Life Skillz

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As I reach my late 20′s, I find myself lacking in some pretty important skills.

1. Cooking
2. Gardening

So, my hope is to take some classes to learn these valuable life skills.  Lucky for me, living in Austin means that there are plenty of resources available to me.  Cooking and gardening classes happen all the time, and we have a lot of shops that cater to people looking to include more healthy choices in their life.

I have already begun growing some veggies (which I am VERY excited about); here’s what I’ve got growing so far: Roma tomatoes, bell peppers, jalepeno, and onion.
 

I’ve also started a Pinterest board for gardening, and I’ve had a food board for a while now.  And although I pin things daily, it’s rare that I put the knowledge and advise they give to use.  I want to change that!

Mara Shawl FO

Mara shawl
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I finished the Mara shawl!  I am happy with the finished result, and am also surprised at how much I actually like the bit of ruffle on the edge.  Maybe this project will persuade me to incorporate them more often. . . eh, we’ll see.

The yarn worked out great on this project – the stripes, the fading bit toward the bottom, and the blue edging are all lovely.
I think handspun always works well on shawls, and I got pretty lucky that I had just enough of the blue to complete the edging!

Mara Shawl

Details
Pattern: Mara by Madelinetosh
Yarn: Handspun (body fiber originally dyed by Spunky Eclectic; Ruffle section dyed by me)

Next up, I’m working on a challenging and secret project that will probably take me forever, but it will be worth it in the end!

Rugged Ripples

Rugged Ripples Close-Up
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Rugged Ripples Blanket

It’s a big day for this blanket!  Staci Perry over at Very Pink is featuring the Rugged Ripples pattern in her series of Crochet for Knitters videos.  Here is the link for the direct video.
The pattern has been completely updated and can be downloaded from here or here)

Speaking a little about the blanket that is pictured – it was a lot of fun to make.  While blankets can get repetitive and boring, I kept this one interesting by choosing the colors as I went along instead of having a strict plan for the stripes.
Ripple blankets are so easy to pick up and put down at any time since the pattern can be quickly memorized, so it was my first choice when my family and I went on a trip down the road.  We took a small weekend trip to Leakey (pronounced Lake-y), Texas to get away from the city.  As it turns out, the blanket was perfect for relaxing. . . and it even got to meet some deer.

Deer in Leakey, Texas

PS – There is handspun yarn in the shop update today! Getcha some!

My Rose

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I recently purchased a Majacraft Rose (from The Woolery) and it arrived yesterday!

Majacraft Rose

I have decided to keep my first wheel (a Louet Julia/S11) in case I might need it to help teach someone how to spin.  The Julia is a GREAT wheel to start on, but I’m really excited about the increased possibilities the Rose will bring me.

So far I have only spun up about 3 oz on it, and I’m getting the feel for it.  The wheel is really quiet, but maybe that’s just because it’s brand new.  Gotta break it in!

Stay tuned, I plan on putting up some handspun in the shop VERY soon.

Mara Shawl

Mara Shawl in Handspun
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Mara Shawl in handspun

My knittas and I have started a bit of a knit-a-long!  Here are the specs:

Pattern: Mara ShawlYarn: Handspun (fiber dyed by Spunky Eclectic)

I really love working with handspun yarn on projects like this.  The garter stitch makes it super easy to carry around to work on and the handspun helps to keep it interesting.  There’s a really good chance that I will run out of yarn before I reach the end, but I’ll just work the trim in a coordinating color.

It’s a fun knit and I expect to see quite a few of these shawls around town. ;)

Back Online

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Update!
Spinning Colors
After a bit of a hiatus from running my shop, Spinning Colors, I have decided to open it back up.  Originally, I had closed it up due to the fact that I was unable to give it my full attention while focusing on school, and now I have decided that it is time to revive it.
It’s a dream of mine to own a studio doing what I love, and I feel that by putting more effort into this venture I can make it successful.
I have not yet set the date for a grand re-opening, but it will come.  At the moment, I am taking my time to do things right and get everything situated how I would like before I rush into opening the shop back up.  More news to come on that topic at a later date.

Crochet
I am revamping the Rugged Ripples pattern and will soon have it available in the patterns section of the blog as well as on my designer page on Ravelry.  There’s also a special something coming up concerning that pattern, so be on the look-out for that as well!

 

Overall, I am excited to have a fresh start on the blog as well as on the shop.  And I welcome you to follow along!

A Very Braidy Cowl

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I finished another knit!  I wanted something quick and relatively simple to work on, so I was thrilled when I came across A Very Braidy Cowl by Maryse Roudier

Very Braidy Cowl

I really enjoyed it because of the small amount of time it took to complete, as well as the fact that it didn’t get boring for me.  I love cables, and I especially love big cables (is that wrong?!)

Enough gab, here’s some photos:

A Very Braidy Cowl

Here’s some more details over on Ravelry.

Since I’m on break, life has been all about knitting, photos, reading, and working lately and it feels awesome.  I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday and Happy (belated) New Years!

Kindle & Knit

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I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  My family and I celebrated the holiday by staying home and having a great dinner made by my mom.  Simple.  I love simple.
One of my favorite gifts was an Amazon Kindle, and I gotta say that I am falling in love with it.  1) Browsing books online is one of my favorite past times; 2) I wanted to keep my physical library to a minimum, but don’t like getting rid of books; 3) I can buy and read books anywhere; 4) It’s lightweight.
In all honesty, I was a little worried that it would take time for me to get used to the screen, but the Kindle has a screen unlike a computer or phone. . . it really is like reading something on paper.  I also worried that I wouldn’t like the lack of page turning (it’s something I love about reading from paper books), but pushing a button isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. :)  The one and only thing that I will miss that the kindle cannot replace is the smell of books.  Ah well, life is about give and take anyway.

