Tag Archives: love

October Phat Fiber Sampler Box – Ex Libris

After a long summer hiatus, the Phat Fiber box is back in business! October’s theme is Ex Libris, and for all of those book lovers out there, that means it’s a box totally dedicated to bibliophilia. As a fellow book lover, I decided to go kitsch this month, and immortalized my favorite “reading” tv show, A Reading Rainbow, in stitch marker form.

These Reading Rainbow stitch markers are inspired by the show’s theme song, and feature charms illustrating all of the wonderful places books can take you. It’s kind of funny, but still to this day two of my favorite kinds of books are about dragons and spaceships!

Don’t forget, if you purchase anything in my store from Sep. 20 – Nov. 13 you are eligible for the Phat Fiber Superbox Giveaway! To win this month’s Phat Incentive, which includes the contents of this month’s video (aka The Superbox), you need to join the Phat Fiber group on Ravelry and then post what you’ve purchased in the incentive thread.

“Butterfly in the sky / I can go twice as high / Take a look / It’s in a book / A Reading Rainbow…”

Advertisements

February Phat Fiber Sampler Box – Chocolate and Coffee

This month I couldn’t make up my mind so I made two different stitch marker sets for the February Phat Fiber Sampler Box. These are perfect for beating away those winter blues (chocolate makes everything better, right?).

These stitch markers are made with vintage Lucite beads – Chocoholics Anonymous features five different chocolate-drenched charms, from an chocolate English toffee bar, a chocolate-frosted doughnut, a chocolate sprinkles cookie with the word “Love” frosted across the top of it, to a classic chocolate bar and even a huge chocolate cupcake topped with a tiny strawberry.

The Doughnut Shop features five different flavored doughnuts, each topped with frosting and cheerful sprinkles, from chocolate and vanilla to strawberry and maybe even maple? This set comes complete with a tiny resin Starbucks mug full of cocoa or coffee (whichever you prefer imagining is in it). Yum!

Happy February!

November Phat Fiber Sampler Box – Rust and Roses

As soon as I heard about this month’s Phat Fiber Sampler Box theme, Rust and Roses, I immediately knew what I was going to do. I have so many ideas rattling around in my head, and it’s hard to find the time to raise these inspirations out of the dark. So thank you, Phat Fiber, for giving me the opportunity to bring another beauty into the light.

This design began by pairing together the colors of rust – copper – and a sweet, unusual color akin to copper and topaz blended with bittersweet melon:

Now, I’ve never really been a fan of the traditional red rose. It always bored me, quite frankly, and growing up I was usually attracted to the more unusual varieties of flowers, like hibiscus, orchids or calla lilies. As I have grown into adulthood, however, I’ve become more aware of the roses that exist beyond the grocery store florist – like the wild rose, with it’s gorgeous knock-out blooms, or unusual heirloom varieties with colors like smokey bronze, chocolate-red, rusty apple-orange or spiky green. Wow. I want a whole garden full of unusual roses!

So without further ado, here are my brand new La Vie En Rose stitch markers, gold-dusted pink topaz rosebud Czech beads paired with gorgeous copper accents to create a look so realistic it’s like you are knitting with miniature roses.

The name was inspired by the haunting cabaret melody of the same name, which was written by the famous French singer Edith Piaf in 1945. It’s a melancholy post-war tune that is as much a classic as Moon River, and very evocative of the time period. Here’s a modern rendition of it that I find absolutely gorgeous:

Don’t forget, if you purchase anything in my store from Nov. 19 – Dec. 20 you are eligible for the Phat Fiber Superbox Giveaway! To win this month’s Phat Incentive, which includes the contents of this month’s Video (aka The Superbox) AND a $100 Gift Certificate to one of the participating shops, you need to join the Phat Fiber group on Ravelry and then post what you’ve purchased in the Rust and Roses incentive thread.

Want to know how you can get one of these boxes? For a Phat Fiber community edited guide to snagging a box, visit this thread in the Ravelry group. The cost of the box is $36 including shipping. Good luck!

