I picked up my spindle again and put the finishing touches on another baby sweater. I think it is becoming a theme for the summer with our group.
9. I hope the newbies that were brave enough to join us for a night come back! I promise I won't think about swiping your sock yarn or baby sweater until at least the second week. Laughs.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Knit Night March 31st

So, here is my story & I am sticking to it.  You can threaten to beat me with a rubber hose or drag me through the streets by rope & horse & I will not deviate from my story.  Actually that is not true.  I would cry & wail & gnash my teeth if you even showed me a picture of a rubber hose or neighed softly in my ear.  I would also disavow ever having a story at all, so here is my somewhat shaky version of knit night.  Erin happy Anniversary, hope you & your husband had a nice night.  I do wonder why you felt you couldn't come to knit night with hubs to celebrate.  We had tea & Macaroons dipped in chocolate & brownie bites and we were surrounded by fiber of all kinds.  What's more romantic than that I ask you?  Georgia finished her sock & it was lovely.  We passed it around the table & it was fondled by all.  Sometimes I think knitting just sounds dirty (insert naughty snicker here).  Georgia is also making a very lovely lacy baby blanket.  Now I will put pictures of her projects below but please note getting a good picture out of me is still a crap shoot.  I continue to try to do a better job, but I just don't seem to have the photography gene.  Laura continues to knit on her soft blue baby blanket & it is growing by leaps & bounds.  She is currently on spring break from school & I worried all night that she would end up dancing on the table wearing a lamp shade.  It never happened but with Laura you just never know.  Ev was crocheting on her gorgeous grey pleated purse & has decided her scientific method for determining how tall it will be is going to be based on running out of yarn....Yarn gone?  Purse finished.  I like a girl who thinks things through in this fashion.  Dinner plate clean, dinner out of gas, then I guess this is where I want to be...hmmmm, there might be a flaw in this kind of planning LOL!  Amy was working on her lime green crocheted shawl.  I have to say I like this shawl ripple pattern better in crochet than the knitted one she was originally doing.  Just suits the yarn better.  Thanks for the heads up about the felters group which I joined.  I also checked out the Nuno felting which is basically combining silk fabric & wool fibers & it is beautiful & very artsy.  If you haven't seen it check it out on utube.  Suzy was working on her stocking & turned her first heel.  Surprisingly it was the heel flap that caused her a couple of unpleasant moments & one major swear word shocking Miss Suzy!  Her heel though is lovely and something to be proud of.  Chris came in wearing her pretty hand knit pink sweater with matching pink earrings.  She also passed around a double crocheted scrubby, like the ones Ev was knitting but this one has a twist in the middle & one on each side.  Very cool design.  Chris was working on a lace pattern shawl I think in a pretty Pima Cotton yarn.  I think she got disgusted with it & shoved it in her knit bag for a time out before I could get a picture of it.  I was busy knitting on a soft lime green 6 inch teddy bear for my granddaughter & managed to get the legs done.  I have since brought it home & the body & head are now safely knit on. I just need to finish the arms, ears & muzzle then I will block stuff & sew.  Right now it just looks weird.  Oh & I finished my Wallabee sweater finally.  I knit it 5 years ago & screwed up the under arms, which were all I had left to do.  Put it away for lo these five years thinking the screwed up under arms were just the worst of mistakes and almost impossible to fix.  Well Laura has been at me to bring it in to see if I could get help, so I finally bit the bullet and drug the darn thing in for help.  When I presented it for help I finally looked at it again & darned if I hadn't made a mountain out of a mole hill.  Turns out if was just easy grafting & some darning needle magic and it is fine.  I have spent five years creating a drama that only existed in my mind.  Ugh!  What's the lesson I learned?  That I am an idiot & a knitting coward LOL!  Laura also brought me the needles to make the big needle sweater...I swear Laura you are a great big (and by great big I mean skinny) trouble maker.  You get me into more fixes, but as long as they are fiber related I will forgive you, heeheehee!  I also have one more slipper to finish & decide on the million of projects floating through my head that I want to do.  So many patterns & so little time  *SIGH*. Allrighty that about covers knit night.  Another great night full of fiber & fun.  Well other than Ev, Amy & Laura trying to get me and Suzy to walk across the street at the end of knitting to the health food store, when everyone knows any self respecting person wanting to be healthier would for sure drive there, so Suzy & I being the only two sane people left sat it out in the car while they hoofed it across the street.  Allright I am out!  Happy knitting everyone!
This is that double scrubby...very clever Chris.
Georgia's beautiful sock.  Sorry about the poopy picture.
Georgia's pretty baby blanket.  Lovely stitch which I know is hard to see...again sorry.  The bunny was knit by Laura one of the Owners of Riverside Yarn Gallery where we meet and is adorable.  The eggs I am going to give instructions to later.  
This is Laura's baby blanket.  A simple pattern with a lovely classic look.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

