Saturday, June 30, 2007

Asheville, thy name is heaven

Today Cristi and I met up and headed to Asheville, NC. We headed out after picking up beverages at Panera and after an uneventful, if not a bit longer than it should have been due to the other slower drivers, we arrived at Earthguild which was the reason for the 2+ hour drive to the beautiful NC mountains. No we didn't take pictures of the mountains, Stacey. What we did do was raid Earthguild with passion. You see, they have spinning stuff. And dyeing stuff. And knitting stuff. And yarn. And wax if you are into candle making. And paper stuffs if you are into making paper. And word worky stuff if you are into wood working. And more stuff that I can't begin to mention because after that my brain turned off.

I left with a lanaset starter kit in order dye some yarny bits, a set of Ashford Handcards and a 1/2 lbs. of domestic wool top for dyeing. Also, 2 new bobbins for the Lendrum (so now I have 6, yes 6, precious).

Then we headed over to Purls Yarn Emporium. Wow. What a great shop. So very nice in there. The service and the shop. After a significant amount of time in there I left with Knit Fix: Problem Solving for Knitters and a line magnifier for my magnetic board. Perfect for lace charts. The guy that was working there (and yes I said GUY) was super nice and we chatted for a bit about Cables Untangled: An Exploration of Cable Knitting which I reviewed in my last podcast. They didn't have it in the shop, but he was very interested in looking at it as he teaches a cable class in the winter at the shop. He was awesome and def made our day.

Do you see a pattern yarn. I am sticking to my yarn diet.

Lunch was had at The Bier Garden in downtown Asheville. To say I was overwhelmed by the beer selection there would probably be an understatement. I had the Hurricane Hefeweizen to start and let me tell you this is a nice beer. It is a thicker beer than you would think with a citrus taste to it. I really enjoyed it. Food was good and an Ace Apple Cider later (it was ok, but a bit bitter, which I don't really like in my ciders) we finally got our check (service wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either). And then we discovered that although we managed to feed the meter before lunch (for another HOUR) we were 15 minutes over our time and had gotten a ticket. *sigh* I should have mentioned that it ate one of my quarters and didn't give me time for that last 15. Whatever. Day was good, we aren't going to let this tarnish is.

Then we hit Yarn Paradise. Word from the wise...Asheville's streets are not well marked as you move into Hendersonville so you will probably miss the road. When you get to I-40 coming from Earthguild you have gone too far - Turn around and take a right at the next light (I am pretty sure it is the next one). The shop is on the right. And it is worth it.

Let me sum up this shop in one word. And that word is what you see when you first walk in the door. KOIGU! And I have 3 more words that make it even better - MILL ENDS KOIGU! OHMYGOD!!! (I didn't have my camera, but Cristi took pics - she will post them to her blog, I am sure of it). So, Several Koigu skeins of mill ends later - I found the Colinette Jitterbug. And then I bought some of that too. I made it all day. ALL DAY!!! Now, the ladies at this shop were great too. They wanted to know what we are into. They wanted to hear our squees and whatnot. It was an awesome experience.

I just cast on the Knit and Tonic Dream Swatch from one of the mill ends of Koigu I picked up. Yeah, I know I don't need another project, but but but...its KOIGU!!! And I did work really hard on Pinwheel today. Sleeve one is DONE and the stitches for sleeve 2 are now ready to go.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Cancer Fundraising

Most of you know that cancer has struck very very near to me. With that in mind when I heard that knitting goddess Annie Modesitt's husband Gerry was suffering from multiple myleoma, I was sad. When I found out there was a way to help, well, I was glad to do so.

Annie created a BEAUTIFUL corset dress in knit and you can have that pattern. The pattern cost is $4.50 to cover the shipping. You can make a donation on top of that if you wish. I did - and then received the sweetest email from Annie. (I really hope she has an automated emailer, but her blog says otherwise!) I would like to encourage you to at least look at the dress. Even if you aren't a knitter. If you know a knitter, it would make a beautiful gift. If you don't know a knitter, but would like to help out, well, you can donate the pattern to the raffle I am doing for Lupus later this year and donate twice. Yep, we are that kind of special around here.

