Monthly Archives: April 2010

Spring Fling 2010

Warning: The following post over-uses the words awesome, amazing and wonderful… there are also way too many exclamation points and happy faces scattered throughout. Just so you know. ๐Ÿ˜‰

How can I describe the awesome-ness that was Spring Fling? I’m not even sure how to start except to say that it was truly awesome-sauce! Or shall I say awesome-knit? ๐Ÿ˜€ I loved it so much! I met a ton of great people (I didn’t know a single person there before I went!) who I can now call friends, ate a lot of desserts after every meal (seriously, why can’t we have cake after lunch every day?) and knit a ton while chatting up a storm. The weekend started out amazing with this wonderful goodie bag:

Spring Fling 2010 Goodie bag

The bag (which is great and I think I will be using it quite a bit) came with a Little Loopy hugging a sample skein of Baby Boom, a stitch marker that says Spring Fling 2010, two patterns (one scarf and one sock), a mug (not pictured – it’s being washed!) and the piรจce de resistance, a gorgeous skein of one-of-a-kind-dyed-for-the-Spring-Fling-2010 Wollmeise!

Wollmeise 100%

I can’t wait to use this for something – most likely a shawl, as I’m sure you’ve guessed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The weekend already started off well with all these goodies, but it went from good to great very quickly with meeting all the amazing women attending and making friends with lots and lots of people! Everyone was so nice and there were so many gorgeous knits (mostly shawls!) that just inspired and made you feel like picking up your needles right away – which everyone was doing anyway, even when standing up!

Spring Fling 2010

At the front there is Julie (juliee on Rav) who was my swap partner. She’s holding a cake of yarn under her arm in order to knit while standing, LOL. That pretty much sums up how much knitting we all did while there. ๐Ÿ˜€

My class with Jared Flood was AWESOME! It was on seamless sweater construction and the goal of the class was to be able to walk away from it and know how to knit up a sweater without a pattern. And you know what? I totally think I can do it now! I can’t wait to start on my own seamless sweater. I just have to pick the yarn for it. Jared was a great teacher and made everything so clear and easy to follow. The trip was worth it for that reason alone, but it was even better that it wasn’t by far the only reason that made the trip worth it! ๐Ÿ˜€ Of course, I had to accost him after the class for him to sign my Made in Brooklyn book:

Jared Flood book - Made in Brooklyn

And I love what he wrote when he signed it!

Jared Flood book - Made in Brooklyn

I even got up the courage to ask him to take a picture with me and he was so nice and agreed! OMG total fan-girl moment! ๐Ÿ˜€

Spring Fling 2010

He was so sweet and talked with me on the way to lunch afterward. I told him I’m starting my business and we talked about photography for a little while. It was wonderful being able to meet one of my knit heroes and to have him turn out to be so nice to boot. ๐Ÿ™‚

The weekend was made up literally of knitting and talking to people, both of which I LOVE doing. It was so great to go to a knit event and actually MEET people and sit and talk. I feel like all the knitting events I’ve been to – namely Rhinebeck and Stitches West – were mostly about the classes or the shopping (or both) and not really about meeting anyone else. With the Fling I felt like I was there to make friends and I totally did! I loved having fun with all these ladies – all of you rock!!!

Spring Fling 2010

Spring Fling 2010

Spring Fling 2010

Spring Fling 2010

We also found out that Little Loopy was actually quite a scandalous character, getting drunk and falling into socks, peeing into people’s beers and clicking his own love button! What a little rascal!

Spring Fling 2010

Spring Fling 2010

Spring Fling 2010

Of course, the weekend wasn’t all about knitting, talking, classes and meeting awesome knitters… it was also about going out to Loopy Central for some shopping! I think I look quite happy to be there, don’t you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Spring Fling 2010

Spring Fling 2010

I love this wall!

Spring Fling 2010

And what did I walk away with? A beautiful bag full of goodies!

Loopy Purchases

Loopy Purchases

I think that was a pretty nice haul! Two sweater quantities! One is for a summer sweater – the softest cotton you’ve ever felt… it doesn’t even feel like cotton! – and the other for a Liesl out of an alpaca/merino blend. The rest include Skinny Bugga, Sweet Georgia, Fleece Artist and Hand Maiden. There was also a cute bag from 3AM:

3AM bag

Sadly the time to leave came way too soon, though we all clapped for Sheri and the Elves for doing such an AMAZING job with the whole thing!

