Monday, January 25, 2010


If you look at my most recent projects you might think that 2010 is the Year of Me. First it was the Bella Mitts and now it's a clapotis.
Instead of finishing the baby blanket for the baby that is being born possibly this very night (seriously, mom is in the hospital right, strike that, the baby is officially here) or working on the charity socks that need to be done by Valentine's Day, I have started something else for myself. And it's nice too. Artyarns cashmere. Hand-dyed cashmere that is. I guess I shouldn't feel too bad. I did spend Saturday making a sample hat for the basic hat workshop that I'll be teaching at my LYS starting next week.
Of course I still have to write the pattern for said hat...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Weather Whiplash

Two weeks ago it was so cold that you couldn't leave the house without at least 3 layers on. Seriously, the temps were in the teens. And those were the highs. Then, last week it started to warm up and the temperature was in the low 60s. The low 60s in January! Today it rained and the temperature dropped again into the 40s. At least now I guess I have an excuse to wear the Bella's Mittens I just finished.
Time to snuggle up with a hot cuppa tea and The Hobbit.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Yesterday I woke up to one of those "Calls You Really Don't Want to Get." Someone from credit card company X's fraud department was calling to make sure I really did want to get that credit card with the extremely high credit limit that I applied for. Problem is, I didn't apply for said card. I freaked, I got upset, I panicked, then I called my mom. Thankfully she had a sound mind about her (and a folder full of information about identity theft). After she had calmed me down, I spent the next 2 hours going through all the avenues to make sure this wouldn't happen again. The incident threw me off for the whole day. I needed something to help me feel better and get my mind back in the right place. I needed something for myself. Something quick-ish, easy, but would still hold my attention...
Perfect fit.

Bella's Mittens made with 2 strands of Dark Horse Fantasy. The yarn is absolutely amazing for a nylon and acrylic yarn. Very soft and not squeaky. The pattern is great too, the cable keeps me interested just enough to not be boring but it also doesn't really require me to pay attention 100% of the time. I'm going to spend tonight unwinding by trying to finish up the first mitt. Hopefully you had a better MLK Day than I did!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


The breaking of the sock DPN seems to have broken my knitting streak as well. Obviously that project is now on hold until I can find some more needles (or another project).

I started a pair of socks for Global Knit but have lost some interest in these as well.
Just past the heel turn of the first sock. These only have 20-30 rows until they're done but I'm not in love with this yarn: it's single ply (therefore very splity), and in some drab colors (not helped by the fact that it has been cold and rainy here for 2 days).

I started and finished another quick charity knit (this one for H 2 H International) this weekend.
The next step is to start a hat to go with them. But that would require me finding my 16" cable and balling some more yarn.

The baby blanket pretty much looks like the same except with 6-10 more repeats. I'm ready for that to be finished with.

I have a whole queue on Ravlery of projects for myself but that would require balling yarn, finding needles and swatching.

I also have a whole list of knits for other people that need to be done but, again, these require balling yarn, finding needles, and swatching.

Plus, I need to update my inventory in my stores since I'm sending a new LYS some of my yarn and Rare Purls needed more stuff.

Oh, and I need to update Ravlery with all the projects from Christmas (and maybe a little before then too) and don't get me started on the housework...

Unmotivated is what I am.

Saturday I was sidelined with a 24 hour stomach virus which certainly didn't help things. Thankfully I have tomorrow off so maybe after a few days of recuperation I will feel up for something productive.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Princess and the Sock

Once upon a time, in a land not too far away, on a cold winter's evening, a princess was knitting on a sock. The princess was very pleased with this sock because the wool was the finest quality and the colors were vibrant and unique. The princess was looking forward to wearing this sock as she often knit items for her friends and family, and even more often, for complete strangers, but this sock was going to be just for her. The princess was so excited about her sock that she thought to herself, After I turn this heel I shall try it on!

