Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Bucket's List

Everyone that knows me, knows that I love to support small indie businesses. It all started when I discovered Etsy a few years ago. I developed a real love for buying gifts for people from my favorite shops and feeling really good about giving my hard earned money to someone that was passionate about creating at home. Whether it be a stay-at-home mom or a singleton supplementing their income or a creative genius sharing their craft with the world, I decided that giving and buying indie is the best thing since (whole wheat) sliced bread. And I've never turned back.

Even better than JUST supporting indie, is supporting someone you KNOW that is an indie shop owner. Case in point, my girl, Krys. We met when she came to our knitting group a little over a year ago. We hit it off almost immediately. We had a lot in common, shared the same sense of humor, views on mommyhood (ha!) and of course, our love of fiber and knitting. She's since become one of my dearest friends. So, when she decided to open up her Etsy store, Gherkin's Bucket ....I was all about it and started buying my first handspun yarns right away.

Her business has evolved quite a bit since she opened earlier this year. She not only dyes her own fiber in luxurious blends such as merino/cashmere/nylon, 22 micron merino, organic merino, baby alpaca/merino and merino/seacell, but she spins them into lofty, gorgeous yarns. She also just recently started kettle dyeing merino superwash worsted and bulky and will soon carry merino superwash fingering....all of which are conventionally spun yarns. You get the best of both worlds....handspun AND conventional yarns all in one awesome shop.

Recently I worked on some knitted projects with some of her handspun....

First up, Highly Regarded Mitts by the one and only Gherkin herself.



These were done in her Fat Grasshoppa colorway in superwash merino bulky and only used about 80 yards for the entire pair! You could get 2 pairs out of one skein of this yarn!

Next up was the Beech Wood Cowl by Ilga Leja.



I made this with her merino/tencel blend in Charmed. It was LOVELY to work with and the stitch definition is incredible!

Some of the other pretties in my stash are:

Baby Alpaca/Merino in Honesty


80/10/10 Merino/Cashmere/Nylon in Ching Ching


Superwash Merino in Verve


Pretty, eh? You can get your own Gherkin's Bucket yarns here ON SALE! She's offering 15% off everything in her shop right now as a fall sale!

And congrats to Krys for being featured yesterday on Lime and Violet's Etsy Shop of the Day!

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Posted by Wannabe @ 8:02 AM :: (4) comments

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Labor of Love

I know it's been a while. I've been busy knitting. And living. And haven't felt much like blogging. Until now.

My auntie, my mom's sister, was diagnosed with brain cancer last year. She went into remission for a while and then earlier this year, her cancer returned. Feeling helpless and so very far away, I had to do something. Something. I couldn't be there with her in person, so I decided to do the only thing I really knew how to do to show her how much I love her and wish I could be with her. I got out my needles, some very special yarn, and went to work.

My original plan was to knit this for Ravelympics in 18 days. I needed a goal to get thru such a lofty project and Ravelympics was just the ticket. Even though it took me 29 days (with a few breaks in between) instead of my goal of 18, I'm completely and totally satisfied and really, really proud of what my hands created for someone I love so much.

I really hope she feels every prayer, tear, hope and every ounce of love that went into each and every stitch. I hope it warms her shoulders and her heart. I hope that she knows how very much she is loved. I hope she knows that if I could, I would rather wrap her in my arms than in a shawl. I hope this finds her well and with hope. I love you, Aunt June.









Specs:
Pattern: Leaf Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark for Fiber Trends
Yarn : The Plucky Knitter Merino/Silk Laceweight
Needles: KP Options size 5
Size: small with lace repeats

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Posted by Wannabe @ 8:06 AM :: (15) comments

Friday, July 25, 2008

I blame it all on Ravelry...

I've been kind of absent lately and I blame it all on Ravelry. It's just too easy to upload projects and yarn directly to Ravelry instead of posting here....but I'm going to try to get better. I have a lot to blog about, just need the patience to do it.

I've been up to a few things since I last blogged....the yummiest was a knitting retreat in Greer, Arizona with my knitting grrrls. We stayed in a beautiful cabin up in the mountains. The weather was absolutely gorgeous with rain and thunder and the highs in the 60's during the day. I know to some this sounds absolutely dreadful, but it's no picnic living in Phoenix in the summertime, so rain and cool weather are what we want. It also makes for delish knitting weather. We spent our time cooking yummy meals, knitting, spinning, talking, sharing, watching movies and bonding. I love my knitting group so much and it was great to spend a weekend away with them. Next time, we did decide to stay a little closer to home and to extend our stay. The 4 hour drive and only 1 full day wasn't quite enough...but it was fun, just the same. You can see my whole Flickr set of photos from the trip here.


