Tuesday, June 22, 2010


not baaad!

Was so frazzled getting ready for Black Sheep last Wednesday that I didn't get to write a blog post after all. I got home Sunday evening tired but happy because I did a little better than last year. An interesting side effect was that everything I brought down to the event - including myself - was smelling rather pungent. The show booth was very close to a barn full of sheep and goats, you see. I've always been a city gal and it isn't often that I get that close to the source of fiber goodness. All the yarn, fiber and knitted samples are being aired out. I didn't mind the smell, although the dust from the hay irritated my eyes and throat some. The main thing is that I got to sell my products indoors this year - yeah!! Very grateful for that, because it did rain Sunday afternoon.

My product inventory was colorful if sparse. I'm still scoping out display racks and what have you, so I can have a well-designed 10 x 10 booth all by myself. I really didn't mind sharing the space with another dyer; the beautiful yarn brought customers into the booth to see what I had too, and helped generate sales. It may sound lame but I must admit: blame it on my Leo rising but to me, Stitch Jones is all about being a "rock star" - figuratively, of course - and I found myself just not at my best sharing the limelight! It will be my summer project then, prepping for fall and early winter fiber events by collecting more display goodies such as the borrowed spinning rack where I hung the little things I've been knitting, and building up inventory.

Hey, did you see that little purple stripey bolero? Let me show you a better photo.

I finished it bleary-eyed at 2:00 AM Thursday morning. All the pieces had already been blocked, so it was a matter of seaming everything up and picking up & knitting along the outer edge. I probably could have steamed the lower edge and neckline but um, yeah, no. Not gonna happen at that late hour! For those interested, I shall chronicle the details.
Pattern: Round and Round the Garden Bolero (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Bare Sheep Yarn Company superwash merino sock in "Bleeding Heart" & Rowan Pure Wool 4-ply in Lupine
Needles: Size 2 (body) & Size 1 (ribbing)
Fits: 12 months
Baby sweaters are usually no big whoop for me to knit, however this was a rather ambitious project. I just wanted to have a little topper to go with the sun dress I made for my booth. I'm not trying to make a living from selling hand knits -- I'm still new at selling my handmade items, and love knitting as much as dyeing. I figured it wouldn't hurt to have them in the booth and see what the reaction would be. My knitted goodies got lots of looks, and I actually sold the green and blue scarves I included in the display-- which made me quite happy!
I could go on; however, the hour is quite late and I've had my day off to recharge. I'm off to beddy. Back in a few days.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


everything I need to know, I learned from country music

O hai kittehs! It's a beautiful warm sunny day here in NW Oregon at last. I just got back from hanging with some of my knitting buddies at the Hillsboro Farmer's Market for World Wide Knit in Public Day. We were right by the fountain so I got a kick out of watching all the little kids splashing in the water. Much yarny work awaits me, so I'll make this a brief post but wanted to show you the latest baby item I finished.
Aren't the tiny cables sweet?
Design is "Bliss" (Ravelry link). I made the 12 months size, but it looks small; probably would fit 6-9 months. Yarn: 3 balls Classic Elite Pebbles, a cotton/acrylic blend. I think the yarn has a little too much texture for the design, so while this was a quick and fun knit which I would make again, next time I'll use a smooth yarn such as Baby Cashmerino, or a soft cotton blend DK like Jeannee.
Kiki asked about the yarn I dyed for Community Sock Club. I'm sure it's fine to show a photo, as it will soon be up on Ravelry. I love Kristin's sock design - it's gorgeous!

Lots of chartreuse happening here before the event. The overflow was hanging from the shower rod. ;P
If you ain't laughing, you ain't living.
Heard that somewhere, I'm not sure where, probably from some comic on TV. Our culture is rife with ex-spouse jokes, and even though it's a bit on the perverse side it does help to laugh. Here are some of my favorite breakup-themed country music song titles:
-She's Cheating On Both Of Us
-How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away
-Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth Cause I'm Kissing You Goodbye
-She Wrote Me A Dear John And All I Got Left Is My John Deere
OK, blogging break's over. Signing off for now - I'll try to get in a post before I leave for Black Sheep (can I get enough stuff dyed before Thursday?) All you Oregonians & SW Washingtonians, have fun in the sun but don't forget the SPF!

