And she likes to take pictures, too!

One of my weekend projects was to make myself a light tent. I was inspired by Lolly's post a few weeks ago, and I followed the tutorial that she used on Strobist.com. In about 30 minutes and for less than a few bucks, I had this: This is definitely going to help my jewelry making business...I can take some pretty sweet pictures with the macro setting and my light tent!!

Adventures in Knitting

So, I've been knitting. Except it didn't turn out to be what I wanted.

I wanted to knit Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Sweater on Two Needles (also known as the February Baby Sweater) from Knitter's Almanac. I am in the Lucky Lurker Sock Club, and the first month's (September) shipment was in a great colorway so I thought it would be perfect and show off the lace pattern nicely. Not so much. I knit a lot on this and it took me a full day of looking at it to decide it wasn't the best yarn for this sweater. I think the yarn is destined to be a baby surprise jacket instead! I just need to frog and re-wind this yarn...


She rises again...

Thoughts on:
  • Jewelry - The show went o.k. I was a little overpriced for where I was selling (rural Missouri town's local festival) so I didn't sell as much as I hoped, however, I got a TON of compliments on my stuff. Jewelry is an expensive hobby - and I try to only use REAL materials (silver, real swarovski crystals, etc.) so we'll see what happens in the future. I've been scouting at a few craft shows and am going to do another one in December in Des Moines, so we'll see.

  • Etsy - Jewelry leads me to Etsy. My entire family and many of my friends are not near me. But they have friends that want to buy my bracelets...and they have friends that want to buy and so on. I think I'm going to set up an etsy shop to sell online. There are a zillion etsy sellers out there, but I'm cool with that!

  • Knitting - I finished a few things - Grace's Hat and my first sock. LOVE that hat - can't wait to get a proper photo up with baby Grace in it and LOVE the sock. I often wear that lonely sock on my foot around the house. I will not make it's mate. I think I'm going to frame it for my craft room (seriously!) I also just cast on for a new baby sweater (what is it with me and baby stuff??)

  • Craft Room - my friend came over this weekend and helped me re-organize my craft room. I've got before photos, but no after yet...but I'll post them when I get them. I'm putting together a big box of yarn, beads and scrapbooking supplies and giving them to a local art teacher for use with her elementary students.

I think that's it for me. I'm going to also be refreshing the look of this blog. What was I thinking with pink and green? It's so icky now!!!


Where have I been?

Obviously, that's not knitting. That's selling jewelry. Good times. I miss knitting so much. I'm craving it. I'm lurking all over the place on Ravelry getting good ideas. This winter, it's all about the knit.


I'm a sewer!

This is cross posted at the International Notions Bag Exchange Site...

I finished my notions bag this weekend! This is for a very busy knitter! This was my first ever attempt at sewing in a zipper by machine, and first pattern that I followed 100%! The bag is about 6" long - perfect size for sock knitters' notions (and it's filled with things that are helpful when knitting socks!) Oops, maybe I wrote too much! I hope the recipient enjoys it!


Knitting Magazines For Sale/Swap

The following is a list of knitting magazines that I am willing to sell or swap. If you have an interest in any of the items, please e-mail me at blondieknits (AT) yahoo (DOT) com. (Remove spaces and replace the at and dot with appropriate symbols.)

I accept paypal only, no personal checks. Give me your ideas for swap items if that's the way you want to go.
All items are in good to brand spanking new condition unless otherwise noted. Stored in a smoke/pet free home. Let's just say I'm a shopaholic and often buy things that I don't need...


Vogue Knitting Presents knit.1 - The Men's Issue. I think the date is Fall/Winter 2005.

Knitscene - Spring 2007
Vogue Knitting Winter 05/06Knit It! Magazine - 2002
Knit It! Magazine - Fall 2006.

Spinning Items for Sale/Swap

The following is a list of knitting/fiber related items that I am willing to sell or swap. If you have an interest in any of the items, please e-mail me at blondieknits (AT) yahoo (DOT) com. (Remove spaces and replace the at and dot with appropriate symbols.) I accept paypal only, no personal checks. Give me your ideas for swap items if that's the way you want to go.