Enough of that – I’m gonna prove to you that I still knit.

Abalone Cardigan

Pattern: Abalone by Beata Jezek
Yarn: Hand dyed (main) and Araucania Nature Wool Chunky (cc)

The sleeves turned out too big for me, but I intentionally knit the body a little bigger so that I could close it up in the front if I needed to (with a shawl pin).  Either way, I’m pretty happy with it and I’ve almost completed another project which will be posted soon!

In the meantime, give me book recommendations!

Let’s start over

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Wow.  It’s been months since I’ve written a post here.  I have been enjoying the mini-posting over at my Tumblr blog, but I gotta say – I kinda miss writing more than a sentence or two.
It’s not that I haven’t thought about it, but I just feel as if it takes too much time to write out a proper blog post complete with photos.  In actuality, it doesn’t take all that much time. . .

SO.  I feel that the best way to approach a new blog post is to just share what’s been going on in the last few weeks instead of trying to remember everything between this post and the previous one.  I’ve got great news, good news, and bad news to share in this one so try to keep up!

Bad news (let’s just get it out of the way, shall we?)
I’ve closed down Spinning Colors.  I’m pretty sad about it, but it wasn’t doing well because I don’t currently have time to dedicate to the shop to keep it stocked and current.  There is still plenty of dyeing going on around here, but it’s just all personal for now.  The decision isn’t set in stone, but for the time being, it is the right thing to do.
I want to say that I really really appreciate all the support that I’ve gotten from folks over the last couple years, and you have driven and inspired me in ways I can’t describe in words.

Good news
I got a job.  It sort of came out of the blue one day, but I’m pretty stoked about it!  I’m working in retail, and I’m surprised at how much I like it right now.  I can be sure that I’ll have a paycheck, I don’t get filthy (as I did when working around food), and the people I work with are awesome.  Can’t beat that!

Great news
First – Monster is rocking the school scene.  He’s a quick learner and has been doing great with reading and homework, and currently has multiple “best friends” (meaning every friend he has is his best friend).  So cute!
Granted, it’s only kindergarten, but I’m really glad that it has made such a great impression on him because he’ll likely carry his good attitude about school throughout high school. . . at least that’s what I’m hoping for. ;)

Second – I’ve had my work put up in multiple shows this past fall!  I had two photos selected for a photography show, and 2 felt pieces selected for a fiber art show.  I’m pretty excited about all of it!

Here is a video by Bobby Scheidemann of the most recent show (fiber) called Gallimaufry.  Don’t know what that is?  I didn’t either at first, but according to my dictionary.com app it means: 1.) a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.  2.) a ragout or hash.

I’m gonna go with #1.

And here are photos of my most recent felted work:
Grounded by Stephanie Gage Grounded by Stephanie Gage (detail)

The piece is titled “Grounded”.  Materials are handmade felt and yarn.  As with a lot of my work, there is embedding going on in this piece (the yarn in this case).  The spiral created by the yarn is a really bold form, but overall, the piece is really subtle.  I really love this one.

Well, that’s the update for now!  Hope everyone has great holiday. :)

This post has fiber. I promise.

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Two posts in two days!!!  Let’s not get crazy, shall we? ;)
This post is going to be photo heavy. Enjoy it.

School:
An update about Monster’s first morning of school.  It’s only 9:30 am, and I cannot wait to pick him up and see how his day went!
We got up super early, so we had time to squeeze in a couple of Mario Kart races;  the morning was off to a great start!
He was super excited about his backpack and getting to school,

Superhero pose! (this is his superhero pose, btw)

and even when we got to the room he was super great.

Monster in his school seat

But alas, the time came for his dad and I to leave the room and the tears welled up in his eyes. . . and then in ours, but we held them back to be strong for him.  He cried a little because he wasn’t sure of the new environment, but I think he did a little better after we left (we peeked in without him noticing).
I really really wish that I could call to make sure everything is going well, but I can’t!  I miss him right now and I hope he’s having more fun than not.  He should have a good day, because today is music day, and if he takes after me the music will make everything a-ok.

Intermission. . .

Let the fiber love begin

As of late, I have been in a spinning craze.  I’ve updated the shop with all sorts of goodies, and have been at my spinning wheel every day cranking out bundles of pure yarn bliss.  Some of it is my hand dyed, some of it is not – I really enjoy spinning fiber dyed by others because every dyer has their own “eye for color” that varies from artist to artist.  I won’t put any yarn details here, but if you want to know yardage and what-not, head over to my Ravelry stash.

Spinning Colors

“Black Cherry”

“Pine”

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Funky Carolina

“Lily”

“Tarnished”

“Colorful Heart”

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Southern Cross Fibre

“Katoomba”

And of course there’s more. . . but you get the point! ;)

Last but not least

I am selling my wheel!!! No, I’m not giving up spinning.  I’m ready to upgrade my wheel a little so that I may explore more aspects of handspinning and my Julia doesn’t offer everything that I am looking for.  If I could keep the Louet Julia AND get the wheel I want, I would certainly do that, but in order to buy a new wheel I need to get some money by selling my current one. :(  So sad!!!

Anyway, if anyone is interested, please let me know – and tell your friends!

Louet Julia S11 details
Included:

  • Louet Julia wheel (no missing parts)
  • Lazy Kate
  • 6 bobbins (3 came with the wheel when it was originally purchased)

The lazy kate is missing two of the three caps, but this does not affect its use.

Retail value is $787 (via The Woolery)
I am asking $650/obo I’m willing to negotiate.
I would prefer pickup in Austin, Texas, but am willing to ship (buyer will pay for shipping costs).

These images can be seen here.

Thanks for tuning in! :)