Well, hello there.

Things have been quiet on the crafting front. Nice to take a break after all those Things-a-Week. But, I did recently finish something small: a little baby hat.

Baby hat

The pattern is Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat by Keri McKiernan, and the yarn is Pagewood Farms Yukon (70% superwash merino wool, 20% bamboo, 10% nylon) in color “Greens.” This is going to my aesthetician who’s due any day now (but not before I see her next, tomorrow!). The hat is lovely and soft and so tiny!

Baby hat

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The pinnacle of achievement

I couldn’t help myself. I just had to make these gloves. I was surprised how quickly they knit up, and the results are spectactular. Aren’t they fantastic?

Emperor's New Mitts

The pattern is the Emperor’s New Mitts by Louise Zass-Bangham (pattern available for download here, Ravelry herd here). The yarn is handspun phoenix down in “Gold.”

I might as well stop making things right now. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to top this.

Thing-a-Week: bonus round

I know I said I was done and was going to be lazy for a while then do some longer-term projects, but inspiration struck and I did a Thing-like thing this week anyway. And it was too cute not to share. So, I give you Mr. LumpyBear, the tiny felted bear.

Mr. LumpyBear is needle felted using some of my dyed Romney wool, and sits at about 2.5 inches tall and less than a fifth of an ounce (5 grams). He’s a little lopsided, but how could you not love that face?

Tiny Bear

Say it with me: “Dawwwwwwwwwww.”

Thing-a-Week #52

Last March, I pledged to try to do one fiber-related thing each week for a year. And here I am, one year later, having mostly fulfilled that commitment. Sure, I took a whole quarter off, and this week’s Thing is fully a week late, but who’s counting?

For my final Thing, I wove another pooling scarf. This is something I promised to a friend at Stitches West, using some yarn she bought at the show.

Thing a Week #52: Woven Scarf

The warp is Western Sky Knits Magnolia Sock (superwash merino, cashmere, & nylon) in “Fall Sky,” and the weft is Valley Yarns 10/2 Bamboo in “Silver Grey.” Seems a fitting end to this project, don’t you think?

Thing a Week #52: Woven Scarf

Thanks, everyone, for following along. I’ll no doubt be posting more of my fibery adventures, just not on this cadence. Next, I think I’ll be lazy for a little bit then start looking at some longer-term projects. Stay tuned!

Thing-a-Week #51

Just something quick and cute this week.

Thing a Week #51: Egg

It’s a beaded Easter egg from Betsy Beads by Betsy Hershberg. I bought the book while at Stitches West and wanted to try something from it. The yarn is SWTC Bamboo and I picked up the beads cheap from Tuesday Morning. Fast and fun!

Also, this is my second-to-last Thing. Hard to believe I’ve been at it almost a year!

Thing-a-Week #50

While I was in California at Stitches West, I met up with a high-school friend and her family. Knowing I was going to be meeting them, I decided to whip up a hat for their boy while at the conference. Well, I sort of ran out of time and decided to delay it a week.

Thing a Week #50: Cozy hat

This hat is called Cozy by Alison Williams (she also made it available as a free Ravelry download). The yarn is Crystal Palace Cotton Twirl in colorways “Blue Bonnet” and “Ketchup.”

I’m not sure I’d use this yarn for this particular hat again; while it’s a great yarn and I would use it in other projects, it was really difficult to get gauge for this one and I think the hat may actually be a little big. Which is ok, I suppose, since kids’ heads only get bigger.

And now a word from our sponsor.

Not really; I have no sponsors. I am going to pimp some products right now, though.

Last year at Stitches West 2011, there was one item that everyone flocked to in the marketplace: the Stitch Light by Buffy Ann Designs. I bought one, of course, and made a friend in the process, owner Liz Schaeffer. Saw her again at Sock Summit last year, and just last week at Stitches West 2012. She’s so nice that I decided to write something about her stuff.

Yarn Cozy & Stitch Light
Yarn Cozy & Stitch Light

First off we have the Stitch Light, a nifty little gadget that hangs around your neck and focuses light from an LED light on your knitting or whatever you’re doing with your hands. It’s a nice little design, stays put on your chest and has a cute little pouch for storing stitch markers and the like. I got the purple one last year (matched my hair), but this year I got a new improved teal pouch for it (to match my hair!).

Stitch Light
So handy!

