So even though I don’t blog here as often as I used to, I still knit.  And sometimes, when I get a wild hair, I actually take pictures of my projects.

We got a copy of New England Knits several months before the book came out and I was completely in love.  I’ve honestly become part of the group of knitters who rarely buys books or magazines anymore, preferring to purchase single patterns (not surprising, given my job I guess).  But this book…I had to have it.  I found at least a dozen projects that I immediately wanted to cast on.   It’s like my dream book.

First I did a quick knit – I mentioned it in my last post.

When you’re sad, there’s really nothing like casting on something quick out of Malabrigo.  Even better, having cute birdie buttons to put on it.  This is the Brattleboro Hat, super quick & easy and lifted my spirits immediately.   Awesome buttons are from Blue Manatee Buttons, of which I have way too many of now – they are all so adorable.  I need to find more projects to put them on.

I had a hard time picking my next project.  I finally settled on Salem Hooded Jacket.
Merlot Hoodie

I had some Swish Bulky in Merlot Heather that was intended for another project but I decided I wasn’t in love with the project anymore.  And I loved this sweater – a hoodie with pockets!  Best of all, it’s called Salem – while I have no idea which Salem they mean, Salem MA has always been one my favorite places.  So that’s what it refers to in my mind.

While it’s a “bulky” yarn, it’s really more of an aran to me and I got gauge on size 9s. I cast on & went to town.
Merlot Hoodie

The only think I didn’t love was just the top closure – I have so many knit cardigans that only close at the top.  So I decided to add buttons.  I’m glad I did, I really like how it turned out.
I love buttons

I found some really awesome buttons at Twisted too.

There were a couple of odd things – the sleeves are much wider than how they appear in the photo in the book.  I had gauge & everything but they end up being bell sleeves.  I don’t really mind, but if I was to do this again, I would probably start with fewer stitches & a smaller needle size.  The length is also the same for all sizes.  I added a couple of inches to them, and they are
Merlot Hoodie

The other is the hood – it’s also the same size for all sizes.  Well I have a huge head (“That’s a huge noggin. That’s a virtual planetoid!”) so after trying it on, I wasn’t happy with it.  So I added a few more inches too it & am much happier.
Merlot Hoodie

A couple of other small mods – I slipped the first stitch on each side of the body, intending to pick them up & added an icord bind off like my Central Park Hoodie.  But when I finished, I liked it how it was without it.  Pockets I think ended up being smaller than the pattern – I did them like Rooibos but I don’t think I knit long enough.  But they are big enough for small items, which is all I need them for.
Merlot Hoodie

Overall, I’m really pleased with it.  Plus it only took me about 3 weeks! It’s been a remarkably cool summer (not complaining, especially after the Hell On Earth last summer)  Not quite cool enough to wear this regularly yet, but I think this will be worn quite a bit this fall & winter.

Next is the Greenboro Cardigan – a nice garter stitch sweater.  And I’m particularly excited about my yarn choice

It’s Capra, our new cashmere/merino blend yarn, which I absolutely love. (yes, there’s even quotes from me on the new yarn page about it.)  And I love this color – generally I’m not drawn to orange, but I am more & more and this is the most perfect color (it’s called Tiger Lily).  I’m hoping to finish this one pretty quickly – I’m hoping to photograph it on my Seattle holiday at the end of September…with my guy.  I hope.  Fingers crossed.

Or…what I’ve been up to in the past several…months. Sigh.

I went to the coast for my birthday with my mom & her dog Maddie

It was cold – I wore my wool hat all weekend.  But it was wonderful.

She taught me to crochet…and I liked it.

Adva Scarf – I need to do a proper photoshoot of it, this sucker is long.

I blogged about these guys for work. Violet the Octopus is my favorite.

Sun Hat, pattern by Linda Permann, who’s one of my favorite crochet designers now.

I started sewing again after several months hiatus:

Yup it’s a skirt again, though I did buy something to challenge me a bit:

The yellow is actually much lighter.  I’ve been into yellow lately.

I went to Black Sheep Gathering

Yes it’s an alpaca, not a sheep.  I loved this guy.

4 generations – Grandma, Mom, Me, and Niece.

Unsurprisingly, Blue Moon got most of my Black Sheep money again.

I also finally finished a pair of socks this year.

