Monday, May 30, 2011

Holiday at Home

Hi Knitters,
We have been anxiously and cautiously watching this tiny miracle take place in our yard.
There were at least five eggs, maybe more in the nest that would fit in the palm of my hand.
Their eyes are not open yet.....
...but their mouths sure are. They have one busy mama bird who flutters in and out and sits on her babies and tidy little nest for hours on end.
This active little world is all taking place in our miniature evergreen tree. You wouldn't know by looking at it.
TC has been entertaining the baby birds with her bird whistles which I find funny. She stands next to the tree and plays her whistles.
To another springtime topic we go, I have new sandals! I love them and they are quickly becoming not so new. I am hard on things.
The flurry of activity is going on in the inside of the house, too. I am at the toe of my watermelon stripes sock.
I am almost done with my 4 oz. bump of Dyeabolical. I am hoping to get a pair of handspun socks out of this one. We'll have to see what I end up with.
TC and I have committed to cooking our way through this fantastic down-home cookbook. I have already made several recipes and they have all been a hit. I'll talk more about this book later but let's just say that TC has dog-eared about every other page to mark the recipes she wants to make. She has been baking up a storm lately along with Peachy, who is our resident brownie maker.
I started a Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn sock in Kentucky and haven't worked on it too much since. I really love this colorway.
I pulled out my Citron in Malabrigo Lace from last summer and have knitted quite a bit further on it. A cute woman in my class in Kentucky had her Citron on and I just love her version which made me think of my unfinished version. We'll see how far I get this summer.
Garden plans and ice skates adorn my kitchen bench.
We are so excited to have a vegetable garden in our yard this summer. You know that a couple of summers ago we had around four humungous trees removed from our yard. We have only begun to have serious sunshine in our yard. Above is TC's sketch of what to plant where. She is sooooo excited about this garden project.
Here is TC's list of plants and things to get to plant.
Here are some of our choices.
We have been working so incredibly hard to get our garden spot cleared with stepping stones and a rabbit fence and the boards for borders.
Toes and gardening tools are at the ready!
TC is a gardening maniac. She dreams about her gardens and she has worked to get things ready.
Rabbits are a big problem for us so we are going to be prepared this summer.
The Fairy Garden is in full swing, too. This year it is going to be bigger and better than ever. TC will have more sunshine, a bigger corner to plant in and she wants to make some mosaic decorative stepping stones for better access to her plants. It is going to be a fun project.
The earth is good and being home is good.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, Knitters. What did you do weekend?
best, susie

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Hi Knitters,
There's a new sheep in town. The wonderful Vickie Howell asked me to be a part of her blog tour and I happily agreed because anything she puts her name on has to be something good. Vickie has teamed up with Caron Yarns to create a wonderful new line of yarn called Sheep(ish). The colors are sharp and saturated and a bit retro with a modern twist. I am always smitten with color names and Vickie has a way with being clever so Sheep(ish) does not disappoint.
There are 21 color names including Magenta(ish), Espresso(ish) and Chartreuse(ish). I love the (ish) added to the end of the names.
The colors range from natural shades of white, gray and browns to saturated colors that really pop. Sheep(ish) is a blend of 70% acrylic and 30% wool and it is machine washable. One interesting note is that it is a roving-type yarn which means it is a single ply with a gentle twist. It has a sheen to it as well.
The publicity pack shows the commitment of Caron to produce something new and catchy and just plain fun! The kit came with a little project bag that includes a removable sheep charm. The embroidery hoop with the color samples is clever and cute.
Also included is a copy of the publicity video and a button and a skein of the Sheep(ish) yarn. I think this team is off to a great start. The yarn is soft and lofty. Best of all it is affordable and can be easily found at craft stores everywhere.

Here are a couple of fun links to check out to find out more:

Vickie has started posting a bunch of fun free patterns to use with Sheep(ish). Click here to check out the patterns!

Check out Vickie's promotional video below:

Also, there is a gigantic blog tour going on for Sheep(ish) with some excellent blogs involved. I love blog tours because usually there are one or two blogs I am not familiar with that I get to learn about. Check out the schedule below.

I wish Vickie warm wishes and the best of luck with her newest venture. She is always so positive and it shines through in her crafty endeavors. This is one busy woman and mother so let's make sure we all support her as she continues to spread her love of craft to the rest of the world!
best, susie
Blog tour schedule:
May 25th: (Kathy Cano-Murillo)

May 26th: (Linda Permann)

May 27th: Kitschy Digitals (Danielle Thompson)

May 28th: DOUBLE POST DAY: (Kathy Cano-Murillo) + (Deb Steenhagen)

May 30th: (Robyn Chachula)

May 31st: (Yarn Wreath Project by Cathie)

June 1st: (Review by Sister Diane)

June 2nd: (1 Skein Project by Shannon Okey)

June 3rd: (Allison Hoffman)

June 4th: Coquette Blog (Natalie Zee-Drieu)

June 5th (Sarah White)

June 6th: Manhattan Craft Room (Brett Bara)

June 7th:

June 8th: (Drew Emborsky)

June 9th: & post on the same day. Yarn-wrapped mobil by Jennifer Perkins)

June 10th: (Ladybug Outfit Pattern by Vickie)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival Report

Hi Knitters,
Get ready for a long one today. I have some business to take care of first. The winner of the 60 Quick Baby Knits book and the Soak gift set is...... melxcloud (rav id)! She has already sent me her mailing address so it is a done deal. Congrats to Melissa and thanks to everyone for entering. What a great response.

Next up on my list is that I am teaching in the fall at two major events. The registration for my classes and all of the classes are now open. You should look at the teacher list, it is amazing. I wish I could go and just take classes and not work. Both of these events are going to be such fun. I can't wait. I hope to see you in L.A. and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Times and class descriptions are on the site.

