Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lucky Find

On a recent day trip to St. Michaels, I made my stop into Frivolous Fibers. They've got a new sign up and they have reorganized the store. It looks lovely! As usual, I didn't need any yarn but that didn't stop me from checking out the selection. I was drawn to their new wall of sock yarns with bold and beautiful colors. I asked my DH if he'd like me to make another pair of socks for him. He looked at the wall and then found a basket full of - wait for it - Blue Moon Socks That Rock lightweight yarn! One of the owners commented the store had the lucky mistake of getting the skeins by accident. Blue Moon doesn't want new clients (booooo!!!!) so the store has been unable to get the yarn. In the end, it was a lucky find for me.

Socks that Rock Mustang Sally 1

The colorway is Mustang Sally. I've got a pattern picked out on Ravelry for some cabled socks but I need to purchase the pattern in order to make sure I have enough yarn and that the pattern will be large enough.

DH was warned at the yarn store that the date of completion for this pending project is way, way, WAY up in the air. Like, he might get this pair of socks in the next two years. In the meantime, it makes a wonderful addition to my stash.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WIP: Burnham Wood Capelet

When I saw the Burnham Wood Capelet pictured in the Spring 2011 Interweave Knits magazine, I knew I had to make it. I scoured the magazine to find the pattern to no avail. Thanks to a quick search on Ravelry, it turns out the capelet was actually in the Winter 2010 magazine. The photo just made a second stop in the spring magazine. This was a very fortuitous error for me as I had not flipped through the winter magazine as thoroughly as the spring one.

This is the most complicated knitting project I've attempted to date. Not only is this my first attempt at knitted cables, it is also my first attempt at reading knitting charts and it is the largest knitted garment I've ever attempted.

Note the key word here - attempted. I have high hopes that I will make it to the end of the project with a capelet that fits and one that I adore wearing. But there is so much that can go wrong between a collar and the last stitch. I'll be checking in with Romi's Ravelry group and other wonderful knitters who have made this project.

My Ravelry project page is the most up to date and I've chronicled my progress in the notes. So far, I've completed the collar.

Burnham Capelet 04

Burnham Capelet 05

The delay in starting the next part of the shawl is a baby blanket I must complete before a baby shower in July. It's close to being done so I hope to pick up the capelet and get back to work on it soon.

What has been your greatest knitting or crochet challenge this year?

Gardening Update

Garden Progress 6/26/11 2

The herbs are doing extremely well. I've made multiple batches of salsa using the parsley and I have too much basil and thyme.


The only issues so far is that the rosemary plants are just now looking like they will survive.


And there is the great mystery plant that is clearly not lavender. The seed packet said lavender and I planted lavender in the pot marked "Lavender" and yet these random sprouts showed up in the "Lavender" pot and all the other containers, too. It then proceeded to grow over two feet in height and hint at some kind of flowers, but no blooms.

Not Lavender 3

This does not resemble any lavender plant I've see before. The stalks don't look right at all. If you happen to know what the heck this plant is, please leave a comment. Whatever it is, it's growing without any problems. It has even filled one of my rail containers.

Not Lavender

And so far, two Johnny Jump Ups have bloomed. Look closely - they're little.

Johnny Jump Ups 2011

While I love my container gardening, I yearn to someday have a yard with lots of space for these herbs to grow and flowers to grow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Year of Lovely Things Update

The past two months have been oh so lovely. Quite a few things to cross off the list...

My birthday was celebrated in many ways, starting first with a trip to see "C" and "D". Our visit was in Fredericksburg instead of North Carolina, but it was lovely just the same. I also received some awesome gifts - a sheep mug and the cutest yarn stitch markers.


My birthday celebration continued with a pedicure, facial and massage thanks to my wonderful husband's gift of a day at the spa. I did my own manicure after a relaxing bubble bath at home. I was truly pampered for my birthday!

Other lovely things accomplished include: sending some snail mail, seeing a Red Sox game, staring at the stars on a warm spring evening, and trying a new restaurant. I watched a marathon of "Game of Thrones" and I am wholeheartedly addicted. I've tried to celebrate the small lovely things of every day life too, like an easy commute home on a Friday and the fun emails exchanged with friends.

And still, there are so many things on the list to look forward to. I truly am blessed.

How lovely is your year so far?

Oh, Honey, Honey

I made my first ever home-brewed mead with a kit gifted to me by my sister-in-law. It's from The Bee Folks who are local beekeepers with booths at both the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

The kit (many to choose from) has the yeast, herbs, rubber band, cheesecloth, and instructions. You buy two jars of honey (many to choose from, too) and some spring water.


Follow the super easy instructions and you'll be brewing mead like a pro. Here's a photo showing the yeast at work.
Proof of Yeast

And here's a video where you can see the bubbles churning the herbs.

Since I didn't have a dark place to store it, I improvised by covering the jug in a dark dish towel.
In the dark...

Then - voila! The mead was done in a week.
Almost finished...

It was then enjoyed by friends during Sheep and Shenanigans.

I recently tried brewing another batch using one of the kits I bought at MS&W. It was quite tasty but I liked the first batch I did better. There are so many combinations of mead kits with honey flavors to try. I've still got another one to try and I plan to buy a couple kits at this year's Renaissance Festival.

This brewing also helps me cross off an item from my Year of Lovely Things list. Which, now that I look at the list, there are a handful of items to also cross off. Where's that pen?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Completed Project: Queen of the Snow Cow's Blanket

There was one, then there were two, and finally, there were three.

Jo Blanket 02

In just under a year and only days after Sheep and Shenanigans, the blanket for the Queen was finished. As always, full details on Ravelry.

This won't be the last big blanket of the year if my plans stay in tact. There is a brightly colored granny square blanket I'd like to complete before Christmas.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Photos of Stockinette Stitch Shawl

There was too much giggling and general merriment during the shenanigans that better photos were not taken as planned. You'll just have to deal with these that don't do the finished project justice at all.

Red Boucle Shawl 09Red Boucle Shawl 07Red Boucle Shawl 03

The original post is here and as always, details on Ravelry.

Successful Shenanigans

Where to begin...and what to post... about the epic events of Sheep and Shenanigans Weekend 2011...

Too much fun was had by all, the details of which would take up tens of thousands of words here on the blog. Instead, just a few photos from the sheep dog demonstration to share...


No yarn purchases for me again this year, though I couldn't resist a purple lamb stuffed with lavender...


...and two more mead kits from The Bee Folks.


And I received a wonderful gift from the Queen - titled, "Moonstruck".


There was also plenty of food and drink and fun with mustaches...


There was also lots of creativity that didn't involve yarn...


At the end of the fabulous weekend together, everyone was as tired and happy as this little guy...


Who knows what next year will be like - or even where next year will be. There's been talk of moving the shenanigans to another location or another time of year. Regardless of when it is or where it is, I have no doubt it will be EPIC!

Monday, June 20, 2011

In Memoriam

The crochet and knitting world lost a legend last week. I feel fortunate to have met Jean at last year's CGOA conference. She will be dearly missed by me and so many, many others.

CGOA Dinner and Fashion Show 2010 - Marty Miller, Jean Leinhauser, Rita Weiss and Samantha Farrell

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I Blinked...

...and the month of May was here and gone.

When I last left the blogosphere, it was the eve of Sheep and Shenanigans 2011. The weekend was epic and I had such keen ideas on blogging about it. But the week and weekend following were busy. And busy turned into busier and the number of posts I wanted to post grew and grew through the month.

And now it's June.

So - I'll try to catch up with a few posts about May happenings and not leave June adventures in the dark. Better late than never, right?

Stay tuned...