Spring Fling 2010

I cannot recommend the Spring Fling enough to every knitter out there. It was one of the best knitting-related things I’ve ever done and I’d go back in a heart beat! I’m totally putting my name in the hat for it next year and really really hope I get picked to go – I wouldn’t miss it! ๐Ÿ˜€

Also, there are lots of blog posts out in blog-land talking about it if you want to look around and see who went. I’m pretty sure that everyone is raving about it, so check it out and see if you want to try for next year (lottery sign ups begin in December)! Sheri, the owner of The Loopy Ewe, posted about Spring Fling in her blog and I’m in some of the pictures – I’m knitting on a shawl in one of them! I’m also dead center in the main group picture – see if you can spot me!

To all my Spring Fling buddies, I had a great time meeting you all!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Off to Spring Fling!

I’m heading off for Spring Fling tomorrow morning and I can’t wait to get there! For those of you who are unaware, Spring Fling is an annual knitting get together that Sheri from The Loopy Ewe started a few years ago. It’s very popular and when I entered the lottery to go I totally didn’t expect to make it, but I did, and I’m beyond excited. Jared Flood, as I mentioned before, will be there – and I’m taking a class with him! – as well Anne Hanson, Gryphon Perkins and Wendy Johnson! The infamous Claudia of Wollmeise was going to be there as well (I would have LOVED to be able to meet her!) but because of the stupid volcano ash from Iceland her flight was cancelled and she can’t come anymore. I’m sad that I won’t meet her – and for everyone else who is stranded and can’t go home right now! – but maybe I’ll get in next year as well and meet her then! Maybe. ๐Ÿ˜‰

For now, I’ll leave you guys to your own devices for the weekend!

Make sure to do some fun things like eat some yummy food;

Wild bird conservatory

Stop and smell the flowers;

Melbourne

Find something awe-inspiring;

Remarkable Rocks

While trying not to get stuck in it!;

Remarkable Rocks

Visit with friends and family;

Australian Sea Lions

– But don’t get into fights!;

Near Admiral's Arch

Go outside and enjoy the day;

Melbourne

And when you get too tired;

Australian Sea Lions

Find a nice spot to rest;

Remarkable Rocks

Before heading home for the day;

Little Penguins coming home for the night

And doing something to unwind…

Fingerless Gloves - In progress

All the pictures above (with the exception of the knitting one) were taken in my trip to Kangaroo Island and Melbourne in Australia back in November 2009. I still haven’t done a blog post on this part of the trip, so I wanted to share the pictures with you now. I might do a blog post dedicated to these a little better, but until then, enjoy them! ๐Ÿ™‚

Interview and Socks

I had a great time being recently interviewed by Beverly of Yarn Intercept! She’s an awesome designer (I particularly love her Mythica vest) and a great blogger so I was so honored to have been chosen by her to be the first in her 10-Question series. So go check the interview out and while you’re there, check out her blog too. I promise you won’t regret it. ๐Ÿ˜€

In great part due to the interview, I also decided that it was about time I cast on for a new pair of socks as my last pair was finished back in January and I haven’t done another pair since. I really want to start doing some colorwork in general, but in particular with socks. However, I really wasn’t in the mood to do something incredibly difficult and, as it turns out, I’m off to The Loopy Ewe‘s Spring Fling on Thursday (OMG SO EXCITED!!!!) and I really need something completely mindless to knit on while chatting up with everyone there. Keeping those two things in mind, I cast on for a pair of Circle socks in the self-striping yarn Syncopation by Sknitches.

Flapper Circle Socks - WIP

I love how retro and groovy the socks look and can’t wait to get them done! I also think that the pattern perfectly complements the self-striping yarn.