Oh My Goth socks in fact. In my defense, I only worked on these at work during meetings, except for the last couple of inches.  I love them, although a cashmere blend mid calf pair of socks isn’t great for July.  Though it has been quite a cold summer this year.

I started a new pair:

Pattern is Gull Wing by Chrissy Gardiner, yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Mango semi solid.  I’m also into orange lately.

And my latest obsession the past couple of weeks

I’m running, as well as working out on a regular basis.  I started Couch to 5K a few weeks back & I’ve grown to love it.  I’m on Week 5, and doing pretty well.  I also started going back to my favorite class at the gym, Power Flex.  And I’m paying for not going in several years – OUCH.  But I’m just tired of being a fat cow. :/

So that’s my couple of months in a nutshell.  I think between blogging for work, writing my project info on Ravelry, doing short updates on things like Twitter, and just not in the mood to write when I have the chance, this poor blog gets left by the wayside.  I miss it though.

Not long after I started in my new position at Knit Picks , my new boss mentioned they were thinking about doing an event in the spring since the previous event with an author went over pretty well & we had a lot of new yarns coming out. And they wanted me to work on it.   I was excited – I’ve done event coordinating before, my last job was as a conference & speaker coordinator (which pretty much was just one BIG event actually) and in my bookstore life, I was pretty involved in all the Harry Potter release parties.  And this was with yarn!

I decided that little sample balls would be really cute & once we got the okay, I started working on winding them up (with big help from the Customer Service dept & other coworkers).  But I wondered what on earth would knitters do with these little balls?  So I made a couple of examples 🙂

When we started doing promotion for the event, I got nervous.  It’s sometimes awkward working where I do – walking the fine line between wanting to promote our own products & not stepping on LYS toes – I’m well aware of the feelings toward KP. (Luckily we are friendly with my favorite LYS – Twisted – a couple of the designers in my program are even employees there.)  I was worried no one would show up & I would fail at putting together an event – I mean, the Facebook & Ravelry event pages only had a half dozen names other than employees.  In addition to the yarn samples, we planned a fun raffle & a designer panel with our in-house designers & 2 of my IDP designers so I didn’t want to be a waste for them!

Our very empty event space during setup

But we showed up at our event space at Ecotrust (a great place to hold an event by the way, they are awesome to work with) anyway & hoped for the best.  If I do say so myself, our yarn sample  display looked awesome.

I was particularly happy with how the Stroll Tonals looked.

Once the doors opened, my nervousness disappeared – well except we would run out of chairs.  I got no pictures of when our guests started getting the yarns – I was too busy chatting with them all (and trying not to sound like I was gushing, especially about the Tonals, Stroll & Shadow)

I did however get a shot of just how many people were there during the raffle:

Yeah, I was being really silly, being nervous.  I wish I got more pictures though – that’s pretty much the extent of them.

I’m so happy how it turned out – it was a lot of fun meeting a lot of people I only knew through the IDP program or Ravelry (shout out the LSGers/Rubberneckers!  Nope, still not shipping to Scotland.).  I’m so excited for future events – we’re already planning a possible one for our new fall yarns that will be even bigger. 🙂

Oregon Flock & Fiber was last weekend, the 4th (and last I believe) of the fiber/knitting/yarn festivals I’ve been to this year.  I almost didn’t go. Saturday was an exhausting day for me – working 6am-3pm then heading to the outdoor Pearl Jam show. It was great show, but I got very cold & sick of the drunk & stoned assholes that seemed to be surrounding me where ever I went – I was stone cold sober, much to my annoyance, which made it worse.  I’ve loved Pearl Jam for a very long time – even before Ten came out – but after this show & the one in MA I saw last year, I’m realizing I hate their fan base.   Anyway, we didn’t get home until about 1am so it was a very long day.  But when I got up on Sunday, it was a gorgeous cool crisp fall day & something out there was calling to me.

Alpacas!  I love alpacas & I missed them at Black Sheep Gathering.

They are just so cute.  I want one!  But, uh, that’s not in the cards at the moment.

And there were Angora bunnies there too!  I actually hadn’t been to a fiber festival that had them so that was a treat.  I wanted to hold them, but felt bad because I wasn’t actually going to buy one.  Still, they were so cute.