New this year (I think!) is the Yarn Cozy. It’s a little sock for your yarn, to keep your ball or cake or skein from coming apart while you’re working with it. I think they look like little yarn panties, myself. They come 3 to a pack. And they do hold yarn together nicely; maybe I can quit using plastic baggies now.

Yarn Cozy
Everyone loves cozy balls!

So, that’s it. Two little things that’ll make your fibery life just a little easier.

Note: In the interst of full disclosure, while I bought my Stitch Light last year, Liz did give me a package of Yarn Cozies and a new pouch and strap for my light at this year’s Stitches. See? I told you she’s nice!

Thing-a-Week #49

This week’s Thing is actually three things, the products of the classes I took at Stitches West.

Thing a Week #49: Stitches West classes

At bottom right are the samples from the Embroider Your Knitting class on Friday. Up top is the bag from the Color and Weave Mini Tote Bag class, and all that fiber and the little tiny ball of yarn is from Spinning for Knitting.

My favorite, and the most proper completed Thing, is the tote bag. I haven’t been doing much with color patterns (or much besides scarves!), so it was nice to do something different.

Color & Weave Bag

This class used a basic 2×2 alternating color warp with three different weft patterns. The top of the bag is one pattern (2×2), the middle is another (4×4) and the bottom is yet another (1×1). It’s pretty neat to see the different effects you get by just varying the weft.

Color & Weave Bag

Overall, the classes were great and I learned a lot. Looking foward to next year!

Stitches West 2012

I had the best of intentions. Honest. I was going to post daily accounts of my time at Stitches West, like I did last year, but the days were so packed that I didn’t have the time. So, here’s a recap!

Stitches West began on Thursday. I went to the opening session by Betsy Hershberg, author of Betsy Beads. XRX, who runs the show, is promoting the book. I’d gone in not really interested in it, and by the end of the speech, I wanted to purchase the book (and did!). Funny how that works. Nice job, XRX.

Opening session

After the session was lunch, where the teachers came around to our tables at five-minute intervals. It was a great chance to see what was being offered at Stitches. While there were classes Thursday afternoon, I didn’t sign up for any, choosing instead to hang out and wait for the market preview to open.

Marketplace entrance

I did take three classes at Stitches.

My first was a three-hour class on Friday: Embroider Your Knitting with Anna Zilboorg. Amazing lady, beautiful work. I sincerely hope she comes out with a book on the techniques in the class.

Embroidering class

My second class ran all of Saturday: Color and Weave Mini Tote Bag with Deborah Zarchow. I’d taken her introductory class last year, which led to all of those scarves I wove since then. I wanted to try something different, hence the bag. (I’ll show that off with my thing-a-week, next.)

Weaving class

Finally, I had a class on Sunday morning: Spinning for Knitting with Merikke Saarnit. I already spin, but this class was worthwhile to gain a better understanding of different fibers and techniques.

Spinning class

I purposely didn’t fill my schedule with classes. I’m fortunate to have fallen in with a group of great folk from Northern California and enjoyed spending time hanging out and knitting with them. I also met with relatives for dinner on Saturday and spent an afternoon with a high-school friend on Sunday before my flight home. Oh, and my roomie Sherry bestowed upon me a beautiful skein of yarn that she spun and a knit cowl. What great friends I have!

Prezzies

The rest of my time was spent at the marketplace, which was pretty awesome, as usual. Nearly 200 vendors, thousands and thousands of yarns and books and other goodies. It’s a wonderland. I didn’t get that much, considering how much there was to buy.

Market haul

That’s pretty much it. It’s all a blur, and I didn’t get much sleep, but it was great. Definitely want to go again next year!

Stitches West 2012: Prologue

I’m in Santa Clara for another Stitches West! It doesn’t start till tomorrow; I like to get here the day before so I’m not rushing around on the first day.

Last year, I posted some complaints about my trip down. In a surprising reversal, everything went smoothly this year. I am amazingly unannoyed. Here’s why:

  • I was not subjected to a full-body scan by airport security.
  • I heard all of the boarding announcements and boarded in a timely manner.
  • The one-year-old baby next to me on the plane was well-behaved and slept most of the way.
  • The TSA did not search my bag.

There’s really only one annoyance that continues from last year:

  • The sinks at the hotel are still stupid.

But that’s ok. Also, this is my view:

View from the hotel

It’s 75 degrees right now. Oh my.