Despite my last couple of posts on indifference and lack of knitting projects, I have been doing quite a bit of crafting in my house.  Thing is – I cannot talk about said craft projects on this here blog until after December 11th.  What’s on December 11th you ask?  My little sister’s wedding!!!  It’s a mere 41 days away and I am totally on task with my projects. 

As the Matron of Honor, I volunteered my sewing services for a couple of projects.  One project (which I can say here) is my nieces flower girl dress.  While this one hasn’t even been started yet, I have confidence that it will be completed within the next week or so.  The biggest project of all though was completed this past weekend.  And it feels SO damn good to be done.  For a while there I thought I was working in some sort of sweat shop (minus the harsh conditions part of course).  I cannot imagine sewing the same thing over and over and over again for a living.  I need variety and creativity.  I did however come up with my own pattern on this project.  Which, after December 11th, will be released.  I know, the anticipation must be killing you. 

I have other projects up my sleeve too.  However, these are SUPER, SUPER,  DUPER secrets.  Secrets that the bride does not even know of.  

This post has basically been just one big tease. 

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The Wood Hollow mittens project started out so promising.  Last night I was working my way through the first repeat of the cable pattern only to realize that this pattern and my yarn choice do not work well together.  Since the yarn is tweed (Berroco Blackstone Tweed – LOVELY btw), you couldn’t really see the cables.  Bum-mer.  So I ripped the entire mitten.

So now what do I do?  This project that was supposed to cure my indifference to all things knitted, has now left me project-less.  I have been searching Ravelry for a new pattern and I just cannot seem to find one that peaks my interest.  There are so many baby patterns that I LOVE but well, we don’t know what we are having thus making color selections difficult.

Here’s what I want:  I need a pattern that doesn’t require much thinking or counting.  One that I can brainlessly knit while watching TV.  A project that I can pick up and just knit without having to figure out where I am in the pattern.  Any suggestions?   The yarn is a plum tweed, worsted weight and I have 260 yards.  So, it must be a small project.  I can get more yarn though.

That’s been the theme of my 2nd pregnancy.  It’s an odd feeling as I normally have my mind set on what I want to create, do, eat, etc…  I’ve been adding tons of knitting patterns to my Ravelry favorites list and yet, I can’t seem to start any of them.  The projects that I have started have been sitting, untouched for weeks upon weeks now. I feel so indifferent about everything that I literally cannot make up my mind. 

Next week marks the half way point and truly, it feels like I have been pregnant for so long already.  While I couldn’t be more excited for the bundle of joy at the end, I am ready for this pregnancy to be over.  I am just not one of those women who enjoy pregnancy.  I know how fortunate we are to be having another child and so I try to keep the complaining to a minimum.   I really am so excited for this new addition to our family of three.

In so many ways, this pregnancy has been way different from my first.  For starters, I am exhausted 95% of the time.  Then there is my face.  I look like I am 13 again.  My doc basically laughed at me when I asked if there was anything I could do to fix this.  Also, my belly is huge, already. 

Niece touching my belly at my little sister’s bridal shower.

See, I am huge.  I was this big when I was a little more than 6 months pregnant with my first.  Get this though, I have only gained about 5 pounds so far! 

On my plane ride home from Florida yesterday, I started the Wood Hollow mittens.  Hopefully, I will actually finish this project.  The yarn I am using is Berroco Blackstone Tweed in plum.  It’s truly divine.  Never have I felt a tweed this soft.  I am hoping this project will break my indifference cycle. 

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago now.  As always, my husband totally surprised me with a very awesome gift – a spinning wheel!  I find it really interesting that my husband picked out this gift all by himself.  To be honest, I really never gave spinning much thought.  I mean, I always thought it looked like fun and that maybe one day I would give it a spin (get it?  haha). 

So with a new craft (because really it IS totally different from knitting/crocheting) comes new supplies.  A whole new world of fiber possibilities has just opened up to me.  Do I get roving, combed top, merino, BFL, Corriedale, the list can go on and on and on.  Not to mention, do I hand dye my own or buy already dyed?  

A friend here in Austin runs Spinning Colors.  She hand dyes fiber and yarn.  Seriously, the colors that she comes up with are amazing.  Bold, rich and simply beautiful!!  To start off with, I picked up three different colorways, all between 4-5 ounces. 