Enjoy the new design, which is up in the Exchanging Fire shop!

“It’s that time of the year…when we drive ourselves mad…”

Face it – though the elections have just ended and Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, for knitters (and crocheters) everywhere, the faint sound of jingle bells can already be heard on the horizon. So it’s time for a refresher course on one of my favorite subjects – Selfish Knitting: A Study in Yarnworthiness.

Now you might think this is is a topsy-turvy concept when we are approaching a holiday season where everyone is celebrating the gift of love and sharing and all that jazz, but the concept of Selfish Knitting is not, really, after all, about being selfish. For me, being a Selfish Knitter is about doing what I love to do, and valuing my self worth. One year, I was entirely happy to knit 45 garter stitch scarves and then donate them all to the local Food Shelter as part of my church’s mitten and scarf tree. Now, this may not float everyone’s boat, and some might think I’m crazy, but for me that year, it was great, mindless entertainment. Would I do it again? Probably not. But who knows – if the spirit moved me I might do something fun like that again.

The key to Selfish Knitting is this: Selfish Knitting is about making something with love and joy in your heart, not bitterness and regret. Will you be happy to make a shawl that your grandmother will treasure in her twilight years? Will you be unhappy if you make a scarf and hat set for your benighted cousin who last year gave the lap blanket you knit her to the dog? (True story.) These are the important questions we must ask ourselves here.

So before you go all creative on me and buy a crapton of yarn that you simply MUST KNIT AS GIFTS or feel the GUILT OF OVERSTASHING, or decide you HAVE TO KNIT SOMETHING STUPENDOUS AND DIFFICULT because you OWE HER/HIM/THEM/IT SOMETHING GOOD, it’s time to determine Who Is Yarnworthy.

Knitwear designer Franklin Habit has graciously turned some of the basic Yarnworthy questions of yore into a lovely visual aid (just like those teenage magazine questionnaires we pored over in middle school!), so instead of a boring list of questions I’ll just let you all peruse the glory of the flowchart. And take notes. And find yourself a knitting needle to whack yourself with if you start straying.

To get started, just substitute “Christmas/Hanukkah/Yule/Whatever-mas” for “Birthday” in the chart below:
Let’s all try to spread a little love instead of a lotta heartache this winter – be a Selfish Knitter with me! (And yes, we have a group.)

 

The Golden Apples – May Phat Fiber Sampler Box

It’s the weekend of the Phat Fiber Sampler box drop and I’m thrilled to unveil my mythology-themed stitchmarkers – The Golden Apples, now available at Exchanging Fire!

The Golden Apples

This story is based on the myth of Atalanta, who outran all of her suitors except for Hippomenes, who used Aphrodite’s three golden apples to distract her in their race. You’ll get a double-dose of the three golden apples, made out of gorgeous Preciosa Czech stardust pressed glass beads, Indian gold leaves and vintage findings.

Remember, if you purchased anything from me this month and you are a member of the Phat Fiber group (or you become a member…hint) then you could be eligible to win this month’s Phat Incentive, which include the contents of the May Video (aka The Superbox) AND A CHARKHA WHEEL, INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO AND COTTON FIBER to a randomly drawn poster in this thread. This is retroactive from MAY 1st and goes until MAY 31st!

Sign up now to get entered into the giveaway!

The Beekeeper’s Quilt: Get Your Hexipuff On!

Dear Lord. Stephanie Dosen has done it again. This girl is so talented, my pinkie finger couldn’t compete with the oodles of cute stuff pouring out of her brain on a daily basis. So here’s the deal. I finished making my Mini Mania Scarf in January, and since then I have been gnashing my teeth, desperate for something else to do with all of these miniskeins I have lying around. I started offering those Mini Mania kits in my Etsy shop purely because I didn’t want to stop collecting. It’s what I do. I think, “well, if I can’t keep it because I’ll run out of room in my home and people will call Hoarders on me, I’ll sell it and then feel like it’s going to a good home where it will be loved and snuggled with and appreciated just as much as I would have.” Warning: this is also what makes me an awful/wonderful enabler when I go shopping with friends. I may have a problem.

