Angelique’s present this year was a challenge for me, but I learned a lot. It is my very first Tunisian crochet project (well, completed project anyway).
The pattern is Ziggurat, designed by my friend Alexis.
The colors scream “Angelique”…and this will look great with that new shawl pin she bought at Stitches West.
This was actually a great beginner tunisian crochet pattern, although I really wish there were more online resources for Tunisian crochet in general. It seemed like finding tutorials for different stitches was difficult for me. Maybe at some point I might have to spring for a stitch/pattern book or something. I haven’t yet because it feels like all of the tunisian projects I see pictures of on the internet would be popular for an age range much higher than mine. This pattern, however, had a more modern feel to it.
Well, all of the Crafty Christmas gifts have been given, which means I can finally start sharing them with the world. I am so glad too, since it’s been really difficult to keep these projects under wraps!
Let’s start with the present I made for Courtney…Pigment from Leethal Knits.
This was a fun pattern to knit. I think at some point I will try and make one for myself. It appealed to my love of weaving in ends.
Hopefully I’ll get the chance to take a photo of Courtney wearing it some time. It turned out to be the perfect size… and the color combination made me super happy.
Now that I’m home from Stitches West and will very soon be in possession of more fleece, I figured it was as good a time as any to start trying to spin down my fiber stash. Here are some of my pretties…
Of course they aren’t quite done yet. I plan on plying them.
Over the weekend I worked on chain plying some Red Fish Fiber too!
Day Three was, by far, the most relaxing day…but that is what happens when you get a message from a guy in a kilt.
I mostly roamed around on Sunday and didn’t spend too much money. There were a couple of purchases that I squeaked in right before the big raffle at 1pm. Just a little bit of fiber though…
I was excited about wearing my Celestarium, because I had purchased a brand new shawl pin for it. It’s pretty cool, because it’s a spiral. You can sorta see it in the picture above. It’s orangey gold and it looks great with the gray yarn. I bought it because it reminded me of a little spiral galaxy.
Then something crazy happened. We found ourselves back at Judy’s looking through her fleece samples. The three of us put a hold on four fleeces (our top three and one alternate) for next year. Oh my… I had better start spinning down my stash!!
A friend of mine had mentioned that she was scouring my blog for pics of my Celestarium, but couldn’t find any. Honestly, the pictures I had posted of this shawl were really kind of awful. I took the opportunity to have someone snap a photo of it for me, just to repost.
This is what I ended up coming home with. That felt birdhouse was a gift for my mom. Everything else is mine, all mine! It really doesn’t look like a lot, but I spent quite a chunk of my budget on buttons.
It was a few years ago when I had convinced myself that I wanted to adopt a fleece. I had gone through this whole phase of wanting to go from sheep to garment. This involved me bringing home a dirty fleece once. A really dirty fleece. So dirty that I gunked up my kids’ bathtub and then my husband instating a Renfroe household rule banning me from bringing dirty fleece into the house.
But I can explain…
The household rule banning my possession of dirty fleece is common knowledge amongst my knitting group. But Courtney is a smart girl, and adept at getting around the rules. So months ago she told me she had an idea.
Courtney did her homework and came up with the perfect plan for us to wash a fleece in the hotel bathroom. She knew exactly how to sell it to me… my husband couldn’t possibly get upset with me if I brought home clean fleece.
So David, Courtney and I went to Judy’s Novelty Wool booth and we split 2 fleeces, three ways. Now, Bella was already cleaned, so no problem there. She was greasier than David liked, but I don’t mind my fleeces slightly buttery. That lanolin is good for my skin. So half of the work was done and Bella was tossed aside. Lucky, however, was our dirty one. The three of us put down a shower curtain on the floor, dumped the fleece out, and started to sort pieces into “dirty” and “less dirty”.
We stuffed the fleece into lingerie bags to soak in the tub.
We soaked the fleece for twenty minutes in plain hot water. Then we soaked in hot soapy water. Of course there were multiple soaks, but I passed out on one of the hotel beds sometime before 1 a.m. I hear that Court and David were up until 4 a.m. They let me sleep because I had to drive us home from Santa Clara and they knew I needed the rest. Of course, this means I don’t have any photographic evidence of David breaking one of the salad spinners that they used to dry the fleece when they were done. Sorry, I’m no journalist.
Now, this isn’t the end of the story (or process). While I have Bella here at home, Lucky is still at Courtney’s house. Lucky was dry enough to bring home in the van, but she still needs some work. I am hoping to get together with Courtney sometime soon so we can finish work on her and get her ready to spin!