March 24th KNit Night!

Amidst much complaining, (from me) & whining, (again from me) and gnashing of teeth, (ummmm do I really need to say by who?), I began the sweater that is a simple knit in the round top down sweater on large needles.  I, who am not a fan of knitting on anything over a size ten needle caved & bought the crap...I mean lovely pattern & fiber for my own top down large needle sweater.  Chris reminded me of the knit on cast-on & I was off and running.  It was really more like a slow crawl but I wanted to impress you with that running bit.  The truth is the last time I ran, a toddler was heading bawls out towards a pool & for some reason this Na-Na thought she could still run & gave chase.  Well instead I ended up doing this wonderful slow stumble fall combination that had no resemblance at all to style, grace or dignity.  The toddler skirted the pool at the last minute, so just to let you know my heart was near cardiac arrest during the whole gymnastic routine I was performing.  And lest you think it couldn't get worse, well smarty pants you are soooo wrong.  This all happened during a backyard wedding with everyone in the free world in attendance. The saddest part was that I wasn't even really invited, but that is a story for another day & requires a couple glasses of wine to make it its funniest.  So I had the circular needles in 15 & 17 that I needed & away I went.  Well cast-on row.  Now to join in the round.  Wait why won't all the stitches stretch?  Everyone else started theirs on circ's no problem, plenty of stitches to make it connect just fine.  SLOW DUH!  The damn cables were too long and these weren't interchangeables.  Grrrr!  Hiss!  DAMN IT!  I am NOT wanting to buy another set of 15's & 17's.  Then someone suggested I wait until...crap..I cannot remember what the suggestion was but I remember thinking it was brilliant because it meant I could put off knitting the sweater a little longer.  Now because I am a pain in my OWN ass, I  found that as soon as I was let off the hook I really really wanted to start the damn sweater.  I didn't tell the crew though cuz I thought it might just be too much for them to find out at that particular moment how warped I am & the thought of being thrown out of this squad of delightful lunatics was just too much to think about after being sick since January.  I did not get any pictures this week as I was too busy flapping my gums.  It was nice to see Georgia again & nice of her to invite us to Wednesday mornings for another knitting group meeting.  I am hoping to go, though me and mornings aren't always on a first name basis.  Their was a new knitter there named Michelle...Oh please God let me have gotten the name right, she was knitting a cute diaper soaker, only having learned to knit a couple of weeks ago...she is doing extremely well.  I would not have guessed by her lovely tension that she was such a new go girl & welcome!  I hope I didn't scare her off...I was on a mix of chocolate & full bodied dark roast coffee.  To say I was being obnoxious is beyond polite!  Personally I would have tied me up in dirty cheap acrylic, if I were them LOL!  Anyhow...good Lord I ramble...I have to sit & think on how I am going to get the needles for this sweater & what to do with the other ones.  I do not need 15's & 17's in both 20" cables & 24" cable which the 24" is what I have in both..too long and Grrrr!  Erin was making a Harry Potter scarf & cursing & growling & I think at times she might have been strangling the scarf under the table...very vicious heeheee...she caught the terminal scarfus never endus disease every knitter gets when knitting a scarf.  I did the only polite thing I could think of & told her she was correct that the disease has no cure & she was right in thinking the damn scarf would never be finished needing just a few more rows!  I did mention I was under the influence of chocolate AND dark roast coffee right?  Okay..others were diligently knitting away & stuff but if I don't end this now I am going to have to start adding chapters to this blog & that ain't cool LOL!