Take a moment to tell the people you care about how much you love them.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Good customer service

Just recently I had a full on melt down over bad customer service. I have to say that all that was redeemed today. No - I didn't go back to the damn bead shop from hell. I went to Quiznos. If you don't have those near you - well, find one - but it is a sub place known for toasting everything.

Now - I am really weird about toasted bread, so I usually go to Subway cause I like Subway, The Boy LOVES subway, and they don't look at me weird when I ask them not to toast my sub.

BUT - Quiznos has this thing called the Double Cheese Melt. It is double 2 kinds of cheese with red wine vinegrette, tomato and onion and lettuce. Now, I get mine without onion and lettuce. I don't like onions and I am REALLY picky about lettuce (for instance, I don't eat iceburg lettuce - because it has no nutritional value - but I digress). I took the car out for gas since the temp outside is now only 85 (down from the 3 million it was when I went to the doc today) and decided to run over to Quiznos for dinner. I could taste my doctored up grown up grilled cheese all melty and yummy. It was mine for the having. isn't on the menu anymore. WHAT???? You took away my Double Cheese Melt??? Now - I was prepared to just order turkey and cheese and not toasted (even though they would look at me funny) but the very nice lady said - we have everything for it, so we will make it. And as long as we have it we will keep making it if you ask for it. To make a short story very long...I got my Double Cheese Melt. They were SO nice about it! They apologized that it was off the menu. They apologized that it took them a minute to make it (the owner's daughter just started working there and didn't know how to make it, so the owner made it for me). They were SO sweet.

Thank you, Quiznos, for reminding me that not all places have crap for customer service. You made me a very happy girl tonight!

And because Stacey likes pics here is the last tattoo I got - it is just over a year old. Next one is coming soon, but not sure what it will be yet. most people didn't even know I had it until I cut my hair a couple weeks ago.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I have an itch

I have knitters itch. I will be starting a new lace project Friday. I have several projects in progress. I need to finish these pretty pretty socks. Yet....I want to cast on Tomato from No Sheep for You: Knit Happy with Cotton, Silk, Linen, Hemp, Bamboo & Other Delights. I have the non-wool. I have the needles. I have the desire.

Oh hell. I feel it coming.

WIP Wednesday

It's that time again...First we have the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket. About half way through this one. Maybe I will have it done next week.

Look...Pinwheel grew an arm!!!!
Shhhh...its a secret sock! It is my sock for the Hill Country Yarn Sock Contest. This one is ALMOST (ok - I am almost to the heel) and its partner is sitting next to me looking pink and happy!

Finally - I had to snap a pic of Rozz. I went out back to take the pics with my neighbors pretty flowers (I am useless with plants) and I came back to this. Now, I know my boy well enough to know he runs as soon as the door is opened, so I didn't dare try. But he is just such a sweet boy and I had to share.
Candleflame looks exactly the same as it did the last time and lacey lamb just needs blocking, so they are not worth showing right now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Seriously Ugly

My Knitpicks Options Needles arrived today. I immediately cast on the swatch for the Mystery Stole 3 project on them as they go down to a 4. I am pleased with the fabric and the way they knit.

Now, if only I was farther along on this sock project and the Mystery Stole was already on the needles.

Where is the swatch you ask? Well, i need to block it, but chances are you won't see it? Why? *sigh* well, I have to admit that I committed a cardinal sin in the middle of it. Yes, I stopped. The first time was at a natural stopping point. Although I was experimenting with beading so there was a bit of an issue, up to that point it was decent. Then, I picked it up for the last 8 rows of lace. Midway through my mother called. I answered. Oops. I never recovered. So yeah. that last section I was going to do was abandoned for the garter stitch border. Really a lace swatch is just to figure out the drape and density of the fabric. Other than that, this may be the worst swatch EVER.

Thinking about teaching a lace class soon. Local Interest???

Monday, June 25, 2007

Handspun Monday

I did some serious spinning this weekend. I shall not show it all, because then if I have nothing next week...well, I will have something to show off then!! Here is approx. 170 yards of mostly worsted weight 2 ply wool dyed by the Distillery Kids in the Gelaro and Cream colorway.

It isn't perfect, but it is MINE!!!! I made it! On the pretty pretty Lendrum!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

FairieKnits: Episode 8 - Fiber Clubs Don't Count!

