Tag Archives: miniskeins

“I’ve got a brand new…”

“…pair of roller skates, you’ve got a brand new key…”

I’ve got a brand new group for Exchanging Fire on Ravelry!  I’ve kinda sorta been meaning to get one together for oh, the last year or so, but I’m weirdly shy about some things, namely “look at me!” kind of activities, like a group that revolves around myself. I would really suck at being a celebrity. I know, I know, it’s strange because I have no problem being Bossy-McBossyPants in person, but somehow a group like this is different. It’s why you don’t often see me blathering in this blog about random personal stuff. ‘Cause I’m weird like that. Anyways, enough about me and my idiosyncrasies, let talk about the group, which actually, when I get right down to it, has nothing to do with me. Face it – I come in second fiddle to The Mini Skeins. And the stitch markers, and the other fun stuff. (But it’s really about the mini skeins. I understand. I’ve accepted it.)

So, I was arm-twisted into starting the group after I got some requests for a knitalong featuring the Mini Mania Scarf, which I’m very pleased that people love just as much as I do. And, not only did I and some rabid eager Mini Mania lovers start a brand new group, we also started a brand new Mini Mania KAL!

Even better, you are invited!  If you are chomping at the bit to use up all of your minis and want to be part of a growing community of miniskein-crazed knitters, this is your chance. I can’t promise that we are sane, but we sure are having fun with our Mini Mania!

Haven’t joined the Mini Mania yet? Go round up some bits and bobbles of yarn (I prefer fingering, but if you’ve got another favorite weight go use that instead and just adjust your gauge accordingly) and then come join in with us! This KAL is indefinite and ever-revolving, so no time is a bad time to hop in and join the fun. Non-maniac mini-lovers are welcome to join us as well, since I’ll be posting updates pretty regularly in the group about the shop, letting you know about special sales and group deals.

Hope you see you casting on with us soon, if you haven’t already!

Advertisements

Exchanging Fire featured again in Knitting Naturally podcast

Knit Naturally, the knitting-related podcast by Dawn, featured Exchanging Fire again this year in her annual “My Favorite Things” podcast! In case you haven’t heard of Dawn before, she’s a fun-loving Texan who considers her podcasts to be sort of like sitting around on the front porch with your friends. The casts are full of her rapier wit and stories about her family and life, interlaced with knitting tips and tricks.

This year’s annual “My Favorite Things” podcast, which just came out today, featured Exchanging Fire’s Mini Mania Miniskein sets. How exciting! If you’d like to take a listen to the podcast, she talks about my shop right at the beginning, and links to all of the stores she mentions in the cast are listed in her Ravelry group.

I do have two new sets of mini skeins in my shop right now, True Blood Reds and Honeycomb, so this coincides nicely with these sets’ release.

True Blood Reds

Honeycomb

Phat Fiber’s Shearlock and Sonata stop by for a visit

Hey all, Phat Fiber’s Shearlock and Sonata have been hanging out here at the Exchanging Fire headquarters and they wanted to show everyone how much fun they have been having! They arrived the same day as my brand new extra large Stanwood Needlecraft umbrella swift did, and after I installed it (over the kitchen sink, gotta love those space-saving tricks) they took a ride on it while I wound 11 balls of yarn!

My new swift is a killer.

After we wound the yarn, we went to take photos in the afternoon sunlight and visited with my cat, Mittens, who, it should be known, hates having his photo taken. Shearlock found the cat very frightening and refused to get too close. Sonata was annoyed that he kept huddling up against her and keeping her from stomping the cat. I told her that while she might be in charge of Shearlock, he was not a herd, and the cat was not a fox out to eat him so she should keep her hooves safely tucked away. She wasn’t pleased by my decree (I think she’s a little bloodthirsty!). Read more about guard alpaca here.

That face says, "I am bored with you."

The photoshoot went very well, though Shearlock was rather surprised that “behind-the-curtains” in this situation was literally behind the curtains! I told him they were sheers, not curtains. Sonata just sniffed that behind-the-curtains was much messier then she had expected. I told her that utter neatness was the sign of a disturbed mind. 😉

The pair of them did beg for one favor from me, however. They insisted on getting to hang out with this yarn that they had been hearing about, Wool-meece. After Sonata heard Shearlock pronounce it she got a little nervous. Said she wanted no part of it if there were mice involved, so it took a little convincing, but in the end they both got themselves photographed with some Wollmeise. Sonata thought it smelled heavenly, though Shearlock said it wasn’t wooly enough for his taste.