Apricot

Dreamer

Plum

(Photos taken by Stephanie Gage of Spinning Colors)

I had a TON of trouble starting off by myself.  Let’s just say, tears were shed.  I blame that on the pregnancy hormones!  If you are new to spinning, I highly suggest taking a lesson.  Stephanie (from Spinning Colors) invited me the ‘South Austin Spinners’ group that meets at The Knitting Nest twice a month.  Before I knew it, I was spinning!!  Here is my first skein:

'Apricot' fiber from Spinning Colors

I am officially hooked.  Spinning is SO fun! 

The last couple of months have been rather busy.  If you are friends with me on Ravelry.com you may have noticed the multitude of baby patterns that I have been adding to my favorites and queue.  I have good reason for this as I am currently 13 weeks pregnant!!  We are super excited to welcome ‘Baby K’ into the world on or around March 8, 2011!   In between all of the morning sickness, working, taking care of our son and teaching a knitting class, I somehow managed to whip up a new pattern! 

The Knitted Baby Onsie is a great first garment piece for a beginner, a super quick baby shower gift or a stash buster project (only takes one skein!).  On September 18th I will be teaching a class at The Knitting Nest to show you exactly how to make this!   In the class, I will also be teaching a tutorial on how to attach the snap button closures and the cute little fabric patch embellishment.  No sewing machine required! 

The ridiculously adorable fabric can be found at this Etsy shop called ‘A Little Sweetness‘.  This artist designs her own fabric and then prints it via spoonflower.com.  WAY cool!  The shop owner also has a bunch of embroidery patterns and she loves the aqua/red combo.  If we have a baby girl, I will definitely be picking up this kit:  Little Red Riding Hood Dress.

So yeah, Baby K  is on his or her way!  So far everything is looking great.  We’ve had an ultrasound and also got to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  We are going to wait until the baby’s birth to find out the gender (such an awesome surprise!!).  Also saving the name announcement until then as well.

Download the Knitted Baby Onsie Pattern here:

Knitted Baby Onsie by Fiber Fervor

PATTERN ERRATA:
Row 3 should read: K1 Kf&b, K11, Kf&b, SM, Kf&b, K8, Kf&b, SM, Kf&b, K14, Kf&b, SM, Kf&b, K8, Kf&b, SM, Kf&b, K3 (63 stitches)

*I am still working on different sizing for the pattern.  Please email me with any questions you may have.  Also, if you find a mistake, please let me know that as well!  I am very new to the pattern writing scene!  fiberfervor@gmail.com

A little over 4 years ago I opened a “Learn To Knit” book and cast on my first stitches.  At that time, I had no idea that this new craft would become a unstopable obsession of all things fiber related.   When we arrived in Austin about 3 years ago, I discovered that there was a knitting store just minutes from my house.  My husband swears that I planned this, I call it fate.  The Knitting Nest has been my yarn home ever since and starting in August you can find me teaching classes there too!  Yipee!! 

There are so many exciting things happening at The Knitting Nest right now.  Stacy, the owner, has just hired 7 new teachers (one being me!). From pattern design to amigurumi, we bring a wide array of techniques and experience to the table.   This past Sunday was our first staff meeting and there were so many wonderful ideas being tossed around.  I left that meeting feeling so motivated to create. 

My first class is all about Elijah!  Not only is he adorable, but he is incredibly soft.  As I have mentioned before, Ysolda Teague’s patterns are wonderfully, well written.  Elijah is knit all in one piece, so there is no seaming and no crazy ends to weave in.  Now, that is MY kind of pattern.  The pattern is worked starting with head, using a DPN circular cast on.  While this technique can be a bit tricky, I have discovered a way to ease the complexity of this.   Something I hope to teach in my class!  The yarn is Lorna’s Laces, Shepherd Worsted in the Ysolda colorway.  I seriously want to snuggle with this yarn all day.  The subtle color changes (think red, pink and even a little orange) are amazing.  Lorna’s Laces truly outdid themselves with this colorway.  The Knitting Nest now carries Lorna’s Laces in worsted and sport weight!!  Yay!!

Elijah can be the perfect gift for a baby, child or adult.  Ysolda designed the elephant so that he is “round and cuddly but still easy for little hands to grasp.”  The pattern requires minimal yarn, so this can also be considered a stash buster project. 

Elijah the Elephant, the class, is being held on Saturday, August 28th from 2-4pm at The Knitting Nest.  I hope to see you all there!! 

Project Specs

Pattern:     Ishbel by Ysolda Teague

Pattern source:  Ravelry

Finished Size: Small

Supplies: Fiber Fervor in Perfectly Plum, Size 7 Needles (24″ circular) and darning needle.

Date started: 9/7/10

Date completed: 6/27/10 (I know, almost a year!)

