While I am off being busy with work and kids and life, I thought I would take this quick opportunity to give my friend a well deserved signal boost.
My friend Karen is fabulous knitter/designer/animal lover/human being who designed a pattern to help out our local animal shelter. Check out her press release below…
BURBANK ANIMAL SHELTER TO BENEFIT FROM RELEASE OF “BINDI’S PATH”
Paw-Print Knitting Pattern Based on Real Life Rescued Cat
LOS ANGELES, CA (April 15, 2014) Karen Eckhoff has released “Bindi’s Path”, a scarf, stole and cowl pattern set with two-way wavy paw prints reminiscent of her epileptic cat Bindi’s wobbly path through life. Diagnosed with Idiopathic Epilepsy, Bindi was rescued by the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter and put up for adoption. Given 50/50 odds of living to her first birthday, in 2014, Bindi turned ten. “Bindi’s Path” is a tribute to her tenacious attitude and sweet disposition. The pattern is available at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bindis-path. 100% of the profits from its sale will go directly to the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter (http://thevbas.org/), the organization that saved her life.
Says Eckhoff, “Bindi arrived at the Burbank, CA animal shelter as a six week-old feral stray, having seizures, flea-infested, blind, deaf, and missing a claw. Instead of putting her to sleep, the volunteers took her to the vet and put her up for adoption. Bindi has residual brain damage but has regained her vision and hearing. She is wobbly and has frequent “gravity breaks”, but her seizures are well-regulated with medication. She doesn’t meow or purr, but instead growls. She is quite a little character, and I love her dearly. Though she sometimes struggles, I wouldn’t change a thing about Bindi. She’s perfect as she is. I decided to combine my love of cats and my passion for knitting in order to not only celebrate Bindi’s life, but to give back to the very shelter that gave me so much when they allowed me to adopt her.”
I had said previously here on the blog that I wasn’t intending to take part in this years Yarn Crawl. I had a whole lot of reasons for this, not at least was that I really need to spin down my fiber stash.
Of course, Courtney was holding out some major hope that I would change my mind at the last minute and give in to the yarn fumes. I compromised a little. Due to a series of fortunate events, star aligning and the like, I was able to get out of work an hour early on Friday. I knew this was going to happen early enough to tip off Courtney, so during the time we would usually be converging on one of our usual places for our regular Friday Night Stitch and Bitch, we were sitting in my van in traffic chatting about Pokemon and heading toward Long Beach.
We met up with Angelique at Alamitos Bay Yarn Company and pretty much stayed until they closed. It is one of my favorite stores and I really love the ladies that work there. They are so friendly and eager to help people out. They have a great yarn selection and have some really lovely looking pattern samples. If you can’t get something there, they will help you figure out where to get what you are looking for…
I had more reasons than that to have this be the store I hit. We had met this lovely lady named Pat Spencer at Stitches West this year, and I ended up buying one of her shawl pins. At the time we had met her, she had told us that she really didn’t have an online presence yet, but that she sold her pins at this cute little yarn store that she was sure we probably hadn’t heard of. When she mentioned that it was Alamitos Bay, we squealed with delight and told her how much we love the place. We knew they would have pins available at yarn crawl, and Courtney and I were hunting for some.
But that isn’t where the madness ends.
There was a woman there with this beautiful carpet bag…the only one in the store…and I happened to fall in love with it. Now, the weird thing, I was just on the website for this particular brand of bag earlier in the week finding links for an artist I know on Twitter who was looking for bags with good pockets. I had told her she should look into knitting bags. Heck, I have a ton of knitting bags, but I use them mostly as purses because the pockets are so plentiful. I had sent her links to two other sites (Namaste and Jordana Paige) because of their purse-like styles. I hadn’t given a second thought to Off Hand Designs, because I have never owned one, and never seen the newer bags in person.
Oh wow. I had never thought I would have to fight the urge to knock down a perfectly innocent, nice lady and take her bag from her. Of course it was the only one in the store. Of course I wanted it.
Later on, Courtney had pulled up the Off Hand Designs website and we found what we thought was the bag. Had I just looked at the picture online, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about getting it, but now that I had seen what it looked like in person, I just had to have it. I called Alamitos Bay Yarn Company first thing on Saturday morning to ask about that lovely lady who bought the bag (turns out her name is June) and confirm what type of bag it was. I ended up ordering it. It’s a limited edition of 16.
So the moral of the story? I can just as easily blow what might be my entire budget for yarn crawl in less than 24 hours by going to just one yarn store. This might be an all new personal best for me. My husband jokes that he is so thankful I don’t have expensive taste.
Today is a big day! I just dropped my little girl off at Girl Scout camp and she is off to enjoy a weekend of fun in the wilderness with a bunch of her friends.
I had posted a picture of her for my friends and relatives to see and was asked if she had a sit-upon. I didn’t realize these things had been around for so long. I don’t remember making one when I was in Girl Scouts, but my mom and aunt remember making them when they were kids…and they have a significant amount of years on me.