All items are in good to brand spanking new condition unless otherwise noted. Stored in a smoke/pet free home. Let's just say I'm a shopaholic and often buy things that I don't need...
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

FOR SALE OR SWAP: A Handspindle Treasury from Spin Off Magazine. Will sell for $15, including shipping.


In progress

I'm working on a baby hat from Itty Bitty Hats for a co-workers soon-to-be-born baby girl, Grace. So far, it's knitting up pretty easily and quickly, although the directions for seed stitch in the round were wrong at the beginning of the book, so I got through two rows and had to rip them out and start over.

I know I've been MIA - but I've been over on Ravelry so much it's almost like I shouldn't bother blogging (besides, not many out there are reading this anyway, right?)

Who knows what I'll do. For now - I'm just trying to knit!


Ravelry, how I love/hate thee!

I've been on Ravelry for a couple of weeks now. Let me count the ways/reasons that I LOVE and HATE Ravelry.

I hate Ravelry because:
  • It makes me think that I don't have as much yarn as I thought I did. (which really shouldn't be a bad thing...)
  • It makes it look like I don't really have a lot of finished items. (But I used to knit a lot of scarves, and I'm not going to post every stupid scarf that I knit for a craft show...)
  • It makes me feel jealous of all of the beautiful things that other Knitters have created! (Because that's who I am - I'm jealous!)

I LOVE Ravelry because:

  • It inspires me to try something different. (So many patterns, so little time...)
  • It helps me organize my ideas and favorites with the click of a button. (Me - organized??? Who knew it was even possible!!)
  • It gives me a different way of seeing my projects and feel accomplished for getting something done. (I do feel accomplished looking at my little projects all lined up in a row...)
  • It allows me to connect with Knitters in my area or with similiar interests. (Anyone interested in an Iowa Group? I need at least three others to join...)
I suppose I'm just whining, but boy oh boy, Ravelry is doing some great things for me! If you don't have your invite yet, be patient, Jess and Casey are working full time on Ravelry to get it ready for everyone - and you will not be dissapointed!!


Goodbye, Secret Pal 10

Originally uploaded by The Knitting Fool
Or maybe I should be saying welcome to my two new friends - I spoiled Cindy this round and she's a very interesting person with a unique background! She homeschools her children and has two therapy dogs - golden retrievers. I have a personal love for Goldens as "my" dog, who now lives with my parents because they won't give him back, is a golden. Although he's not a therapy dog...

Then there is Crafty Caroline, who spoiled me! The photo is of the most recent package I received from her - some beautiful yarn, a candle in vanilla and jasmine and some Burt's Bees products. The hot weather here melted the candle and Burt's Bees, but that's o.k. - I use a candle warmer and the other stuff is in the fridge waiting for me to take it out! That Blue Sky Alpaca yarn is screaming to be knit into a pattern that will keep me warm this winter - I'm thinking a cowl of some sort. Maybe a lace scarf...it would be my first! Thanks so much Caroline for making this a great time!


Unknown treasure

I was going through all of my knitting books and magazines last night and putting them up on Ravelry (so addictive!) and I came across this book, that I didn't even REALIZE I OWNED.Check out the date - I'm quite sure this was one of the original printings as the book is old and yellow. My cousin, who lives in remote Missouri, picked it up a while back at a garage sale and gave it to me. Look how much she paid for it...Luckily, she doesn't knit, so I don't feel bad keeping it, but now I'm going to make her something special for giving it to me - I don't even think she knew what she had! My favorite part is the "About the Author..."


I'm not knitting, but I am creating

The situation: I have a baby shower to go to this weekend. I wanted to knit Tulip Toes, but my knitting time has been severely cut down because I've been so busy. Enter the fleece blanket. A fairly quick (2 hours max) project that is guarantted to get some oohs and aahs at the baby shower! Yes, the baby is due in August, but it's IOWA so it's going to be a cold winter, and this blanket will be nice and toasty - and big enough to last for several years. (Finished size is 52" by 46".)
I purchased 1.5 yards of two kinds of fleece - one floral, one striped (I love stipes and flowers combined!!) Then I spread the fleece out, cut off the selvage edges and put one piece of fleece on top of the other to trim them both to the same size. You'll see in the above photo, I've also cut a 4" square out of all four corners of the blanket. It helps the blanket lay flatter. This next shot shows the contrast fabric on the other side, and the 1" by 4" strips that I cut into the sides.
I reccommend cutting and fringing opposite sides - and when you tie, start in the middle and work out - it helps keep the blanket from distorting. Me cutting (notice the other sides are already fringed and tied)And me tying - yes, this shot should have been before the previous, but oh well!
Close up for the blanket - I love how the frings flips over to the opposite side and shows the pattern on the reverse - it's so pretty! The final product with it's beauty shot on my chair. Please note the flowers in the background that J got me for my 28th birthday yesterday!!