March 17th Knit Night!

After missing a couple of weeks of knitting due to a cold that returned to me 3 times I was grateful to finally be back. I was still weak from being sick & about halfway through this night I almost laid my head down on the freaking table to simultaneously sleep & drool. I am pretty sure the fiber divas would have smacked me around with their knitting bags had I done that. I know that sounds nasty of them but perfectly normal compassionate people have been known to turn ferocious when it comes to getting human slobber on their yarn. I say human because they don't seem to have the same reaction when it is their beloved animals. I endured & kept myself upright & I think I even managed a whole whopping 3 rows of knitting on a toddler size slipper. It was pitiful but I have found if you make a lot of noise & grunt & groan A LOT about doing the knitting you can fool people into thinking you have just managed to knit almost an entire outfit LOL! But I know the truth, three lousy rows. So here are some picks of knit is Chris in her lovely new sweater. This is knit in the round on large needles & is a simple pattern. Michelle the shop owner has knit two of these, Chris has knit this lovely one & Laura has knit one. Dani bought the yarn to knit two of them and I finally caved & bought the pattern & yarn to make one even though I am not a fan of knitting on large needles, the mighty have fallen...I shall be making this one too and complaining the whole way LOL!
These are crocheted strawberries that Amy crocheted up. She just thunked up the pattern all by her little ole self. The girl is either two smart fer her own britches or has too much time on her hands BG!
Here is Dani & Laura knitting. Dani is making a really pretty two toned blue sock that I was trying to get a closer picture of and failed miserably.

Here is a picture of Laura Spinning with her drop spindle, very cool Laura!
This is Laura's knit baby bootie.
These are two scrubbies that Ev crocheted. Wait one of these was made by someone else. I think it was Chris? Anyhow, not pasties..scrubbies LOL!
so that was knit night and a good time was had by all!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Neighborhood Knits is returning!

I don't know if anyone had heard the news, but Neighborhood Knits has a new owner and will be reopening!  For those fans of the little yarn shop in Dearborn, this should be some seriously happy news.

The new owner is in process of setting up the legal end of things and is going to be relocating the shop to a larger space with more parking (still in Dearborn, of course), so it will take some time before it's back.  However, the simple news that it's not gone for good had elated this fiber fiend.

Don't for one minute think that this is traitorous or I am turning my back on my beloved LYS.  Riverside Yarn Gallery is still my number one shop in my heart of hearts.  With the loss of so many fiber craft related shops around Michigan in the last several months, it just makes me extremely happy to know that we will still have at least two quality shops Downriver.  Detroit and beyond has so many in there vicinities, that it was starting to feel like us "river rats" were being forgotten.

So, yay for Neighborhood Knits enduring!  Fiber for all!  Between NK and RYG, I know us Downriver stitchers will be more than well taken care of!

Off to crochet more on the Ripple Shawl now.