Now it is worth noting that the princess was working with some very rare needles. These needles were hewed from the mystical Redwood Trees from far away California. They were very expensive, very tiny, and very, very fragile. In fact, in a most unfortunate accident involving a purse and a ziplock baggie of yarn, one of these precious needles had already been broken. And, in a separate, unrelated accident (the origins of which the princess had no explanation for) one of the needles she was currently working with was missing a small piece of the tip. These needles were so rare, and so unusual that some said they had been stolen from the needle fairies by some gnomes and then had an evil spell cast on them.

The princess had momentarily forgotten about the fragile, possibly cursed, needles as she pulled the beautiful sock onto her foot. But the needles were in the way, they wouldn't budge as she tried to get the sock up her foot. Just a little further... she thought as she moved the stitches as close to the edge of the needles as she could. And then....suddenly...without warning...
Snap! went the needle!

"Oh no!" cried the princess in despair.
Ah ha! thought the clever princess, I can finally get those plastic DPNs that come in sets of 6 that I can't seem to find a link to anywhere on the internet I have been wanting! But then she remembered that her harsh and, occasionally, cruel master, The Superintendent of Schools, had paid her on the last day of work in December and she would not get paid again until the end of January, almost 6 weeks after her last paycheck. Plus her silver gilded chariot needed its rear brakes....err, horses replaced. There was also Queen Penelope who ruled the princess's small abode and who was quite demanding despite her small, fuzzy, squished face stature. Queen Penelope was always in need of the best food, the tastiest treats, and the most skilled beauticians. The poor (literally) princess realized she would have to wait for her new needles.

And so, the princess put away her sad, half finished sock and knit on a blanket instead.
And all was right in Knitting World once again.

The end.

Monday, January 11, 2010

On Hold

I got my snow day on Friday!
The big problem is not the snow (which really was only a light dusting) but the ice. The area between the cars in the picture is actually a solid block of ice. And it has been since Friday morning. Because we here in the South aren't used to snow and ice and wintry weather, the roads become a demolition derby of sorts and it's really best to stay inside. Which I did. Things actually seemed to have gotten pretty bad this time because the news kept reporting about accidents caused by ice on the roads. My favorite was the 27 car pile up on an on-ramp. The DOT admitted they "might have missed that ramp" when they were de-icing. Really? You think?

So, instead of getting out into the fray, I dyed some roving. It's drying right now and hopefully it will be ready for pictures by tomorrow. I need to get it divided into samples and shipped for the Phat Fiber box by the 15th. Fingers doubled crossed that everything will be done on time.

I also had some knitting queued up. I had originally planned to finish up my mittens for charity. At the last minute I changed my mind and made this instead:
The 5 Hour Baby Sweater! Cute overload. The color is more accurate in this photo:
As you recall, I'm knitting a blanket for my friends Cliff and Jenn. I'm still working on the blanket but I thought that little Sophia might need something to wear too. This really would have only taken 5 hours if I had a) been able to work on it non-stop and b) done the i-cord drawstring on a smaller needle the first time (for future reference if you decide to do an i-cord instead of the crochet chain suggested then use a smaller size DPN than a 10.5, like a size 7). It did turn out well and the new mom seemed to like it.

The mittens got finished tonight instead.
These will go together with the hat and slippers already completed to H 2 H International. I've challenged myself to try and knit a set of slippers, a hat, and mittens a month to send to H 2 H. That means one set down, 11 more to go! Since the month isn't quite up, my interim charity project is going to be a pair of socks (maybe more than 1 pair even) for Global Knit. Speaking of socks...

The socks for myself are trucking along.
Working on the heel flap tonight. This is my own hand-dyed BFL in Trick or Treat. Hopefully will get more of this dyed soon and then in the shop(s). Rain is forecast for us in the next week. Hopefully there won't be any more ice. I'm tired of slipping on the way to my car every day. Besides that, it's just plain cold here!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow? Or No?