That's right - Fiber Clubs don't count on the yarn diet. Why? Well, other than the fact that I said so is because I joined 2. The Yarn Pirate Booty Club and the Poppy Flower Fibers Luxury Fiber Club. There are still spots in the Luxury Fiber Club, so you can still join and she has GREAT colorsense and at $50 for 3 months for 1 month of BFL and 2 months of merino...come on!

Lacey Lamb Shawl (but the pattern has issues!)

Candleflame Shawl
Bellocq Stocking Thigh Highs
Baby Surprise Jacket
Hill Country Weavers Sock Pattern for the contest

Mystery Stole 3 KAL (Cashwool with gunmetal/hematite beads)

Lane Borogesia Cashwool in Black from The Loopy Ewe
Bunch of Fiber from Poppy Flower Fibers and The Distillery Kids
Velvet Touch for BSJ
Lion Brand Cotton Ease

Cherry Blossom Bag
Fiber Trends Llamas and Alpacas

Distillery Kids in Gelaro and Cream
Pink Corriedale

Book Review:

Charity Knitting Information:
Crafting for a Cause
-1000 items hit!!!
-Square Contest! through July 15!
Lupus Alliance Raffle - if you have suggestions for the prizes for a Knitters Raffle or who would like to donate - PLEASE email me at

Ravelry - Chill! The invites are coming and it is worth the wait!!!

BAD Customer service causes me to have a melt down.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Went to Christi's to spin tonight. Had a great time. I hope to spin more. I am thinking about taking the wheel to the shop this weekend.

*looks around* No WIP Wednesday!!! Yeah - well, since I am recording this weekend I got lazy. There will be some pics on the podcast notes. Maybe. If I don't get lazy.

Off to play with the kittehs.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Knit Picks Options...come to mama!

I just bought a set of Knit Picks Options. These have been on the covet list for awhile even though I love my Denise Needles. The dainty cables are teeny in comparison to my Denise Needles and while I don't expect I will love these more, I think I will love them just as much. These are metal and have a pointer tip for better lace work. Plus the smaller cables will allow for magic loop in socks more easily than the denise. Plus they start as size 4 rather than 5. And now you know the real reason I finally did it. There is a set of bamboo interchangeables out there - but I WILL NOT buy them no matter how tiny the case is and how much I think I want them. 2 interchangeable needle sets are more than enough.

I think I want to knit the Mystery Stole 3 on size 4 needles. I haven't done a swatch yet, but in looking at the list it looks like the others in my yarn are knitting on a 4. I have Addis in a 4. They are on a pair of socks at the moment. And they don't have a cool hole for a lifeline to carry through while you knit as the Options and Denise do. So, there you have it. I had to have them. My beads should be here this week, and my needles late this week early next. I have some other things to work on, so its ok if I don't swatch until next week now that I am over yesterday's hump.

I am sure that after working with the new needles a bit I will write up a comparison. Though as I have said, I don't expect these to replace my lovely Denise Needles, which I bought for myself for christmas going on like 5 years ago...yes, I learned to knit and then bought myself the Denise needles in that first year. It really has kept me from having to buy a million other needles.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


I am PISSED OFF. I went to a local bead shop this afternoon to pick up out some beads for the Mystery Stole #3 project. I go to a HUGE locally owned bead shop (I shall not name it because it doesn't deserve it, but it is the one on the southside of town). When possible I try to first buy local, then independent BEFORE going to big chains.

So, I go in and walk around for awhile and no one talks to me. Fine really, there is only one other customer in the store and what looks like several employee types huddled together. Whatev. Finally the other customer and I (who are now in the farthest room from the front door and the room where the employee types were are spoken to when a woman comes in to the room. She says if you need help, let me know. So I said, actually, I do. I don't know a lot about beads, I am a knitter, but I want to add beads to a project and I am looking for blah blah blah. She looked at me as though I was trash. Worse. Dog shit on the bottom of her brand new shoes. White shoes at that. that spattered onto her pants. She informed me that she isn't into seed beads and since it IS her shop she doesn't really carry THOSE. She shows me what limited selection she has (which are the wrong size) and tells me that I will have to go to Michaels - she has SEEN that size there and is SURE they carry them. I thank her and leave headed to Michaels. I debated. I thought - I should just buy online, but no I want to swatch tonight. So I go over there. Guess what? They only have the same size as that lady - NOT the size I needed.