Greer Knitting Retreat Mosaic

While we were there, Gherkin and I decided to cast on for our first sweater...The February Lady Sweater. We chose the same yarn, got our gauge down pat before leaving home and were ready to cast on when we got there. All was well until my row gauge and hers were really different and my buttonholes were spaced 1.5 inches apart when the pattern stated that they were to be 2.5 inches apart...um....what to do. When I got home I finished the raglan increases and tried it on...the size I picked is perfect but I'm still not sure if I should rip and redo spacing the buttonholes at 2 inches or if I should keep going and see how it looks. Right now I'm ignoring her...she lives in the bottom of my knitting bag. But she is pretty....


For my mindless knitting in Greer, I chose to cast on for another pair of socks for myself in Yarn Chef Minestrone sock yarn. HEAVEN. This is the softest, most buttery, delicious sock yarn EVER and the striping...the glorious striping. Take a gander at my first finished sock.



I'm calling these bad boys my Rice Dream Puddle socks. The colorway name is Ice Cream Puddle, but, you know, I'm dairy-free IRL so I had to mix it up a bit. I'm anxious to cast on for the second one, but first, I promised The Mister a pair of socks too...so I cast on for The Gentleman's Fancy Sock in Railway Stitch from Knitting Vintage Socks. I'm using the yarn he picked for the pattern which is Dream in Color Smooshy in Cocoa Kiss. I think he chose well.



Be back soon...I promise...with more sock results as well as a yummy cookie recipe and a Ravelympics project. Have a super weekend.





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Posted by Wannabe @ 5:30 PM :: (9) comments

Monday, July 7, 2008

Close but no cigar...

Last year, my knitting goal was to understand the anatomy of a sock and to be really comfortable knitting them. To find out what yarns I liked to knit them with, what needles I preferred and to figure out what heel and toe fit my foot the best. I succeeded and became obsessed with knitting socks. The love affair is still constant and beautiful, but I decided that I wanted to knit them with more consistency and that I was ready to take on some more advanced sock patterns.

I joined the Sock A Month KAL 5 which started this past January. The goal was to knit and post a pair a month...I did great....until the last pair. I finished a day late. At first, I was upset about it...feeling like I didn't meet the goal I set out to make, but then shortly realized that...well, that's not what knitting's all about. For me, it's my stress reliever, my social outlet and my little piece of heaven. I got over it and looked back at all the beautiful socks I knit over the past 6 months and was again, ever grateful that I'm a knitter. The people I've met, the things I've done, the skill I've gained, the peace it brings...it's not about the ultimate goal, but the ultimate feeling of joy that it brings into my life.

January

February

March

April

May

June


My June socks, finished July 2, are Hedgerows by Jane Cochran. I used Sundara Sock in Candied Chrome and size 1 Knit Picks Nickel Plated DPNs. This sock yarn was a DREAM to knit with!

So there it is....6 month's worth of socks. Socks I'm happy with. Socks I learned a lot about knitting from. I knit my first pair of lace socks during the past 6 months. I also used several new sock yarns that I'd never knit with before like Yarntini, Vesper, sKNITches, Dream in Color Smooshy and Sundara. I think that's a lot to be satisfied with.

I decided not to join the next 6 months of the KAL because I'm going to start on another knitting goal...one that's kind of well....FREAKED ME OUT....I'm going to knit my first sweater.

My sweet friend, Gherkin and I are going to knit Pamela Wynne's February Lady Sweater out of Cascade 220 on our knitting retreat to Greer this coming weekend. I did my swatch the other night and got gauge spot on!



I'm excited. A little nervous. And eagerly anticipating what this next goal will bring to my knitting....I have a sneaky suspicion it will be, stress relief, socialization with dear friends and my little piece of heaven.

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Posted by Wannabe @ 12:43 PM :: (12) comments

Friday, June 13, 2008

In which I'm a selfish non-giver...


Lipstick Jungle Cowl
Originally uploaded by wannabeknittin'
So I knit something. Something I love. Something I was going to gift to someone else...but it's not happening. I just can't part with it. I really shouldn't feel bad since I gift more than half of what I knit...but still. Today I feel like the selfish non-giver. I'll get over it.