Now onto the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival that I attended last weekend...

Above is a photo of a little lamb named Luna. Luna belongs to my host for the weekend, Dianne. Click here to visit Dianne's wonderful blog. She is a farming and fiber talent. Dianne and her friend Mary took such good care of me, driving me around and making sure my every need was met. I'm not used to being catered to like that. Dianne and her friend Theresa took me out for a delicious meal on Saturday night, too. That was a treat. Thank you for a wonderful weekend and the good company! I had a terrific time.
Here is another one of Dianne's sheep.
Tanglewood Farm is the name of Dianne's farm. She also has a really cool Lamb Cam set up in her barn. Click here to see the Lamb Cam on Tanglewood Farm. It is fun to watch the live action.
I enjoyed seeing all of the animals.
One highlight of the trip for me was getting to meet Laura and Leslie of The Knit Girlls. They drove all of the way from Mississippi which was 7 hours away. I've mentioned it many times before but this video podcast is a great watch. Both of these young women are outstanding knitters and spinners. They both test knit for some of the best designers around. Both have their own designs as well. I own all of their patterns and have knitted a couple of Laura's patterns already. I have plans to knit both of Leslie's shawls as well. They are incredibly talented. Plus, they are funny together and easy to watch. Their easy banter holds your attention and keeps you entertained. You can tell it is a genuine friendship.

When my book signing started Laura and Leslie were in line and their greeting to me is still making me laugh. Leslie said, "You look about 10 years younger in person than you do online. You look so much younger. You need to get a new photo up on your blog." It was like I shocked her with my younger than expected appearance. I thought that was so funny. I asked them if they thought I was going to be a little old lady. I really am still laughing about it. I asked Laura if she thought I looked older in my photos online and she agreed with Leslie. Isn't that funny? I never think about stuff like that but now new photos of me will be coming shortly (just kidding). I had no idea that "old" thing was going on. I don't feel old so I don't think about looking old. Funny stuff. I don't know, do I look old in the photo above? What's a girl to do? Anyway, I got a big kick out that.

I was thrilled to get to sit and visit with The Knit Girllls for awhile after my book signing on Saturday. They were cute and fun and great to talk to. I loved hearing a little bit about them. Laura's mom was with them and I loved hearing about her, too. Laura and her mom are both educators and Leslie works in the casino industry and has a young son. They are all hard working, lovely and fun. I was super excited to meet them and then to get to actually chat for a bit was an added treat. Thank you for spending time with me! It really was a highlight of the trip for me. I appreciate you taking the time to get together.

The Knit Girllls have lots of plans in store for their podcast and this summer they are hoping to film more tutorials. Their tutorials are so well-done with clear instruction and professional quality filming. I can't get over how tight and clear the tutorials are. You will love this fun pair of knitters.

Click here for the Ravelry group for The Knit Girlls.
Back to the festival in general. There were huge and fluffy angora bunnies that were very patient with little fingers wanting to feel their fluff.
Little lambs were around every corner.
and more sheep were fun to see.

Then I looked around the vendor tents!
Miss Babs was at the show and I couldn't wait to make my way over to see her yarns and fibers. I came home with a bunch of Yowza! I'll share photos of what I got later. I have enough for a sweater in one colorway and enough for a shawl in another color. It is so incredibly beautiful. I have been hearing about Miss Babs yarn for forever. Hence, I have been wanting to try this yarn for years. I am pretty excited about it.

Click here for the Miss Babs website!
The yarns and colorways were like nothing I have seen before.
I am kicking myself for not grabbing a bunch of this fiber to spin. Isn't it gorgeous? I'll have to keep thinking about the Miss Babs yarn that's in my house already. I can't wait to cast on. Maybe after I get some things spun up I'll order some fiber online from Miss Babs. That's my plan.

Onto more sights...
There was hand dyed yarn everywhere you looked.
Wool and wooly things made you want to dive in.
There were spindles and spinning wheels and roving, roving, roving!
I liked this booth very much. The spindles were so appealing.
Baskets filled with all sorts of roving caught my eye.
There were handmade buttons, stitch markers, bags, felted items, rugs, weaving, ceramics, artwork... it went on and on. I loved it all.
I loved this natural wool. I like a good hearty natural wool anytime.
Then I made my way back to the Dyeabolical booth! I had been there very briefly the day before. It was incredible. I currently have some Dyeabolical roving on my wheel which I haven't touched for a couple of weeks. I am craving some time on my wheel this week so I am hoping to get that fiber finished up and start something new. I loved this booth so much. I even got some sparkly sock yarn for TC. She is going to be so excited when I show her. I'll get a photo later.

Click here for the Dyeabolical site.
I bought over 800 yards of a black-purple mix in a worsted weight and a gorgeous variegated sport weight hank. I am crazy about these yarns. I may have bought a little more roving, too.
Her sock yarns are stunning.
The roving is so fun and saturated. Dyeabolical yarns showcase a true color talent. It is awesome stuff!
Here she is, the genius behind the yarns and fiber. Rachel, I absolutely loved chatting and getting to meet you!! What a fun and charming woman. Thank you for such a treat at the festival.
I have a few more animal photos to share.
Fascinating.This is one of my favorite photos and animals of the show.
For a city girl it is fun to see the animals that provide the fibers I love and work with on a daily basis. I have a true appreciation for the animals and their owners. There is so much hard work and effort put into raising these animals.
During the festival there were dog competitions for herding sheep. I watched a tiny bit of this going on behind the festival grounds. It was interesting and entertaining to say the least.

I'm done for now. I didn't even share the entire thing. I will share some of my yarn-y finds at a later date.

Take care!
best, susie