Note to small business owners: STOP BEING SUCH ASSHATS! It comes down to your customer base and I swear I will tell everyone NOT to go to your shop if you are an asshat. I have already relayed this story to several local knitters on this project (and you will now lose out on probably all their future bead business as well - you know the non-seed bead business) and now it is off into both of my blogs. With shops going under and whining about how brick and mortar can't compete with the internet - is it any wonder. I would rather get a confirmation email and PAY FOR SHIPPING than EVER darken your door again.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I am pretty sure some crack was smoked...

I just realized that I am almost out of the Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb yarn. This is supposed to be a one skein project. It calls for 72 pattern repeats. I am at 45. See the problem here? There is no way I am going to get another 30 pattern repeats out of this yarn. MAYBE 10 more. OK - more like 2. I just measured the preblocked piece as it is right now and it is 32" in its natural state. There are no blocking sizes on the pattern. Width is 25". I followed the pattern exactly. If I had to do it again I would take out a pattern repeat or two in the width. I think when I block it it will end up about 45" long with the added rows since stretching it not to much gives me 43". So - almost done with this. I should be able to block it this weekend at this rate. GO ME!!! I will note these things in the pattern for the shop so people don't worry. I mean even I went "WHA????" when I looked at the skein. I am so much closer to being finished then I thought I was. And that makes me a happy happy knitter.

Other issues with this pattern. There are no guage guides, no needles called for. It says to double the yarn and go up a needle size for loser and down for tighter. yeah. that is sooooo specific. I am doing this on 9s only because well I am. no real reason. 2 strands together and that is what Remi CO when she started it. Granted, I frogged it 3 times since then, but that isn't the point, I am happy with the guage.

another one on the needles...

I have had the project itch. So last night I CO the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket in Wendy Velvet Touch. It is a fun pink, yellow, green and white mix. I am now a 1/4 of the way through it. I like it, though it is a bit mindless. Which is probably what I like about it right now.

Christi and I bought the pattern at the same time with the intention of knitting them at the same time, but she is done now I think and I am just starting. I am behind. It happens.

Oh - and I joined the Mystery Stole 3 KAL on yahoo. yep. I need a mental evaluation. I ordered the Lane Borgesia Cashwool in black from The Loopy Ewe for this. I am really looking forward to this. Yes, I know I claimed I was going on a yarn diet, but I am a liar when it comes to yarn, so you should all get used to that. I would rather be honest than sneak yarn in. Plus, the boy doesn't care if I buy more yarn. Hell, he encourages my yarn habit.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

WIP Wednesday

Well, Christi is doing this WIP Wednesday (along with Yarn PrOn Fridays and Handspun Mondays which I will participate in on occassion...ok - I plan to participate in Handspun Mondays) and because I like the sheep, well, I am following along. So, here are the current (re:active) WIPs. From closest to being done to farthest. Excuse the craptastic pics - its raining outside and the 3 mins of sunlight we had today...well, I was on a conference call.

First we have the pinwheel sweater. I finished the alternate color loop edge this afternoon - would have last night but I ran out of gray at knitting last night, so I finshed up the pink and finished the last few gray loops after work today. All that is left are the sleeves. See those green lines, the sleeves go there.

Pretty, isn't it. Next, we have the Lacey Lamb Shawl knit from Jade Sapphire's Lacey Lamb in this weird green. I am knitting this as a sample for Charlotte Yarn, so I didn't pick the color. I have to say that the yarn is SUPER soft. I mean I really want to roll around in it. Right now I am just over half way finished with it.

Did I mention that the yarn is super soft and I want to roll around on it? Yeah. Well, it is knit on size 9 needles with the yarn held double.

Next up is the Candleflame Shawl. I have had this one in my bag and haven't looked at it in awhile. Not really that long, but its been a bit. So when I pulled it out, I was amazed at how much I really really liked it and want to get back to it. Again, not a color that I would want, but it isn't for me. And the color is growing on me. I really like the way the pattern looks in the Elsebeth Levold Silky Wool which is a fingerine weight and the specified yarn is lace weight. But I am really loving it.
And now...its the Bellocq Stocking Collection....FOOTIES. I have the feet done on both of these. I figure these will be done around the turn of the next century, but since I just started them a few weeks ago, they are active :) From this angle, you can't really see the lace vine pattern, but it is there and I think it is grand. This features a short row toe and heel. We like.