Stay crafty! :D

ETA:  I almost forgot!  You can keep informed on the progress of NK at The Neighborhood Knitter Blog.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tinking back

Have you ever had that moment when you hold up a finished project and just admire your work? I had one of those the other day when I finished the sweater I've been knitting in a pretty shade of lilac. I ran my hands up and down the body of the sweater admiring my work when I found: "IT!"
"IT" turned out to be a huge, gigantic offensive hole right in the middle of my left sleeve! Having fortitude and chocolate both in great supply I set out to sew up the hole. After all, how hard could it be? I'd simply sew up the hole, soak the sweater and then proudly wear the thing before it became to warm. Right?
Turns out not only was there one hole but it morphed in to 2 holes. As I was sewing up the first nasty hole a few more stitches dropped and I was left with another hole to fix. At this time I still had hope and so I trudged on sewing up the hole in my sleeve. I thought about tinking back to the spot but the thought of knitting the sleeve over again was just a little to much for my sense of pride. I knew that my sweater was far from perfect and I was accepting of that; as long as I could wear it I really didn't care about the hole. Until...
Yes, it gets better. After I sewed up the hole and wove in all the ends I thought I was done with the mini ordeal. I set the sweater to soak and when I came back a few minutes later to wrap it in several old towels I about died. Not only had the sweater grown and thus the hole had reopened, but the smell was enough to chase away even the most seasoned of knitters. Now I'm not a smoker, nor do I knit in bars while attempting to drink red wine while simultaneously lecturing my dates on the afordability of wool over synthetic fabrics; but at this moment in time I thought about that wool Vs. synthetics lecture and sided with synthetics! Not only did this sweater stink horribly of wet wool but it had a kind of raw animal smell as well. I worried as I laid the sweater on towels to dry in front of the fire that perhaps it would never stop smelling of wet dirty sheep.
I am happy to report that after 3 days in which I've petted, hugged, sniffed and even shown off my sweater the smell is gone; but the hole was not. Every time I put on the sweater, picked up the sweater, thought about the sweater I kept seeing the holes in the sleeve and my shitty attempt at fixing them. So today without the comforts of chocolate since I'm attempting to lose weight I began to contemplate tinking back to the holes and really fixing them for good. I gave up on my pride since that always goes before the fall and decided that I couldn't live with a sweater that wasn't my absolute best work. With the scissors in hand and a few stitch holders I began the long process of tinking back what to many would have been an acceptable sleeve; but to me was far from my best work.
Since I knew that I couldn't stand to tink back over half a sleeve I did the unthinkable. I took a pair of scissors to my sweater! Yes, I actually took a pair of scissors to my lovely, smooshy huggable sweater. I snipped the sleeve just below the shitty sewing job from yours truly and began to unravel my knitting. When I worked a row beyond the mistake that caused the hole I put my stitches on to 2 holders, counted them to figure out where I was in the decrease pattern and ripped out another row so that I was in my first round after a decrease row. It was at this point that I started to knit.... and knit.... and knit....
Now, 7 hours later I have a completed sweater once again. The sleeves are about as close to perfect as I can get them, I need to soak just a sleeve so I can block it to the exact shape as the other one but beyond that I'm happy! The sweater is done, the smell is gone, the cat is lying on it and all is right in the world once again.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Febuary 24th Thursday Knit Night

Hi There,
Another Thursday & another great night, full of laughter & knitting & crocheting.  The knitting/crocheting & conversation flowed so fast this past Thursday that it was at times impossible to keep up or insert an opinion in every fast changing subject.  Chris & I were left in the dust LOL!  There were a lot of new projects being done up around the table & I dutifully took pix of them all.  I was working on baby Liam's slipper socks & finished seaming them there, starting on the sock cuff that is knit on after main part of slipper is done.  Laura, one of the shop owners showed me a better way to seam up the cast on part & it worked much better than what I sewed on the other one.  Anyhow I finished the cuff later that night at home & Liam was wearing them by the next morning.  I have started the Mary Jane version for my Lovely granddaughter Alexa tonight while watching movies with Lon.  Our version of Saturday night, pizza, movies & knitting...not bad.  Had a freaking headache all darn day long & am glad to have it subside.  Okay so will shut up & post to Suzie's tomorrow for eating, knitting and BS'ing.  Am gonna make up a tray with vegies, cheese, olives, crackers & make some tuna to take to pass around. 