MY RAVELRY LINK: Cimi’s Ishbel

Yes, let’s go ahead and mark another unfinished project off of the list!  Woo hoooo!  It only took me a little less than a year to complete!  In my own defense, when I began this project I had just started blogging for Patons and I already had at least 3 other projects on the needles.  Also, the yarn I used is my own and was purchased by my Mom from my Etsy store.  You see, she loved the color so much, that she purchased it and then asked me what I was going to make for her with it.  So really, this unfinished project wasn’t entirely my fault.

OK, so the pattern.  While it was wonderfully written, I am not sure my brain is cut out for so much lace.  Sometimes I just love to knit.  Good ole brainless knittin’.  Well, not so much the case with Ishbel.  However, the final product makes me want to knit one up for myself!  Such a beautiful design.  It truly boggles my mind how someone can come up with lace designs.  Ysolda’s patterns are always well written and I always learn something new.  This time it was the bind off – a purl 2 together bind off.  Interesting and yet it makes complete sense! 

I couldn’t resist.  The mermaids just speak to me.  I love how whimsical and fun this fabric line is!   The Mendocino collection is just one of many out of print rediculously adorable Heather Ross fabrics out there.  Lately I have become obsessed with the ‘Lightning Bugs and Other Mysteries’ line.  Go ahead, google it and proceed to become addicted…

OK, back to the mermaids.  After the first tote I made, I decided to make a couple of mods.  For starters, I wanted a deeper tote.  One that can hold magazines or books or knitting supplies.  Kept the quilting the same and then changed the straps.  The straps on this bag are more sturdy than the previous.  This tote is deep enough so that it does not require any type of closure.  The inside of the bag features a single pocket. 

With all of this sewing fantastic-ness going on in my house, my head is swimming with ideas.  I have plans for different styles of bags, clutches and zippers!  Yes, I am going to be brave and venture into the land of zippers.  I also have the pattern and material for a new, what I am going to call “couch quilt”.  Please stay tunned!!

 

 

I had a pretty craft-tastic weekend.  3 projects were completed and I even learned a new technique!  Now, for those of you who are experienced sewers, this may not seem all that impressive, but, I made a bag with pleats AND piping! 

Don’t you just LOVE this fabric?  It is Echino by Etsuko Furuya and is a cotton/linen blend.  The fabric is sturdy enough for a bag without having to use any interfacing.  The pattern is my own.  I have seen bags like this in stores and on etsy.com and I just love the shape/style.  It is big enough to hold the important stuff, but not overwhelmingly huge.  For the lining, I used Kona Cotton in eggplant. 

Just a couple of months ago I could not sew a straight line to save my life and now, check it out…pleats AND piping detail!  I have come a LONG way.

The back of the bag features two antelope grazing.  I just love this fabric.   

Shown in this photo is the interior of the bag.  I included a small pocket that features a friendly giraffe. 

From start to finish, the project took about 3 hours.  I plan on making more with different fabrics and embellishments and hope to put them up for sale in my Etsy store.  I would love to hear what you look for in a bag.  Do you like a big or compact bag?  Pockets?  If yes, how many?  What kind?  Long strap or shoulder strap?  What do you look for when purchasing a new bag?  Please tell me what you think!

All I wanted to do this weekend was complete at least one project.  With Hunter’s space quilt nearing closer and closer to its end, I thought for sure it would be on his bed by Sunday.  I had been making good time on the quilt and by Saturday evening, I sat down at my sewing machine, quilt sandwich in hand and ready to quilt that bad boy.  I really thought the quilting process was going to be the easiest part of this project.

‘Easy’ is far from accurate when describing what I experienced next.  Not only was the big ass quilt (only a twin size!) heavy, it was also completely awkward to hold and feed through the machine.  To top it all off, after ONE horizontal line, my machine got so jammed up that it simply stopped working.  The needle was jammed (stuck) all the way down and would NOT come up.  Eventually I had to unscrew everything and pull the needle out through where the bobbin is located.  I then cursed a bunch, which is always how my Mom gets her machine to work.  When that didn’t work, I phoned my Mom.  She too was at a loss and advised that I walk away from the machine.  It’s a good thing I took her advice, otherwise, there probably would have been a broken window and a sewing machine on my front lawn.  Tears of frustration were literally welling up in my eyes. 

The next morning I ventured back into my craft room and sat down at my machine.  I gave it some love, turned it on and to my surprise, it actually worked.  Turns out, my machine was only “nearly dead”.  Did a little oiling and a little testing and voila, my machine is now running great.   A great lesson was learned from all of this…  Knitting does not require relying on a machine.

Coming soon….  Ring Bearer Pillow!