Friday Storms

On Friday night, there was a tornado that hit not too far from where I live. Houses about 1/2 mile up the road have some damage, but luckily we were o.k. with the exception of our apple tree that got ripped out of the ground and thrown across the yard.
These are some photos taken with my little Canon Digital Elph from Friday night after the storms. They are not retouched at all! I'm not sure why the colors came out like they did - it must have been reflections from the sun or something, but they sure are pretty. Of course the rainbow was actually much brighter than in the picture, but the camera doesn't reflect that.


So sorry!

I haven't been posting here (or doing much knitting) because I'm over at Ravelry having a great time! It's so fun to get organized and the amazing thing is I feel like I have accomplished something when I look at my list of finished projects!! I just need to get the camera out and take some photos of my other projects and yarns to get my profile complete.



I got my invite to Ravelry just now!!! I signed up - I'm blondeknitter (such a creative name, huh?) I have to start uploading everything to flickr to get started, so it will be a while, but I'm glad to get in!

Socks on a plane!

I did in fact knit a bit while on my way to and from NYC as evidenced by the above photo. I had no trouble with my Addi Needles going through security on the way to NYC, but on the way back, the funniest thing happened in the Newark Airport. Security called me over to the table, asked me to open my bag. A man put a rubber glove on and held my knitting with the needles sticking out with one hand and gave it a weird look. I explained to him they were knitting needles, and he coudl in fact pull them out if he needed to (I had a lifeline in, so I wasn't worried) He just said everything looked fine and put it back in my bag. I was a little sad that I couldn't get a picture of the look on his face because it was PRICELESS! My progress was minimal - I'm done with the foot decreases and just knitting the foot until I get close enough for the toe. I'm getting there - I started this sock SIX weeks ago...it's taking too long!! I saw this shirt in the airport and I liked it, so here it is for you to enjoy...


The Festival Haul

I really like the camera that I've been borrowing from my dad. It sure does take pretty pictures with that macro function...
Yes, I bought yarn. Did you actually think that I could be around yarn and not buy it? Everything there was so pretty, so soft, so colorful. That stuff up top (pink and purple, but it looks blue in the photo) is 100% icelandic wool from Riverwinds Farms. Handspun and dyed. I bought two hangs so I have a few hundred yards. I think it will be a baby sweater of some sorts...

You can't go to anything in Iowa without corn being involved. So, there was yarn made from corn! Ingeo yarn from Fields of Fiber. I have to say that it's tough yarn - not particularly soft, but not rough - just "solid." I'm going to knit these up into facecloths since they seem to have a bit of texture on them that would allow for gentle scrubbing. I also bought a variety pack of colors to make a rainbow washcloth. They're machine washable, so I think they'll be perfect for washrags!
Close up of the Ingeo. I don't know what was with my color selections that day....

Finally, my little flock of stinky sheep! They're filled with Lavendar amongst other things and designed to keep moths away from your wool! Plus, they're really cute, and they don't actually stink! They were also from Riverwinds Farm.

I'm heading to NYC for the rest of the week - I'm not sure that I'll get to visit many yarn shops, but Seaport Yarn isn't too far from my hotel, so we'll see. So I'll be out for a while - hopefully getting some knitting done on the plane or in the airports.