Saturday morning started off with David spoiling us with Psycho Donuts! We needed all that sugar to get through a full day on the Stitches floor!
I have to say, I don’t feel like I did much in the way of shopping for myself on Saturday. I mostly concentrated on trying to spend other people’s money. Can you say “Enabler”? That’s is me when it comes to spinning wheels.
I even tried out a few myself. No, I don’t need another right now. I barely have space for the two I have.
About an hour before the floor closed, I felt the need to take a break. That backpack was heavy and I wanted to start winding the yarn for my new project. I didn’t spend very long in the hotel bar though, we had supplies to buy…people to meet…fleece to wash…
Oh my goodness! I have so many pictures to share with you! My weekend was so full of excitement, I’m still recovering…
I left bright and early Friday morning with my knitters for the long drive up to Santa Clara. We made a few stops, but we got to the hotel in time to meet our friends for lunch!
After lunch we headed straight to Stitches so we could hit the floor and start checking it out. David tried to lead us in being methodical about traversing the floor, especially since Angelique was a first-timer. It can be incredibly overwhelming because there is just so much to see and do.
For a hot second, I thought this might be the year that I spring for a skein of Qiviut. Um…nope.
We had made it through a few aisles when we reached the Cephalopod Yarns booth. I tried to show some restraint, but I found the perfect yarn for my next project and there was very little of it left. While I was deciding whether to buy it or not, I got some bummer news from home…that is when I decided to go all out and start my shopping spree. Hooray for retail therapy! I picked up four skeins for my project, then I headed to the button booth for some well deserved decompression time. I bought a few fistfuls of vintage buttons. I had purchased everything on my wish list… and I had only been there a few hours.
After my spending spree, Courtney, David and I found ourselves at the booth where the fleeces live. That’s where exciting things happened.
We can chat more about this later…
Then we finished off the night enjoying our Dhoom Pizza at Tasty Indian. Indian Pizza…it’s now a tradition.
Eek! I haven’t been able to post because it’s been crazy. But guess what? CRAFTY CHRISTMAS IS COMPLETE. That’s right, you heard me! *DONE!
(*except the wrapping)
Great timing too, because today is my birthday and tomorrow I’m headed for Stitches West!
So, I am just passing through. The panic hasn’t set in yet, even though I haven’t even started packing and getting everything ready. I am sure I will have plenty to talk about after this weekend, but in the meantime, enjoy some pictures of my cubicle at work. I got Gosling’d for my birthday.
I have a bit of a problem.
I know I am still in the hell that is Crafty Christmas. No, my gifts aren’t done…and it’s only taking me FOREVER because I am dragging my feet. I love making gifts for my friends, but I am feeling like the stuff I made just isn’t enough…which makes me want to make more…which I have no time for…
But in addition to this, I am having weird crafting feelings. It’s a combination of trying to figure out what knitting projects I want to take to Stitches and the strong desire to try something new. I don’t want to work on any of my current projects, I’d rather rip out old projects and given them new life. That sweater I didn’t finish? Frog it! The coat I knit for my London/Paris trip in 2011 that is too big for me because I got stuck in the rain? Rip it out and make it a smaller size! All of my hand spun yarn? It wants to be hats and cowls and anything that means it is ultimately set free from my stash!
Then there is Pinterest, which makes me feel like I am not quite living up to my fullest potential. It’s like these people are the worst kind of over-achievers. Does that stop me from going on Pinterest and pinning ALL THE THINGS? Of course not.
This past weekend, I was getting ready for the day and having a conversation with my husband. I told him that I had just pinned a boatload of embroidery projects the night before, and that my logical brain was telling me that this is a problem because:
- I don’t know how to embroider.
- There aren’t enough hours in my lifetime to make all the things I’d like to make.
I explained it to him very clearly and calmly, like I was staging an intervention for myself. How do these people do it? Do they not have kids to take care of? Maybe they are stay-at-home moms with a lot of time on their hands? Maybe they are just over-achievers who swing toward the manic side of the crafterverse? All things I have heard from other people when asking me how I do it.
So, as sad as I am about it. I am not starting anything new. Not until Crafty Christmas is done, anyway.
And let’s just be honest…this is really just me struggling with a little ADD.
Lately, I’ve noticed Adrienne has been pinning patterns that require t-shirt yarn. Since I have had some in my stash for awhile with no real project in mind, I took the opportunity to do a little destash. Heck, I am feeling the need to purge (especially with Stitches West coming up) and all unused yarns should go to a loving home.
I am the magical yarn gnome.