Mondays Are For Photography

It has become my Monday morning routine to photograph all the yarns dyed and / or spun in the previous week and post everything to etsy. Every Monday I am astonished at how much work I did over the previous week. Sometimes I forget how much I get done because dyeing and spinning yarn doesn’t really seem like all that much work. I remember all the work on the computer I do (which is a lot) rather than the actually production aspect, so when I pile up the yarn for the photo shoot, I am always satisfied with the stack.


You can’t quite see everything in that photo, but the sock yarn on top is my favorite. I called it dino hide and that as much of the color makes me giggle with joy.

I worry during the week about having enough inventory for the farmers market, but then I look at my apartment overflowing with yarn and fiber, and I get over it. Frankly, I need to get some of this stuff out of here.

Some of the other photos I took this morning:

Handspun local Lincoln yarn


carrot juice sock yarn


ember worsted yarn

And a bonus FO:

Yesterday afternoon I finished Ebbtide. (Raveled here)

This pattern was the most recent Knit-A-Long hosted by the Knit Knit Cafe Podcast. It was actually my first KAL, but was announced right as I was giving in to a shawl-knitting fever. As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew which yarn it had be made out of, and I cast on that same day. The shawl is knit out of my Protoceratops Yarn, which is my absolute favorite. There was just enough yardage to make the larger shawl size (I did bind off one row early.)

I will have Ebbtide on display (not for sale) at my farmers market booth this summer, so if you live in the area, you can stop by and see it in person so that I might enable you further.

Breakfast of Champions

I have a long, full day ahead of me, so I started it out right. Brock made me this heaping plate of peppery scrambled eggs and bacon. I couldn’t eat it all, so the leftover bacon is in a baggy for a snack later.

I am visiting a farm out in the country with some fiber friends where they sell garden supplies–hopefully I can get a good deal on some seedlings since the hail we had yesterday morning destroyed some of mine. After that I have some Farmer’s Market planning to do. Then, best of all, it’s Open Stitch Night at the PFA!

If you’re in the area, come join us from 7-9 pm at Potwin Presbyterian Church in Topeka, KS. Bring your favorite fibery project. I’ll be there with my spinning wheel and some sparklies, and hopefully will have had something to eat besides bacon.

Outside My Window

This is the magnolia tree that lives outside my window. It is in full bloom right now, with barely any petals on the ground.

Besides the gorgeous color and pleasant smell, I love how these trees rain down their petals for one or two days a year.


I think this color is destined for some sock yarn. (Wouldn’t it make a lovely shawllette?)

Pretty colors on a rainy morning are lovely
After I finish my coffee I am going to run really fast for a little while outside with all of the blossoming trees and shrubs. I am finding that the more I go do things outside, the more I enjoy it and the more I enjoy how my body feels.

Happy Spring Break!

I Knit a Womb

Last night, I got home, and was feeling a little cranky–I am having diet issues, which I may bring up at a later time–and I had forced myself to take the day off work. (Blogging doesn’t count.) I have been experiencing knitting ennui this week. Too much Farmer’s Market knitting, not enough me knitting. Then I noticed my phone had downloaded the new episode of Cast On. I listened as I piddled about the apartment. Brenda spoke about knitting wombs. So I grabbed the pattern off knitty, sat down and got to work.

I had the perfect yarn. The pipe cleaners. The stuffing.

And it was fun. It took about an hour all together, and I had some trouble with the pipe cleaners. It fulfilled my knitting desire and also fit right in with my mood, a little cranky, a little defiant, a little quirky.

I would like to knit more toys. Small toys like this one. I don’t think I have the patience for giant toys. I should figure out a tiny dino pattern or two. Now that would be appropriate.

I Made It!

In a vast improvement over Saturday, I made it out to Flying Monkey–on my bike–in a decent amount of time and with my wallet! Now, I am squared away with some scrumptious tea and all the notes I need to get some this paper work out of the way.

It’s a lovely day outside, the music is good inside, and I have had a productive morning so far.

For the giveaway folks, here’s a look at the yarns I posted to the shop this morning.

Gorgeous

It is simply gorgeous outside right now. It’s 8 am and already over 60 degrees. The sun is out, the trees have started to bud (pictures of the magnolia tree next to the balcony when it’s in full bloom, I promise.) I slept with the windows open last night and the apartment was a very comfortable in temperature. Of course, this being Kansas in (near) spring the wind has been howling for about the last 24 hours straight. (At least it wasn’t too snowy and there isn’t too much sand blowing around.) It does make me nervous about putting my seedlings outside to harden off for fear I would come out later to find an upturned tray and all my baby plants carried off to the prairie by the wind. If the wind can blow books off my bookshelf in my bedroom, it can sure make off with some tiny plants. (Guess the wind doesn’t like essays?)