And of course, I had to hit Blue Moon.  I’m realizing, especially with my current sock project (1 down!), I could knit socks only with STR & be perfectly happy. Of course, there are a few exceptions – Lotus Yarn most notably and of course the company I work for!   I behaved – I mean, I am very lucky to live close by a yarn store that sells it anyway and it’s not like I didn’t already buy a lot this year at BSG & Sock Summit.  But the sale & mill ends were too much to pass up.

The lighter one is a mediumweight mill end – I haven’t done any research on the colorway but it really called to me.  The other two are heavyweight in Jubilation – I think this is going to be scarf/shawl for me – I’m even thinking a Clapotis since I wear my other one so much.  But I will probably wait until after Christmas to start it

And believe it or not, that’s all I bought at OFF.  My allergies were kicking in so I didn’t stay very long (note: going to a fiber festival when you are already feeling crappy from allergies is not a good idea).  But it wasn’t the only yarn I got this week.  Check this out:

Yes, you are reading that tag correctly.  Mink & cashmere!  And yes, it is a soft as you would think it would be.  This is all very animal friendly – you can read about it on the Great Northern Yarns website – so I won’t be getting red paint thrown on me.  And the price was great – a member of the Ravelry group Yarnthropology – my fave group I always read but never post in – had listed it as her current favorite yarn & I figured it would be a similar price to say, quivet (ie expensive as hell).  But nope, this 100 gram DK weight skein was $19.90 – the same as most good sock yarns.  I had to try it out. And it’s going to be a lovely cowl for myself – I can’t wait to wrap it around my neck.

And you know what I’m most excited about?  It’s finally fall in the Northwest!  Time for baking & wearing wooly items.  Of course, I’ll be sick of it in a couple of months, I’m sure, but right now I’m so happy to not be sweating to death. 🙂

Sorry, I meant to get this up yesterday but…I was lazy I guess.

So if you heard me on the KnitPicks podcast (thought I’d get that little plug in there again 🙂 ) you already know about some of my purchases.  It’s pretty ridiculous, I don’t NEED more yarn (especially sock yarn, especially after going to the Knit/Crochet Show and Black Sheep Gathering in the last couple of months)  But seriously?  it was so hard to resist.

I am not alone in this.  Since I had a vendor pass, I had a good view of when they first opened the doors to the marketplace.

Tina & Stephanie open the doors

Let the madness begin!

I tried to be good.  I really did.  But I think I lost my head a bit.

notice that bright orange? that's from hanging out with Cristi all weekend.

If you click on the photo, you can see notes on all the lovely goodness.  I’ll highlight a few – the ones I spoke about on the podcast actually – they are my faves.

Well first Blue Moon is crack.

Yes, even after my 5 skeins at Black Sheep, I bought more – 1 Rare Gems (left) and 2 Mill Ends.  The HW in the middle looks really loose because I actually was going to wind it & have Cristi show me some cool cast ons she learned to make a hat.  Sadly, we ran out of time.  I still started a hat though, but that’s for another post.

Will I end up getting more STR at Oregon Flock & Fiber too?  Probably…

While I didn’t score any Bugga! (Actually, I didn’t really try – I didn’t find the booth until Saturday I think.  The marketplace is huge!), I did buy a hard to get yarn  – Rainy Days & Wooly Dogs Goth Socks!  They were nearly sold out when I got this on…Friday? Saturday? I can’t remember. These totally bring me back to my goth days (these colors remind me so much the GBF wh0 I used to go dancing with all the time – they are his favourite colours and one of my very first projects was a red & black scarf for him).  I love the stripey black socks I’ve seen out of this but I could never manage to get my hands on them during an update…until now!

I scored Oh My Goth! – the cashmere blend.  I’m going to do these (gasp!) toe up with probably different heels & toes to see how long I can get them – they won’t be knee high by any means (grumble stupid long legs grumble stupid big feet grumble) but I think that they will be super fun.

And another cashmere blend…

Melanie’s new line of Lotus Yarns…Pin Ups.  This one is Rita & just screamed me – I love blues with browns & blacks.  I haven’t decided what to do with this but I may try a scarf with it – I want that luscious yarn around my neck!

The fun didn’t just stop with the yarn, oh no.  I got lots of toys too.

I’m going to put tags on this picture as well, so click away if you want to know.  The little bag in the top right was actually not a purchase – it was a lovely gift from Cristi!