Here's the funny thing about weather: you can predict and watch and say this or that but in the end it just goes and does what it wants to. The early predictions were saying that Atlanta and the metro areas might get as much as 2 inches of snowfall tonight. Now they are saying a light dusting. Which means I probably won't get my snow day tomorrow. :::frown::: Maybe there will be some ice... It was kind of cool to come home this afternoon and see the lake in front of my complex frozen over with the "light dusting" of snow on it.

Knitting guild was canceled for tonight which means I had time to update my stores. I added 2 new yarns that I'm in love with.
Cedar Key and
Blueberry Chill. And I think the story behind the names is kind of cool too, but you'll have to check out the websites for that :) Both are listed at Vivid Creation Fibers and on Etsy. I also changed my shipping prices on Etsy because I hadn't calculated them correctly.

I should spend some time tonight on packing up my Christmas decorations (don't judge, it's not yet 2 weeks), washing dishes, and doing laundry. Instead I'm thinking of knitting on some projects. The baby blanket and also a set of gloves for charity.
This will go with the hat and slippers I've already knit to H 2 H International. I took some time the other night to start a new group on Ravelry for charity knitting. Our focus will be on making items for distribution in Eastern European and Russian orphanages. I'm really excited that we already have 15 members and seem to be growing! Our first KAL is socks for Global Knit. Each month I'll pick a new charity for us to focus our efforts on.

I also took a few pics tonight of the yarn that I picked up at Knitch.
Some grey nylon and acrylic yarn that I'm planning on making some Bella's mitts from. Even though it's acrylic this some super soft yarn. I'm pretty impressed so we'll see how it knits up.
I also nabbed some Socks that Rock heavyweight sock yarn in the colorway Lucy. I like the earthy tones and this yarn will make some nice thick socks. I may need to knit them now since ice and snow may be on my horizon (:::crosses fingers:::).

Monday, January 4, 2010


Thanks for all the New Year's well wishes! I hope everyone enjoyed the rest of your weekend. I was trying to stay warm. Temps here in GA have barely reached above freezing for the last 3 days. Yesterday it reached a whooping 33°F (0°C) for a whole hour! The ice almost melted! Yes, there was ice. The lake in front of my apartment is now partially frozen. We're even expected to get some snow by the end of the this week. :::shiver::: I've got the snuggie out and made some hot chocolate to keep me from getting frosty.

On Saturday I braved the cold with my friend Stephanie to visit Knitch, a yarn shop in Atlanta. I'd been to Knitch before but not since they moved to their new location. Their old shop was literally in a back alley but it was 2 stories with floor to ceiling yarn. It had a great cozy feel and there was this cool little general store right around the corner with some of the best bagels I'd ever tasted. The new store is a little smaller but it's right on the main drag. Steph and I both made some stash enhancements but I have somehow managed to not photograph them yet. Until I get the pics posted have a look at Stephanie's projects on Ravelry. Is she not the best photographer! She also designed my buttons and banner for the Phat Fiber page. Talented, no?

Today was back to work for me :( I guess I really only worked for half a day because I spent the whole afternoon after lunch in a cluster-wide staff development meeting. I wish I'd had my knitting but I ended up sitting down the row from my assistant principals so I guess it was a good thing, I'm not sure they would understand the whole knitting-makes-me-not-want-to-kill-myself-and-others thing. When I got done with that I rushed home and grabbed the 2 hats I finished this weekend for Helen.
Yep, I was able to get 2 hats knitted, washed, and blocked this weekend. I'm quite proud. I had to express mail them to her to make sure she gets them by the 6th and I will be stressing about it until I know they are in her hands. I really hope she reaches her goal!

I also spent about an hour knitting on the baby blanket for my friends and now it actually looks like a blanket.
It's hard to believe their baby will be here in just 6 weeks!

This next project has actually been finished for awhile but I haven't blogged about it yet.
These are my Japanese Feather socks (with cat for scale). They are made from some of my own hand-dyed sock yarn, Raspberry! These have a great shine and softness to them because of the BFL. I realized (after binding off) that the toes of the socks, and therefore, the socks in general, are 2 different lengths. Not too drastic and nothing I can feel or notice when wearing but I guess that's what I get for letting months lapse in between the making of the second sock. That and not taking notes when I made the first one. Still really like them though. They have been worn and kept my feet toasty in the freezing cold.