Best of all, I retrieved my bike from storage yesterday. It needed a bit of air in the tires and a little dusting off and it was good as new. (I haven’t even had it a year, so technically, it is new.) The rain is supposed to set in this afternoon, I hear, so I am going to take this morning to go out on my first long ride of the season–a ride I hope morphs into a no big deal morning commute. I am going to hop onto the nature trail around the corner and bike to the Washburn, the local university. I have a meeting there tomorrow with the journalism school, which probably means I’ll be going back to school in the fall for a second undergrad degree. Anyhow, I see no reason why I shouldn’t bike there in good weather, it’s only a couple of miles if I take the Shunga (nature trail for non-locals). And I can get a lot of practice over the summer, because Flying Monkey is right across the street, and that’s the only place I’ve done any substantial writing lately.

The onset of spring has me feeling even more optimistic than normal.

Now, to plow through my to-do list so I can get out on that bike!

Enjoy oggling my two newest yarns just for fun

Self-striping sock yarn in Earth and Air.

Sharing

I have some fun internet things to share with you today.

If you have read my blog for any amount of time and still don’t know much about Juniper Moon Farm, now’s the time to get acquainted. They are my favorite non-local farm. It’s a beautiful place that produces so many good things fibery and non. Their newest venture is starting a magazine, the kind of hand-made magazine I always look for but never quite find. They have a bunch of amazing people already involved, and a Kickstarter campaign going to help get the magazine off the ground. (Check it out, if only so you can see the “The Revolution Will be Hand Knit” t-shirt design.) I can’t wait to see the first issue.

Locally, the Potwin Fiber Artisans are planning lots of good stuff for the summer-time. On top of new classes, we have a website now! (http://potwinfiber.org) as well as plans to be out at the Farmer’s Market tempting new folks to the fiber arts with spinning wheels and gorgeous fiber. Check out the website for news and events, as well as local vendors and teachers.

I am so excited for this spring/summer season, especially when I look outside and see snowflakes the size of my face raining down (but not sticking, thankfully). I can’t wait to get in the garden, help out at the goat farm (yes, you read that right), finish the first draft of my novel, create new goods, make some new knitters, and see you all out at the farmers market.

Lace Dreams

Back in 2009 when I was first learning to knit, part of my self-imposed knitting initiation was to read the entire backlog of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s blog, The Yarn Harlot. It was educational and inspiring as a new knitter to have such an intimate view into the life of a rather more experienced knitter. I realize this is hardly an original sentiment, but one of the things that really got my fantasy going was reading about the birth of the Snowdrop Shawl. I would have dreams about knitting lace like that when I was still struggling with understanding the construction of a hat. I knew the snow drops were completely out of my league, but that didn’t stop the dreams. I dreamed I was knitting it, I dreamed I was wearing it, I dreamed of it elegantly draped over the back of my sofa.

I found a lacy beret that was closer to my level and knit that instead. It seemed to take the edge off.

Then two years and some time passed.

In knitting class the other day, I was helping a student start a shawlette (she was using a gorgeous buttery yellow alpaca yarn) and we were talking about knitting shawls and the lace weight yarn I sell in my shop. I admitted that while I had swatched a bit with the yarn before I started selling it, I had never actually knit with anything in lace weight yarn ever. I actually said these words, “I’d love to knit a nice big lace shawl, but the right one just hasn’t found me yet.”

What a fickle knitter I am! I had completely forgotten about the Snowdrop shawl. It wasn’t until yesterday when I moved a hank of lace weight yarn from the drying rack to the “to-be-photographed pile” that I remembered about that shawl so long ago. Before I knew it, I was winding a ball of lace yarn and the pattern was printed and tempting me to cast on.


I didn’t make too much progress what with attempting to remain a responsible adult and all that rubbish. Though, as I knit each row and understand the movement of the yarn more fully, the more I want to work on it, responsibility be damned.

Of course, I noticed on the ravelry forums today that Knit Knit Cafe Podcast has announced their new knit along, and it’s a shawlette knit out of fingering weight yarn, and I know I have the perfect little yellow skein of sock yarn in the back somewhere. So I might get to work on that as soon as I get the other thing off my spare pare of size 6 needles. It looks like it’s going to be a lacy spring.

In the meantime, my shawl is Raveled here
and knit out of Oviraptor Lace Weight Yarn
on size US 6 needles.

What are your knitting plans for spring?

Motivation in Cotton

More playing with cotton yarn

This is a little scrubbie pattern I have been messing around with for a couple of years. I am currently playing with size, these are pretty small at about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. I would rather they be 3 or 3 1/2. It also might be fun to make a super scrubbie that’s 6 inches across.

I use these around the house for cleaning, mostly for dishes, but they work great for wiping down counters, stove tops and cabinets. I like to have one for each day. Then I can just toss it in the hamper and wash it with the next load of laundry. It’s a great reusable little sponge.

They do tend to wear out after about a year. (A YEAR!) So I am making more for home, and possibly some for the shop. And possibly working on a pattern.

It might be that I am making all of these cleaning supplies lately, or that spring is on it’s way, or that I live in a tiny apartment which I also run a business out of the clutter starts to become a problem very quickly, but I am making Friday this week cleaning day. I want to sit down and knit scrubbies in a space so clean it pings.

What’s motivating you today?