And, I thought I should add that there will be no sheep fashion show this year as there were not cute sheepies in speedos at the festival. :(



Sadly, I was too awe-struck by the beautiful yarns in front of me to take a lot of photos, but I did get a few...The big difference I noticed between the Iowa and Maryland Festivals is that in my opinion, the Iowa Show seemed to be far less commercial - these were all indi-style spinners and dyers and knitters here. True, the Iowa Festival is not even 5% of the Maryland Festival in terms of attendance and vendors, but the Iowa Festival has focus! The people who show there are great!
Now, I was dissapointed that local Des Moines area yarn stores weren't in attendance at the show. I'm sure space was an issue, but it would have been nice to see some yarn storn support. Some of the vendors I saw this weekend

There were a few more, but I can't find their cards right now...I'll add more to this later!

Iowa Sheep & Wool 2007

What a weekend! J and I got up super early on Saturday, went to the Des Moines Downtown Farmer's Market, went to the Iowa Sheep & Wool Festival and then to Big Creek State Park, then over to a friend's house for some trampoline fun and to grill. It was a LONG but very FUN day!

Iowa Sheep & Wool seemed different this year. Not too many sheep...unless I just wasn't looking. The sheep that were there were BIG...like this guy.

On the left is a photo of a normal size sheep getting sheared...yes, it was young, but look how SMALL it is compared to the big RAM...that Ram was HUGE! He was crazy, too! The shearer was telling us how he broke his ribs once shearing a giant ram like that! He was a big boy, but it was interesting to see how calm them get when they're being sheared. P.S. Those are my favorite sheep up top, Jacob Sheep. I think they're so cute! I also got to use my dad's digital SLR for these photos...they're much better than the little Canon Elph that I carry around...


Baking and Knitting

I made Sheri's Monster Cookies last night. She runs the Loopy Ewe. (For the record, when I wrote this post I hadn't bought anything from her yet , but I went back to the site and fell in love with a few things, so now I'm an official customer!!)
Anyway, my modifications were as follows: I made half of the recipe - which fit perfectly in my Kitchenaid Mixer - and made cookies with about 1.5 tablespoons of dough. That got me 8 DOZEN COOKIES! And that was just half of the recipe!! So yummy! I had enough for J and I both to take a giant bag to work, and then leftovers for us at home and to take to a friend's house tonight to share. These are awesome! I highly reccomend you make them!
I've also been slowing tinking away at my first sock. It's coming along - I just wish I had enough time to sit down and get this thing DONE! Socks do seem to be a quicker project - but judging by how long it's taking me to get through this one - you can see I don't get a lot of time to knit! And I guess there were a lot of mistakes on this one at first...

It is coming along though - I'm still in the decrease section of the foot. It's pretty easy to memorize how to do them, so I like that. what I don't like is the ribbing pattern - I wish I was doing some kind of lace or other pattern.

This weekend is the Iowa Sheep & Wool Festival. I went last year as well, so I'm looking forward to going this year! Here are some of my posts about the festival last year.

So, this is my last post until after the festival. Hopfully I'll have lots of fun photos to share!


New Additions

J and went bike riding this weekend on the road in front of our house. We were just goofing off, racing up and down the street when I heard a cat meowing near a field with cows in it. I stopped on the side of the road, and started calling to the sound. (we live in the middle of nowhere, so I was suprised to hear a cat meowing that far away from everything!) J pulled over as well, and we saw the grass rustling...and more meowing. Kitty sounds - BABY kitty sounds! I saw two kittens fall/jump from the tree - keep in mind at that time it was drizzling outside, warm, but not that warm. The two little kittens RAN to us! We picked them up and they kept nuzzling us, and wouldn't let us put them down!
So we took them home. That was a feat in itself as we had to hold them with one hand, use the other hand to steer our bikes and pray that we didn't fall over - and we had to ride with them for almost 1/2 mile!
We dried them off, fed them and played with them. We figured they probably got lost or seperated from their mom and/or littermates, but they knew what real cat food and water was so I'm sure they were weaned.
On Saturday, we decided that just to be on the safe side, we'll check with a few neighbors to make sure no one is missing any kittens. The first ones we checked with claimed ownership of the cats and said we could keep them if we wanted them as they have a few farm cats that have babies already. They actually offered us more kittens if we wanted them. For now, we'll just keep our two kittens.

So the kitties have a new home! We don't have names yet, we're calling them Fuzzykitty and Greykitty right now. But they are fun cats! We already have them sort of trained to come back to us when we call them! Now only if they grow up to be mousers...