I'm off to enjoy the last few hours of my evening. Tomorrow the kiddos come back so I'm sure I will be extra tired then!

Friday, January 1, 2010

In With the New

I hope everyone had a good time last night with friends and loved ones as you celebrated the New Year. I had an early dinner with some friends (where my friend Mark proposed to his girlfriend!) and then came home to watch a movie, knit, and snuggle with my cat. A relaxing end to a crazy year.

I've been thinking about my 2010 goals for a few weeks now and I think that these are actually things I will see success with. In no particular order, here are my 2010 New Year's Goals:

1. Have 3 things on my needles at a time: something for myself, something for a friend or family member, and something for charity. I tend to knit a lot for other people but I've found my own knitted items to be few and far between. I think it would be nice to have a few more hand made things for myself.
2. Dedicate 2 nights a week to working on my shop(s). Whether that's dyeing, skeining, re-skeining, labeling, shipping, updating, promoting, or whatever. I did some bookkeeping this morning and I'm ready to move Vivid Creation Fibers forward in 2010.
3. Vend at 3 fiber festivals/fairs. This is part of growing VCF. I know I will be at Stitches South and I hope to do SAFF. I need to pick another, relatively close one.
4. Do more local missions work. In the past I have opted out of events because they weren't really "my thing" but I've found that the more I go to, the more ways I find to serve others.
5. To buy organic cleaners. A few weeks ago I was cleaning my tub and I happened to read the warning labels on the bottle. It kind of scared me that the chemicals I was using to clean my tub were dangerous to have in contact with my skin. I thought about how we spray down every surface and then we touch, cook on, or bathe in them. I would feel better knowing that the cleaning products I'm using aren't going to eat my skin off if I accidentally come into contact with them.
6. Find a workout plan that works for me and stick to it. I've given up on trying to change my eating habits, I love food too much! And I'm tired of saying I will do x number of minutes of exercise x times a week because I always find some excuse to not do it. I need to find something that fits my life. Which means it will more than likely incorporate some outside walking (because I do like to get out in the fresh air and walking is low impact) and some kind of video taped workout for the days I don't want to leave the house (I am a hermit after all).

And that's it! 6 goals for the year. Since I completed 5 goals for 2009 I would love to see all of these meet in 2010. I've already started some of them. I've spent a few days working on some yarns for the shop (one of which was posted yesterday) and I've been knitting up a storm.

This hat and pair of slippers were started and finished in 2009. These are a charity knit for H 2 H International. I will also knit a pair of mittens and send this in as a set. I'm challenging myself to knit a set a month for this group.

This roll brim hat is still on the needles and is also a charity knit. Helen from the blog Golden Apples is collecting hats for a school in New York that works with autistic children (read all about her campaign here). At the last minute the school enrollment increased by 20 kids so she is trying to get 20 more hats together before Jan. 6th. This is a quick knit using chunky yarn and a simple pattern so I may try and eek out 2 in the next few days and then ship them off to her. If you have time (or an extra knitted hat laying around) please think about helping her meet her goal.

This white blob is my "Friends or Family" knit. It's going to be a christening blanket for my good friends Cliff and Jennifer. They are expecting their first child, Sophia, is February and Jenn asked if I would knit a special blanket for her. It's a simple feather and fan pattern that I think will be delicate enough for a christening but sturdy enough for everyday use.

And finally, something for me! A pair of toe up socks in my own Trick or Treat colorway. I got a pair of clear clogs for Christmas and now I want to wear hand knit socks all the time! Unfortunately I only have about 5 pairs so I need to make some more. These will also serve the duel purpose of showing one of the colors I'm going to carry in my store. A store sample if you will.

I hope that 2010 will be a time of excitement and prosperity for you. Happy New Year!