Laura & Chris were both knitting on the same sweater but in to different colors.  Chris' is a light pink, while Laura's is a lovely pale shade of lilac.  Very brave knitters with their first sweaters.

Here is a much better picture than last weeks of Ev's crocheted purse.  You can definately see the pleats better and the pattern picture is in the upper corner.  I think she has decided NOT to felt it as the pattern intended as it is just so elegant just the way it is.
Here is Erin trying on her sweater for size.  I wish the picture of this was better as it is really a simple but cute pattern and she knits so beautifully!
Suzy picked up this lovely new yarn baby & is trying her hand at the Curly Q scarf that Chris has already made two of.  I have to say Suzy yours is starting nicely and those colors are yummy looking.
This is Amy's camo cap she is crocheting for her young son.  He is going to love this.  She is going to be making him a partial face mask to go with it.  He is gonna love his Mommy BIG TIME for this set!
Here is Liam's Moc w/sock & they look adorable on him & are nice & warm.  Seriously this pattern knits up so quickly.  The longest part is the sock cuff you knit on afterward.  This would also look adorable without the sock cuff.
 This is a plaque Chris brought for show & tell that she bought.  It is adorable.  I think we might all get together sometime and try our hand at our own versions of this plaque.  Ummm, I guess we better start saving our knit & crochet magazines & sale papers.
All right that is all for now.  Hope this has inspired someone to pick up some sticks or a hook & get busy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday Febuary 17th Knit Night

So it is Thursday again so that must mean knit night.  We had a nice group tonight and I am not sure how much knitting got done, but I know there was A LOT of laughing and teasing going around.  It was nice to see some returns of new faces and some old (meaning quite young LOL) faces.  Great to see a newby Chris again & we might have to take her out of the newby category after 3 weeks now.  Joann came to the shop for a yarn fix & it was nice to see her and her lovely scarf.  It has been forever since we have seen her & her grandbabies picture, with them all in the tub was just too adorable.  Suzy thanks for buying me a candy bar & cookies...a must for every knitter heeheehee!  Laura did some shopping at a yarn shop that is going out of business and played show & tell with her new purchases.  Chris has a brand new yarn baby we all passed around and molested.  Here is the picture of the poor mauled yarn, it is yummy!
The curly scarf is one Chris is knitting for her granddaughters American Girl doll as she finished the one from two weeks ago for her granddaughter.

 Above please note the pink hi lighting tape Ev & I bought this week.  Cannot wait to try it on an actual pattern.  Lost my place on a stocking while talking one knit night and ended up with a heel that was wacky cuz I missed a whole line of the set up...oopsy...hopefully this tape will take care of that.  Have been told it is awesome & 1 roll will last a long time.

 Here are the next yarns for yet another stocking.  I am on stocking 3 of like 12 I think...last time I counted anyhow. PS: I HATE knitting with fun fur...only for my granddaughter!

 My newest yarn babies I bought tonight (must support our LYS..which makes me practically a flipping saint)

 These lovelies are for more of those moccasin & Mary Jane slippers for my grandbabies & company!
 Here is the first Moccasin slipper almost done.  I just have to sew it up and add the sock, which you knit attached to it.  It's really just the cuff.  This slipper knit up really fast.  I could easily bang a pair out in a day if I wanted to.  I also bought the Mary Jane version which is adorable & I cannot wait to do a pair of those.  I made this one in the smallest toddler size for my 7 month old moose grandson and I think it might be too small...argh..that big footed child.
Here is Suzy & her awesome green Christmas stocking.  This is her first one, never having done a sock either and her heel flap is looking awesome...great tension girl!