Details:
Pattern: Gloria Cowl by Orinda5
Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Merino Fingering in Lipstick Jungle (held doubled)
Needles: KP Options size 8 6" circs
Mods: none
Outcome: L-O-V-E.

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Posted by Wannabe @ 9:50 AM :: (13) comments

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cause, you know...I got no photos...

I'll do a meme....

I was tagged (twice) by Miss Annie Knits and also by Miss Lamby Knits.

So here goes:

What was I doing 10 years ago?
~I had just moved to Phoenix from the Philadelphia area. I was working at a bank as a personal banker and had just met The Mister. :) My sister was also spending the summer here with us!

What are 5 things on my to-do list today?
~Laundry (this is on my list EVERYday..ACK!)
~Go to Ulta to get a new base coat and polish because I promised the Bug that we would paint toe nails (anyone know how hard it is to find formaldehyde-free base coat! OY!)
~Shop for a new purse (The Mister spilled pasta sauce ALL OVER mine the other day when we were out to eat!)
~Do a general pick up/straighten up around the house
~Fix a mistake in my Odessa Hat decreases that I messed up when I was too tired and knitting it at 11:30 last night!

Snacks I Enjoy:
Pretzels, Cascadian Farm Peanut Butter Chip Granola Bars, Chocolate (the darker the better), hummus and veggies

Things I would do if I were a millionaire:
~Pay off everything we owe
~Pay off everything my immediate family owes
~Buy a Mini Cooper with a British flag painted on the roof
~Buy my husband his dream car
~Open a yarn shop with a coffee bar with a hot barista
~Save for The Nut's education
~Donate a huge chunk to Rescue so they could build a new facility
~Move back East so I could be near my sisters

Places I have lived.
Connecticut
South Carolina
Pennsylvania
Arizona

Consider yourself tagged.

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Posted by Wannabe @ 3:04 PM :: (4) comments

Thursday, May 29, 2008

LOST my mojo....I thought...

Notice the giant gap of time that I haven't blogged....well, it's for quite a lot of reasons! One being that we are in the midst of house hunting which is going...well, not very well...we just put an offer on a 4th...yes, 4th house the other day and are REALLY hoping this one doesn't become a huge bidding battle like the last 3 have. Oy.

The other reason I haven't posted is because I really thought I lost my knitting mojo. FOR REALS! Last month I cast on for 6 different socks/patterns and several cowls and nothing I knit was working. I put everything down for a bit and just took a breather. I'm happy to report that I finished a pair of socks and I'm over the moon for them. Take a gander....







Appropriate that I can call them my LOST socks, right? ;)

Specs:
Pattern: Penllyn by Wildhorse Farm Designs
Yarn: Yarntini Variegated Sock in the 4-8-15-16-23-42 aka Lost colorway
Needles: Size 1 Knit Picks Nickel DPNs
Mods to Pattern: I made the leg longer than the pattern called for (about 8 repeats and 7.5 inches) which almost caused me to run out of yarn! Eep! Luckily Miss Stacey was kind enough to send her leftovers.

In other Wannabe-land news, my baby...can I still call her that?....turned 4. Sniff, sniff. Since we are in limbo with moving, it was really hard to plan a party so we decided a mom and dad day would work well. The Mister took the day off of work and we spent it as a family, each doing one thing alone with her. In the morning, I took her to get her very first pedicure...where she picked orange nail polish (black was the first choice, but they didn't have any...) and flowers.





In the afternoon, the 'Nut went with her dad to the ice rink where he plays ice hockey for her first ice skating lesson. The Mister said she was a little leary at first but was able to skate around a bit. I think she liked it best when he was holding her and he skated.



We had such a fun day...

Up next in knitland...Slip Up Shropshire socks and more Christmas knitting. Happy almost weekend.

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Posted by Wannabe @ 1:41 PM :: (11) comments

musac love

XM Station 818 - Flight 26

podcast love

reading

The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

viewing

Fringe, Mad Men, Man vs. Wild

eating

Vegan Yummy

drinking

Coffee with soy milk

exercising

Every moment of my day is exercise..hello, I chase after a 4 year old!

knitting

Clapotis, Donyales Socks, Highly Regarded Mitts, Berry Hill Mitts, Philadelphia Eagles Broadripples

doin' this

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spoil me handmade

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