Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Purple reign

Gorgeous dark purple table covers with MY LOGO!!--check it out!

The Log Cabin Spinners Spin-in was busy and well attended. It was kind of a good news/bad news situation for Stitchjones, however. The good news first:

1. I was so proud of my new setup! My yarn and fiber is so much more visible at eye level and the dark purple cloth sets off the colors beautifully.

2. I got some sales.

3. I handed out my business card a lot, having at times 3 or 4 shoppers in my vendor space.

4. I met the owner of a yarn shop in Coeur d'Alene who is interested in carrying my products!

5. After lunch, Mr. Stitchjones strummed the guitar for a while. Only the spinning circle closest to us could hear it over the din of a huge hall filled with people--but they told us they enjoyed the music.

What was not so good...

1. Inside-the-perimeter vendor space = nowhere to hang my banner or the awesome sample display that Kathleen made. I had to make do with putting the samples on the far end of the table with the cubes of yarn, which meant I was constantly worried about them disappearing because my back was to them. They did get a lot of ooh's and ahh's, though.

2. I hate to say it, because we're all so sick of hearing it, but the goddamned economy. I am so ready for it to improve!

3. Other vendors who, for various reasons, were selling their wares at rock bottom prices. It made it more difficult for me to get a fair price for my quality hand dyed goods, into which I invested money, time and effort.

Looking at my list, there were more pro's than con's, which means I'll go back next year! Even if it means staying at my in-laws', getting all the family problems dumped on me while dealing with the exhaustion of a 7-hour drive and a sleepless night before the show. And of course, there's always my chode brother-in-law. Ah, family...

I'll also be selling my products at an event called Fiber With a Twist in Richland, Washington, on May 9th.


This will be just a quick update, as I'm a bit behind on dyeing. Mainly I just wanted to show off my trade show/fiber event space, and this is just the beginning. Wait till Sock Summit! "Color Goes To Eleven Million"!

Friday, March 27, 2009


Got time for a quickie? heh

Getcha minds outa the guttah! (channeling those voices I grew up listening to during my Eastern Massachusetts childhood.) It's just that Mr. Stitchjones and I are about to hit the road for Eastern Washington and Northwestern Idaho, where we will fight crime, sell a crapton of hand dyed yarn and fiber (I hope) and play the guitar.

Wanted to give you a peek at my new table top display setup. This is the brain child of Kathleen of Busy Digits. The woman is a genius and I owe her hand dyed fiber goodies for life, along with my firstborn grandchild. OK, here it is, are you ready?

I'll post pics of my actual vendor space so you can see the gorgeous table cover and sample display she created, but this is just to show that simple and cheap can be extremely effective! A sheet of peg board from Home Despot: $14.00. Cut to 4 pieces, each 2 ft. x 3 ft.: gratis. Key rings to hold the boards together sandwich-board style, and pegs, and I was out of there for about fifty bucks. But the ideas of clever friends are priceless. I never would have come up with this idea on my own, and probably would have spent hundreds on ready-made shelves and such.


I've been commissioned to make another chihuahua hoodie! Who knows, this could be the start of a side income thing. Have a great weekend, all--Stitchjones will be back next week with pictures and stories.

Monday, March 23, 2009


wake me when spring break's over

Lordy...the first official day of Spring Break here at the Chickenlips ranch, and all we got is cold, rainy, mizerable weather and bored teenagers. Haven't checked the weather forecast yet, I just hope we aren't in for a week's worth of the same! This being N.W. Oregon, though, we probably are.

Lest pessimism rule the day, I have some knitting to show you. I've said this before, and I've gotta say it again. If you want to see the work of a gal who can knit the pants off just about anybody I know--yes, even herself--check out Yarnhog's blog. She's putting on a FO fashion show this week, and her knits are dazzling. Still and all, here's what I made.

The puppy hoodie is done.