So - that's it for this week. I am hoping to get some real work done on the Lacey Lamb this week. I jumped from about 20% to over 50% since this weekend after not touching it and I am working on a couple repeats every day ... at least.
What are you working on???

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Episode 7: NO YARN FOR ME!!! Wait, does roving count?

OK so I totally flaked on World Wide Knit in Public Day! I knit at home and napped. Lets face it, it was WAY too hot out for me! I am a Florida Girl, but the lupus has really zapped me in the heat! Check out some other knitting in public with Crimson Purl and PidgeonRoof Studios
Macek Designs
Poppy Flower Fibers (20% off through June 15th folks - put "Lunatic" in the comments and wait for a new invoice before you pay!!!)

Ravelry is WAY COOL - they are inviting as fast as the system can handle (in their opinion cause they don't want us to be sad if it crashes) - sign up now and be patient. It is SOOO worth it. My user name is: funfairiegirl if you want to friend me or look at my stuff - although there are no pics right now...

Jaywalkers in the LnV colorway The Chameleon Lady

Lacey Lamb Shawl (although it has doubled this weekend)
Candleflame Shawl in Silky Wool
Pinwheel Sweater in Highland Peruvian Wool from
Bellocq Stocking Collection in Louet Gems

Book Review

As promised, here is the link to Christi's Tomato Sweater from No Sheep for You! She has beautiful pics through her entire blog and adorable kitties, so you should check her out!

Crafting for a Cause will be changing names AGAIN! Please comment if you have some thoughts. We are up to 786 donated items and the new June goal is 1200 (because it WAS 750 and that is just BLOWN AWAY!!!)

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Its World Wide Knit in Public Day! Oddly enough, I have no plans today. I knew it was coming, but it slipped up on me a little too fast. With the boy here last weekend and Olivia here the weekend before and mom here NEXT weekend, I just let it slip my mind. Must go out and knit though!

Let me know what you are up to today - I would love to hear it. And this time I promise I will have time to mention it in the podcast - the last one got a little hectic and I forgot - sorry - but thank you for the comments! I have them filed for use :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

pretty roving ahead...

Now that I have what I want, I will let you at it...Lisa at Poppy Flower Fibers just put up part 1 of a 2 part roving update. She still has some yarn over there too. Due to a skein winder mishap, though, no new yarns yet. BUT - you still get a 20% off discount (through the 15th of this month) when you put "Lunatic" in the comments and wait for a new invoice prior to paying. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

Enjoy...and remember you have to order by the 15th to take advantage of this offer! (And seriously, she has merino, superwash merino and domestic wool roving - I don't know what is coming tomorrow, but I am sure I will buy more!)

Oh - and if I don't forget I will talk about the bee-u-T-FUL stuff I already got from her on my next podcast!!!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I WIN!!!

I had an AMAZING weekend with the boy and am now ready to move RIGHT NOW just so I can be with him more. I forget just how perfect he is for me when we are apart. For instance, at like 11:30 Friday night he said - get out your spinning wheel and show me how it works. Wha'??? OK!!! So I spun up some stuff. He asked questions like - does it not matter how thick the yarn is - I replied that eventually it will, but I am learning and it is getting better...and sure enough it was. Then in the middle of spinning he said, "so when are you taking a dyeing class?" Ummm...are you encouraging my madness??? Why yes, yes you are! I also worked on the pinwheel while watching the worst movie I have seen in a long time (shame, Eragon was a decent book) and he said it looked cool and that I am a good friend since it is a gift.

I showed him yarn and roving. He was appropriately impressed. He said things were cool, nice, soft, etc. He is learning. And he is perfect for me. He has also agreed to do all yarny photography for me as he is into photography and has a really super nice SONY SLR digital camera. When I asked him to do it, he said "Sure, that would be really cool." *squee*

So really, I win. I hear a lot of knitters say their SOs just don't get it/care. Mine thinks knitting is cool and loves when I knit for him. SCORE!