This yarn is going to be a future Mini Mania Scarf!

After dinner I typically wind yarn and make stitchmarkers, and both Shearlock and Sonata were thrilled to explore my stacks of beading supplies and piles of yarn ready to be miniskeined. Sonata loved how old frozen sushi trays have been repurposed for holding different selections of beads paired and waiting to become stitchmarkers. Shearlock just enjoyed bouncing in the piles of yarn. We watched some Jon Stewart, too.

"There is no sushi here! I am deceived!"

Mmm, Jon Stewart makes life more funny.

To be fair, it wasn’t all play for Shearlock and Sonata. They helped me on a super-secret quest to make up a set of the most perfect honey-toned miniskein colors for my Mini Mania sets. Sonata’s knowledge of color-matching was impressive (I imagine that’s from all of the great dyers she has visited) and Shearlock even helped sort the yarn! I’m very excited about those brand new Honeycomb sets. I couldn’t have done it without their help!

"Sonata, you could be helping, you know, instead of just sitting there like a lump." "I'm guarding the yarn, Shearlock!"

Shearlock and Sonata had so much fun taking photos with me that they insisted on getting their own professional portrait done as well. Shearlock especially wanted to show off his new bell that I made for him out of one of my beads. And both of them were tickled pink with the results:

Sonata and Shearlock, Partners in Yarn and Fiber

I will say that we did forget to take photos at church on Sunday – I took them so they could help out with Operation Christmas Child, but we forgot the camera in all of the excitement! They were thrilled to help dedicate the 107 boxes that we are sending all over the world this winter, though. and they were happy to have such a nice visit here at Exchanging Fire. They are winging their way back to the PhatFiberLady, whom they say that they have been missing. I think they need a cuddle.

In Which The Cat Sits, but Not on a Hat

So I’ve been winding yarn like a mad woman all week for The Beekeeper’s Quilt (why no, I’m not obsessed, why do you ask?) and I have a mildly amusing story to relate.

Last night my big boy cat, who is rather a grumpy old man, was kvetching at me because he wanted to be fed or to go to bed or both. Now, I was sitting in front of the TV, which was starting to run a repeat of Stephen Colbert, and I really did need to go to sleep. But I was almost finished winding this skein of yarn for the night and cutting it up into little miniskeins for my hexipuffs so I kept saying, “Just one more minute” to myself.

So I would wind yarn, put most of it immediately a plastic ziploc bag for mini mania purposes, and then put the rest in my white basket (which you have previously seen) for my own personal hexipuffing mania. Mittens, the aforementioned cat, had been happily sleeping on the edge of the plastic bag for a few hours (yeah, all that yarn and all he wants is a plastic bag, I know) before the caterwauling began. I firmly ignored him and continued winding…and then he got quiet. I should have known.

I finished winding the final skeinlet around my knees, sat up in the chair, leaned forward to look for the cat and then glanced down to see…THIS.

The Cat, Guarding His Nest

Sigh. He looks like he’s roosting and getting ready for his yarn eggs to hatch. But I really think he just wanted to get my attention, and decided that  sitting in my yarn would do it. Considering that ALL WEEK he has ignored piles of yarn and this basket in favor of the plastic bag. What a jerk! After I pulled out the camera he grew miffed and trundled off (he hates the camera; he’s very Amish like that). Anyways, luckily it was just my own skeinlets, and those are all going to be part of my hexipuff blanket so I don’t mind if a bit of cat hair finds its way in, but he just cracked me up last night. How absurd.

My Basket. My Yarn. My Hexipuffs. Mine!

In other news, I am now happily ensconced in the KAL for the Beekeeper’s Quilt in both the tiny owl knits group and my own chitterychattery swappery swappers group, plus a hexipuff-themed miniskein swap on Ravelry. I keep listening to Stephanie’s music on Youtube and…well, I want to say knitting, but really, I’ve been working and then winding yarn in my spare time. But I’m getting to the knitting soon! I swear! I already have one hexipuff done! (Whew, the guilt.)

As for the WestKnits KAL? After all of that work locating yarn for it? Um, well, that isn’t going so well. I sense that I will not be finishing it by Aug. 31. Oops!

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.