Please do not look at the messy hand stitching of the zipper. Oops, too late. I did secure it along the edges too, and that stitching doesn't show, but by this point I'd had enough of hand sewing and just wanted the flippin' thing done. It's not like Winston is gonna care, and if it were a hooman garment of course I would sew in the zipper much more neatly!

Found the pattern in a book I received in a swap. It's called "Posh Pooches" and was published by some doggie boutique in SoHo called Trixie & Peanut. The pattern is fraught with errata, so after I got over those major hurdles early on, the rest of the project was a breeze. I used a skein of my own hand dyed BFL worsted and ran out just a few rows before the hood was finished. Fortunately I had a close color on hand in a worsted alpaca-merino, so no harm no foul. The I-cord tie is made from Beachside organic cotton.

Haven't had the opportunity to see the pup in his jacket yet, but his owner had cute fits when she came over last night and we gave her the garment. It's meant to be oversize--I hope the little guy isn't swimming in it. The good news is that he's only four months old and will grow into it.

There is also a sock.

I love the colors of this yarn, so here's a closeup, as the first pic makes the colors look washed out.

The colorway is "Coral Reef" and I purchased it last fall from Whimzy Pinzy Creations on Etsy. For sock knitting, I'm in love with seed rib. It always looks so classy! It's 66 stitches on size 1's. The sock fits snugly enough so that the short, rolled cuff should stay put.

This week is mostly tying up loose ends, such as taking the car in to have parts replaced (warranty work, thank the gods and goddesses,) and getting ready to go up to Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, ID this weekend. Saturday is the Log Cabin Spinners Spin-In, and Stitchjones will be doing the vendor thing and working the room. Before we leave, I'll blog and give you a preview of my new and improved vendor space!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Irish lullaby

It's after midnight and officially St. Patrick's Day, so top o' the mornin to ya and all that malarkey! I meant to get this post in on the 16th, but since that obviously didn't happen I guess I'll aim to be the first of the PDXKnitBloggers to post on St. Paddy's. For what it's worth.

I did finish a pair of socks for Mr. Stitchjones.

How can one not love the spouse of 20 years who puts in a full workday and then comes home, makes dinner, listens to the teenage laments of our DD, helps her with homework, mediates personality clashes between members of his band, yet still makes time to model the socks I knit for him.

I used 2 skeins of Plymouth Happy Feet yarn, size 2 needles and 56 stitches-- which was plenty. The pattern is just a basic plain vanilla, I think I learned on Knitting Pure & Simple lightweight socks and added my own frou-frou such as a short row heel. I took pics using 2 different camera settings, and I think I like the second photo better. The color pooling came out rather nifty.

As Opposed to RealWow, or Is She Really Blogging About This?

OK, yeah, I know, Chickenlips has finally gone round the bend. Yesterday when I walked into our friendly neighborhood Walgreens, this was the first thing I saw. And I realized that as much as I'd been fighting it, I'd been wanting a set of these for months! So I broke down and bought it, regardless of Michelle cringing about the fact that her mother actually purchased something emblazoned with the slogan "As Seen On TV". If they work as well as in the commercial, they'll really help with dyeing mop-up. Especially when doing pastels and Glam Sock Silver, which involve relatively little dye and a whole lot of water. After one of those dye sessions, the kitchen floor looks like Katrina aftermath and I need all the help I can get. Even though I'm taking a couple days off from dyeing to attend to other matters, these things should come in handy when I resume.

Didn't Know We Were Raising A Puppy

Little Winston, Michelle's friend's puppy, has been making several appearances a week at our house for the past month. This is how he looked back in January. He's now 4 1/2 months old and loves to chase my longhaired mini doxie Jimmy and steal his toys. His ears are about twice as big as they are in this photo, the kind of ears he could fly to Guam with. I'm in the process of knitting him a hoodie. In my hand dyed BFL worsted. With a zipper and I-cord drawstring, made of organic cotton. What can I say, this little mutt is family!