Monday, June 07, 2010


still here, if a bit shaky

Thank you all so much for the kind thoughts regarding my family situation. I am now past the initial shock and have entered a kind of anger-alternating with grief- phase. The good news is that today I spent a lot less time crying or even thinking about it. My brother went out of town for the weekend, which I think did him a lot of good. He says he's doing well, all things considered, and that's the best I can hope for. My life is pretty much on hold until BSG, which is coming up rather quickly - and then I'll be able to help him with moving or whatever he needs.

I made another pair of Zimmermann baby leggings last week. I happen to love color pooling, and I think it came out pretty rad on this project.

This time I used Fibranatura Aspen, an 80/20 blend of superwash merino and cotton. It's worsted weight and very soft. Found some Baby Cashmerino in almost that exact shade of pink, and plan to make a little coordinating cardi to go with the pants. I'm almost through with my baby clothes knitting jag - it's so much fun!

Also finished a pretty lace scarf. The photo sucks, but that's because I took it while it was blocking. I have a better photo which is still in the camera.

It came out to a bit longer than 50" and took 2 balls of Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe, a soft & shiny yarn from Jo-Ann. I got the pattern from the Northwest Regional Spinners' Association newsletter.

Stitchjones' First Sock Club
I dyed up all the yarn last week for the Community Sock Club, and it was a hit! This was a great sock club - I have so much yarn that I don't join these clubs, but for this one I made an extra skein that I got to keep. Along with the knitterly goodies such as yarn, pattern and stitch markers, a sumptuous luncheon was held at Gino's Restaurant in Sellwood, and I was invited to attend as a "guest dyer". I felt so honored! Not only was the pattern designed by Kristin Spurkland , but the club members seemed to really love the yarn color. Because I'm not sure if everyone who is in the club got their yarn yet, I won't post any "spoiler" pictures, but if you want to see the pattern it may be on Ravelry under the designer's name. I finally met Kristin as we were seated at the same table, and we may collaborate on a future project - something I'd really enjoy.
I seem to be having recurring bouts of insomnia - at least, trouble falling asleep - so last night I didn't get to sleep until 3:00 AM. It being Sunday, I slept in until noon today. I don't really like doing that, because I feel it wastes too much of the day. However, it rained so long and steadily today that it was a good day to climb back under the covers! I even dozed off in the late afternoon. Anyway kittens, since I'm still going through some emotional stuff I think I will turn in, and try to sleep more than my usual amount - I probably need it.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


is blogging instead of doing other stuff procrastinating?

I have 30 skeins of yarn soaking in vinegar water, and they are due for a sock club this Saturday. It is now Wednesday, and no I didn't space out on the yarn, I was finally able to get it from the supplier and it arrived this afternoon. (It's not worth going into all the why's and wherefore's of not getting it in sooner - suffice it to say that being in the yarn business is sometimes a goat rodeo.) Right now I should be in the kitchen getting it all dyed up - fortunately it's a semisolid, so it should go fairly quickly - but before I can do it, I have to go out for more plastic wrap because I don't think I have enough to do the whole job. So why am I not out at the supermarket then?

My younger brother, my one and only sibling, told me today that he and his wife are divorcing after 21 years of marriage. Up until Sunday, I had no idea there was anything wrong. Our parents and I never saw this coming, so I'm numb with shock. They had no children, but it's still very sad - especially since he has been heartsick for the past two years, yet he told no one. I don't feel comfortable sharing more details right now, all I can say is that they always seemed perfect for each other and very happy. They have a beautiful house and put a lot of work into restoring and decorating it. Now neither one will be able to afford to keep it. His future is now uncertain. Bro is doing his best to be stoic about it, but he can't hide the cynicism, bitterness, humiliation and most of all sadness, because he was willing to work things out if that was what she wanted - however, it was her decision to leave the marriage. So for me, in addition to whatever I may be doing with yarn, my first priority is now my family of origin. I want to help look after my brother in any way I can, and also help my elderly folks deal with this loss. They love their daughter-in-law dearly, and my mother is grieving.

I have a couple FO's that I wanted to show off, but given the circumstances, that will have to wait. Just telling someone what's going on helps, and now I think I can get off the computer and go do the things that need to get done. Thank you dear blog friends - blessings to you all. One thing I learned from this experience is that you should tell someone if you are in pain, don't keep it to yourself. You are loved far more than you realize.

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