 So the secret is out, Erin is not knitting a bra but a really pretty dish clothe for her Mama!  Congrats on the new house & good luck with the move next week.
 And then there's Laura Vamping with the yarn.  She's wearing her new purse she purchased at the yarn shop going out of business...the purse is too cute & she was gracious enough to let us all drool over it.  You can't see it & I am not sure I really did either but I am pretty sure as soon as I took this picture Laura turned around and was sniffing the yarn...hmph..some people just cannot be trusted around fiber, LOL!
I took this picture of Ev's project & it stinks...the photo, not the project.  This is a crocheted purse she will be felting with really cool large pleats in it.  The pattern is gorgeous & I cannot wait to get a better picture of this and of it done.  It is such a girly purse pattern & I think really a different pattern too.  She is using a really pretty grey yarn for the purse.
I took a picture standing outside of our local yarn shop & where we meet on Thursdays!
 I promise that is the last picture tonight & I will stop torturing ya'll now.
Tonight was a blast & I was glad to be well enough to make it tonight.  The most laughing I have done all week.  Thanks ladies for another great Stitch n Bitch!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My first hand spun skeins!

Today was an exciting day! By a sheer moment of universal luck I found a ride in to the yarn shop by the same woman who I have been wanting to teach me to spin. I learned the basics from Amy our newest hooker in the Needle Nutz group; but ended up learning tons this afternoon.
For a little background on myself. I've been crocheting for 4 years and knitting for 3. Over this last Christmas I was given an Ashford student drop spindle from my lovely sister-in-law. Did I mention she owns the River Side Yarn Gallery? Total family bonus but I digress...
My day started out well enough with my daily tarot card reading and me planning my next few knitting projects. Then the parents went to get the taxes done, I ended up in Wyandotte and spent the rest of the afternoon attached to my drop spindle. I learned from my lovely teacher how to pre-draft the fibers before spinning them in to yarn. When my hands could not spin any longer I took a break and picked out new Malabrigo yarn Anyone jealous yet?
When I came home the real fun began. I wound all my hand spun yarn in to 2 little smushy adorable skeins and set them to soak in a bath of warm water and wool wash that smells of lavender. Next I squeezed out the water by rolling them in an old towel and literally stomping on them! Yep I stomped on yarn. Nobody kill me; I have good reason for doing what I did. Next came the best part. In order to set the twist in my hand spun yarn I had to wack it on the tub. I swear its not a crazy cult initiation or anything but in order to help the twist to stay in the yarn that I spun you need to wack it against a hard surface.
Now I'm waiting for my lovely skeins to dry. I keep finding things to occupy me so I don't keep going upstairs to pet my very own yarn. Helping make dinner and blogging were my first two options for distraction. I'm thinking the third will have to involve chocolate and a glass of wine. When its all dry and pretty I promise to find a way to post pictures!
Happy crafting...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Some pointy stick love, too.

After sharing some awesome Vintage love with the hookers, I couldn't just leave the straights a-hangin'!

Voila!  Free Vintage Knitting

So much win, it hurts!  Click-Clack your way into some serious Vintage stylin'.  It's a buttload of awesome-sauce just waiting to be stitched up!

Your addictions have been enabled and fed.  You're welcome! :p

For all you Vintage loving hookers!

Found a link to a WONDERFUL Vintage crochet pattern site.  There is everything from clothing, accessories, toys (including doll clothes), household items, and more...and it's all FREE!

Free Vintage Crochet

There is some truly incredible and classic patterns there.  It makes me squee so hard!

I've added a permanent link to the sidebar, but it bears repeating here.  If you love vintage style and crochet, this site is a definite MUST SEE!

Off to drool some more and decide what doll clothes I want to make for my Diva Starz doll hehe!

Monday, February 7, 2011

wattlebird: New Blog Design

wattlebird: New Blog Design

Pictures From Thursday Febuary 3rd & Anti Super Bowl Party!

The last two pictures are Evelyn crocheting a dishcloth for Laura & Laura & her Fair Isle hat.  These were  taken at our Anti Super Bowl party at Suzi's house.  We got together and brought our knit/crochet & lots of tail gating goodies and knit our way through the Super bowl.  Okay Knit/crocheted/ate & laughed & played with babies!  This is the best way to get yourself through a Super Bowl & I highly recommend it!