I also purchased something I’ve wanted for awhile now – a cute little set from KaratStix!  I’ve been eyeing these on blogs & I know I could have asked for a more personalized one – probably with bats, what can I say? – but I just went with the cute little sheep instead

A new to me LYS in the area sells them – Dublin Bay – so maybe I will check out the actual store.

A couple of other things – a pattern magnet from Lotus Yarns (the Owls) and a pattern & button from Twisted – the pattern, Prarie House Shawl is by Portland’s own Star Athena.  I sat with the Twisted girls for the opening ceremonies & saw one of them working on it so the next day I immediatly bought it.  I actually even cast on for it for knitting night this week at Twisted – it’s a fun pattern.

Well I hope you have enjoyed the sock summit posts – it really was a once in a lifetime experience & one I will always remember.  Big thanks to the organizers & thank you to everyone who I got to experience it with who made it special.

I’m trying to get back to blogging more regularly and I have lots of new sewing projects & tons of knitting to show – I have startitis it seems.

Because this:

Probably shouldn’t mean knitting a sweater with this:

um, yeah its a heavy weight wool/alplaca blend

um, yeah it's a heavy weight wool/alplaca blend

But that’s what I’m doing:

also a new bag - isnt it cute?

also a new bag - isn't it cute?

Though at the moment, I may copy Mina & stretch out on the floor.

In her case, the top of my fabric bin.

"what? I'm hot, I don't care I'm not ladylike."

Only one week & a bit until Sock Summit!  Let’s hope it cools down a bit.

I may have a problem.  I’m addicting to making bags.

It’s not like I’m the kind of girl who switches bags to coordinate with her outfits (ha ha, I’m lucky if my clothes somewhat go together)  I’ve been carrying the same big black Kate Spade bag (my only designer item and I didn’t pay for it) for years – it fits all my essentials – wallet, phone, water bottle, sock knitting, a book – even my computer.  And hey, black goes with everything.  I also have a smaller hip bag I carry sometimes when I don’t need anything more than my wallet/phone – it goes across my body & I keep it on when I’m out at a bar or a show.

Then, suddenly, my mom comes to visit & I start making all these bags.

First – a bright orange bag that goes with nothing.

I called it Henry Lee - as in a little bird lit down on Henry Lee - Nick Cave/PJ Harvey song

I called it Henry Lee - as in "a little bird lit down on Henry Lee" - Nick Cave/PJ Harvey song

I love it.  It’s like a messenger bag, as it goes across my body & is big enough to hold all my essentials.  The strap is a bit short but still, love it.  So Kate’s been retired for a bit.

I got the fabric from Ikea.  Why on earth did I not go there before?  I live 5 minutes (literally!) away.  I pass it everyday on my way to work.  They have awesome fun fabric, among other things.  I am lame.  Anyway the fabric is heavy canvas-y which is great…although I did experience my first broken sewing needle.

Then there came these:

no name for these, but I had a bird theme this weekend apparently

Okay now these are things I never use.  I like to keep my hands free when I’m out & about and carrying a purse.  And to make these handbags with wooden handles that I can only carry with my hand rather than my shoulder?  Sigh.  But they are so cute!  And easy to make – I used this tutorial – and quick.   I really love them.

Plus I made a couple more little drawstring bags & this little bag for my lipstick, chapstick, personal products that roll around in my purse all the time

By the way, I did not just sew up bags with my mom, I also made some piillow cases (one out of the blue birdie fabric on the purse up there) and some towels.  But bags pretty much were the focus – my mom made one similar to Henry Lee & some drawstring bags too.  If you really want to see them, they’re all on my flickr page.  We had a great girly crafty weekend – I love hanging out with my mom.

Oh, and I also bought a book – Sew What! Bags by Lexie Barnes.   So, I’m sure this obsession will not end anytime soon.

THEN today I get my first employee purchase from Knit Picks & guess what I got?

Yep.  The kit for the Montavilla Market Tote.  It’s not like I need grocery bags either – I have several reusable bags already because I freaking hate plastic grocery bags with a passion. Beyond even the environmental impact, I’ve just always hated them & my totes hold more & are easier to carry.  I almost always have my red Trader Joe’s tote bag in my purse.  But I guess I don’t have any knitted ones, so that makes it okay, right?

I also got some yarn (City Tweed finally!) and new circular needles (hopefully I won’t break another size 0 needle) but…excuse me, my Elinor is calling me to sew up another impractical frivolous bag.

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