Anyways, my mental issues are neither here nor there. What is, however, relevant to this blog post is the brand new pattern Stephanie has been working on. Here I am, sad and lonely and not needing another supersized linen stitch scarf. And voila! Entre The Beekeeper’s Quilt! And a new project for me!

The Beekeeper's Quilt, image courtesy tinyowlknits

You just looked at that image and swore in amazement, didn’t you. Don’t lie! I know you did, because that’s what I did! Stephanie made all of these adorable little honeycomb puffs out of scrap fingering weight skeinlets. And then she put them together to form this huge, squishy quilt of colorful awesomeness! So naturally, I had to dig out all of my miniskeins and toss them hither and thither to find all of the perfect colors and textures to knit myself a blanket as thrillingly fabulous as this. The yarns I tend to collect are brighter and darker than Stephanie’s (my wardrobe is probably also brighter and darker than hers) so to adjust for that fact I think I’m going to use one of every color unless it’s a pastel, and then I’ll double the amount of hexipuffs I’m making.

Miniskeins!

According to Stephanie, the blanket she made is three by four feet, and took about 400…500 hexipuffs? I’m not quite sure, I’ll have to investigate this. Anyways, I’m so pleased to discover that each square takes about 4 to 5 grams of sock yarn to knit – meaning all of the miniskeins I’ve got right now are the perfect size already! Yey! I can knit myself silly!

Stephanie’s blanket isn’t just cute-as-a-button, though, oh no, Stephanie is cute-as-a-button as well. Ok, instead of nattering on aimlessly about how in love with this pattern I am, I’ll just show you Stephanie’s amusing and perky video she made in July when she announced that The Beekeeper’s Quilt was going on sale. Because I think that explains it all.

My Swappy, Scrappy, Oversized Scarf

So once upon a time I saw this fantabulous scarf that a friend had knit in the linen stitch pattern. It was thin and long and highly variegated and looked like it had been woven and she had knit it out of a ton of fingering weight scraps. I was enchanted. So enthralled, in fact, that when she offered the scarf up in a swap I claimed it in a snap. But though I loved it, I wanted more. The thin scarf wasn’t enough to whet my appetite, and as winter approached, I decided I needed to make one of my own.

So come January, after a few weeks of collecting yarn scraps, I started knitting my shawlscarf. Linen stitch and knitting lengthwise was a completely new territory for me, and I vastly underrated (or overrated, depending how you look at it) how much yarn and stitches I would need to complete this scarf. So in my enthusiasm, I cast on 600 stitches. I know. I am insane.

There was a definite learning curve, and I certainly had to frog early on, but I kept plugging away. Part of the reason this scarf just never stopped is because I am meticulous, and wanted my colors to blend properly. And so I found myself with A LOT of yarn. I worked off and on for 12 months to make this scarf. There reached a point where I knew I should stop but I wanted to fit in all of the awesome yarns I had accumulated, so I didn’t stop!

But finally, after almost a year, I came down to the end. I cut myself off, I chose an end yarn, and I finished it. It. Is. Finished. Stick a fork in it. My Swappy, Scrappy Oversized Scarf used over 2,000 yards of fingering weight yarns (not all are listed, as some were unknown) and is absolutely perfect. Wide enough to cover my ears, nose and throat but with a thin enough fabric to scrunch when I need it to. As I was knitting it, I wasn’t sure if I was crazy or inspired, so to have the finished product be exactly what I wanted makes me inordinately pleased. I started this Jan. 29, 2010 and my goal was to finish it up before it’s one year anniversary. I did it, finishing while visiting a friend on Jan. 15, 2011. Yey!

I must say that this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever knit. I’m not one for wildly variegated colors and crazy, off-the-wall fabrics, or anything like that. But I just couldn’t stop knitting this. I love it. 🙂 Oh! The crazy teacup pin was a Christmas gift and comes from this off-the-wall Etsy shop called TillyBloom.