One Last Thing

On my friend Duffy's blog there are pics of a scarf made for her from handspun by none other than QueerJoe. It was part of a Fiber 2 Scarf exchange. The fiber was my own BFL top, handpainted in the "Anjelica" colorway at Duffy's request. The fact that it's been transformed into something so delicate and beautiful by the mighty skillz of QJ--well, I'm still grinning and feeling sparkly about it!

Sunday, March 08, 2009


hooray for handspun!

I never get tired of evidence of something the global handspinning community has known for millenia and is now rolling their collective eyes and going "my, isn't she dumb". Which is that if you put something that looks like this into the right hands...

...you can eventually end up with something like this!

I'd dyed up some South African wool roving into a color like the one above in merino, "Earth Angel". The supremely talented Kathleen of Busy Digits spun some of it into a fine single and made that into a 2-ply fingering weight. She gave me a skein of it, which was more than enough for me to knit this little newborn hat from the first Not Just Socks book. Isn't it the cutest thing? I especially love the pale blue rings, one just above the rolled edge and one at the crown.

I may have said this before, but I don't think I'm going to become a spinner any time soon. About seven years ago I paid an exorbitant sum for a lesson with a drop spindle and never could get the rhythm of it. A couple of years ago, an extremely patient soul tried to teach me on a wheel and again, ten thumbs. So for the time being, I'm content to let those whose skills are far greater than mine transform my handpainted fiber into gorgeous, OOAK yarns, for them (and occasionally me) to enjoy.
I wonder what the yarn made from this would look like.

About 4 oz. baby alpaca top, in colorway "Spring Hillside". Enough of this cold spittin' weather already! Seems like everything I've been dyeing for the past two weeks is spring colors. It's been cold out all weekend, which has kept me indoors. I'm ready for that first balmy day.

Monday, March 02, 2009


You better work it!

Guilty pleasure #179: RuPaul's Drag Race on the Logo channel. I could not believe Ongina was eliminated from the competition, wtf is up wid dat?! We all know Rebecca, that bee-yotch, should not have made it past the third round. Hope girlfriend falls flat on her face next episode!

Ok, enough about that. I never did like blog posts about someone's favorite TV show if I'm not into it myself, so I won't be tiresome. But boy, am I enjoying the spit out of Drag Race. In the spirit of these amazing, audacious performers, I put on lots of makeup today and took a self portrait. Eek!

Too much face?

BTW, I have a drag name! Found it on one of those generator thingies. It's "Kristy Kreme". Perfect for me.

I Won An Award! omg

Two snaps up in "Z" formation and an air kiss to Cindy of Knit For Joy for bestowing this award upon me. Thanks, Cindy!

Here are the rules for the nominees:
1. Copy the award to your site.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate 8 other bloggers.
4. Link to those on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

Because my family kvetches that I spend too much time online, and also I have actual knitting to show off, I'll award 4 bloggers instead of 8. Here are my nominees:

1. Kiki of By Hook or By Crook. Kiki's beautifully knit and crochet projects combined with a droll sense of humor = a winning combination!

2. Kathleen of Busy Digits. Knitting, spinning, designing, and adorable children--what else can I say?

3. Duffy of FiberQat. Whenever Duffy posts, she writes about something interesting and/or thought-provoking. Great pics, too.

4. Last but definitely not least, Tami of PNWBookGirl. Tami spins and knits like a champ, and has many interests beyond fiber--I always hear about something cool going on whenever I visit her blog.

Before I go off to let these folks know about the award, I have a photo of my finished Dream In Color socks. Just a basic seed rib, 64 stitches on size 2 needles. I love 'em--they live up to the yarn name, "smooshy".

I also whipped up this cute little hat yesterday afternoon.

It's the Patchwork Hat from the Spring Knitscene mag. I used my own kettle dyed--this is a 50% merino, 50% alpaca yarn that I have 9 more skeins of. The texture is so soft and buttery--I can't wait to get orders out so I can dye up more of it! Along with the bag of BFL sock yarn I got last week. And I have this incredible dye project that I'll tell you about next time. Now, though, Miss Kristy Kreme is sashaying off to have dinner and then notify award-winning bloggers!

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