For those of you who don’t know what a sit-upon is, the Girl Scouts of America defines it as “A lightweight pad or mat used when sitting on the floor or ground.” Pretty self explanatory.
My daughter had missed one of her Brownie meetings while my parents were in town visiting, so we needed to play catch up. As part of earning her first badge, she made a pretty snazzy sit upon. My mom and I found the supplies at our local JoAnn’s and she put it all together with minimal help.
Now she has it packed up and ready to use it on her first camping trip!
I am sure that everyone has different ways of calculating the enormity of their stash. I believe mine boils down to volume. I’m constantly justifying it by saying things like “Once it’s spun down, it won’t take up nearly as much space”. The problem is that I haven’t been spending much time (until recently) spinning it down.
I live in a condo with three other humans that also have stashes of their own. From sports cards to toys, it all takes up space. Space we don’t seem to have. Sure, I have an armoire dedicated to my yarn (and some beads and other craft supplies), but I also have a pile of garbage bags behind my closet door filled with fiber. I have it jammed in a cabinet in my dining room and in the closet by the front door. It’s everywhere and it is starting to feel overwhelming.
(There you go…I’m sharing my fiber hoarding secrets with you…)
I am also starting to feel like I should be making more things with my hand spun yarn. I haven’t done much with what I have so far yet. I’ve sold some, or given it as gifts, but I should really be making things with it too.
On the other hand, I am trying not to beat myself up about all of my fluffy things. I will get there. I am skipping yarn crawl…so maybe that might be a good weekend to binge spin.
In the meantime…you can take a look at my new pretties… all dry and skeined up! They’re just waiting to be tagged and placed in the space I made in that armoire for my very own yarn.
So, I think it’s time I make a confession…
I have a lot of fiber in my stash.
I feel incredibly guilty about this. It’s really taken over my stash. I even have it hidden in weird places around the house. It’s making me feel like I can’t breathe. This is how I know it’s time to really start spinning again. It’s a good thing this feeling is coming on now, post Stitches West, when I still have the momentum to get things made. This is also one of the reasons I decided to skip Los Angeles Yarn Crawl this year…
To start, I decided to clear off some bobbins that had been full and ply some of my singles. One of these (the blue and orange one) was a gift from a coworker. I’m excited to share how it looks once it’s spun and set.
For now, it looks like this…
Seriously….everyone is pregnant.
This was a gift for a very special little one that has been around a few months already. I had been hanging on to it until I could actually meet her…then I posted this picture in my drafts…and forgot it was there. It’s a great pattern to knit and I was pretty proud of my color choices for this. I just love knitting things for babies in non-traditional colors. It makes me wish I knew how to knit when I had my babies.
Now it is in it’s new home. I would make these for all the babies…but I don’t have enough arms for that!
On the heels of Stitches West, and despite my busy schedule, I’ve started getting back to making things for myself (for now at least). I was very eager to cast something on…and this was it.
It’s my “Lunar Progression project that doesn’t quite have the perfect name just yet.” In the Doomsday Knits book they show this as more of a steampunky project. I’ve decided to take it to more watery depths.
I think that David’s present was one of my favorites to make…
I consider David to be an integral part of my becoming a fan of the show Supernatural. Those Winchester boys are certainly fun to look at! Well, not too long ago, I scored myself a ticket to Supernatural Con here in Burbank. While I was there, I was scouring what little they had in the way of swag to find the perfect Castiel souvenir for him. I had a tough time. I left with a Destiel mug, but I was disappointed that they didn’t have more there.
So I decided that a pint sized Castiel would be the perfect gift.
I used the book AmiguruME by Allison Hoffman to make this project. It’s a great book! I highly recommend it!
The scariest part of this project was giving him the five o’clock shadow. That is mascara on his cute little face. I was so worried I would mess it up.
I think he turned out awesome!
I also made David a Rooty hat from one of my favorite designers, Alex Tinsley. I feel like I am in the mood to knit all kinds of ear flap and pom pom hats lately. Hopefully soon I will get to make one for myself. I have a few other things to clear out of the queue first!
Ashley’s presents were all Hannibal themed this year.
Last year, For Ash’ birthday, I had made her a shoe box Hannibal Lecter Playset by modding a few Mini Mochi patterns. It included Hannibal and a stag in Hannibal’s office. I told her I would try and make her more characters. I didn’t realize how difficult they would be. It is hard to make characters that you can actually identify when knitting so small. I tried to get as close as possible, but Will Graham’s hair was a serious challenge for me.
Yes, I put in al the little hairs individually…like a crazy person.
I also decided to weave her a nice sized scarf with a combination of some of my hand spun singles and commercial yarn I had in my stash.
I think she really liked them! Hopefully at some point I will get a picture of all of her little Hannibal characters together!
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.