Flapper Circle Socks - WIP

I think I will finish this sock so that I can knit on the other one while there. I’ll probably also have an easy shawl to knit on as well. Two easy projects sound like just the right thing to take to weekend of knitting and chatting it up! Not to mention a visit to Loopy Central and a class with Jared Flood. That’s right, I said Jared Flood! The knit-man of my (completely and totally platonic, of course) dreams. Can’t wait! ๐Ÿ˜€

Wollmeise Giveaway Winner

After doing the random number generator thing, I came up with a winner! Congratulations Anthony (AntBee on Ravelry)! Not only was this his first time finding my blog, it’s also his first skein of Wollmeise ever. I’m so excited to give the skein to a Wollmeise virgin! When I told him he won, he was SO excited… that made me really happy to make someone else happy. So YAY Anthony for winning! ๐Ÿ˜€

In other news, I got a new very expensive toy piece of equipment! A lens that I’m in love with! I’ve been playing around with it today and though it’s just with regular everyday shots – nothing special at all, I’m already amazed with what this lens can do. It has the most amazing Bokeh (click here if you don’t know what bokeh is!) of any lens that I own currently – LOVE! I think the dogs need to be groomed instead of me playing with the lens, though, LOL!

Playing with new lens

Playing with new lens

It also works really well for close-ups! It can focus at very close distances, which is awesome.

Playing with new lens

Now to actually brush the dogs… they really need it, as you can tell! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Congrats again, Anthony!!!

Swing Swing Swing

If you’re looking for the Wollmeise giveway, it’s on the post below. The contest runs through until 12am Eastern time, so you still have 3.5 hours to enter! ๐Ÿ™‚

I am so excited to finally be able to post a finished picture for my Swing Jacket – now a Swing Cardigan – that I first posted about back in January and then tested my signature circulars on when they arrived in February. I had gotten every bit of the body done – with the exception of the button bands – by the time the Ravelympics came around, so I knew that if I just picked it up again I could finish it right away. Even knowing that, however, I still took my own sweet time getting back to it and it wasn’t until April 4 that I finally started working on it again. And then of course I kicked myself for not finishing it earlier as I just LOVE the end result!

Swing Cardigan - FINISHED

I had to do a heck of a lot of modifications to the pattern as I was feeling stupid adventurous and decided to use a DK weight yarn (this is a worsted weight pattern) because I just LOVE Madelinetosh yarns and her DK line is amazing. So not only was my stitch gauge off, so was my row gauge. This wasn’t so bad in the beginning with the miles and miles of rib – which turns out to be rather beautiful and flattering on the body – but once I hit the yoke? That was much much harder to deal with!

Swing Cardigan - FINISHED

Swing Cardigan - FINISHED

All those gorgeous cables, which is what made me fall in love with the pattern in the first place, all of a sudden created a huge problem! After a ton of math – that I had to correct and re-correct about a million times – I was able to add a cable here, some rows there, a decrease there, and ta-da! It all worked out in the end. And the fit? Just perfect! ๐Ÿ˜€

Swing Cardigan - FINISHED

After doing one of the button bands, I had to decide on button placement. I found out that I didn’t want the buttons to stop halfway like in the pattern, as I like to close my sweaters all the way, so I went ahead and put six buttons in all the way down with 4 inches between them. Big mistake!!! As it turns out there is a very good reason as to why the pattern had six buttons so close to one another at the top! The all-rib sweater when worn correctly should be a little stretched which means that if you don’t have buttons close to one another the areas between the buttons tries to contract back (duh! right?) creating huge, gaping, ugly holes! I was SO upset about this as I already had the button band finished and sewn on and the buttonholes were already done! Plus, I didn’t have another six buttons! So I started asking around Ravelry and one of my awesome friends there (Kristi! – 53Chevy on Rav) suggested using an afterthought buttonhole as described in this blog post. It required cutting the stitch, but since I’d already steeked before, I figured it shouldn’t be as big of deal. And you know what? It really wasn’t! Other than the millions of ends I had to weave in, doing the afterthought buttonholes was actually one of the easiest parts of this sweater! I also had to spend some time searching for the perfect buttons since I now needed more of them and I totally think I found them!

Swing Cardigan - FINISHED

Aren’t the buttons gorgeous? They are from Beadfreaky and as it turned out she had just the right number for me to make the sweater. I swear it was fate calling me! So although it seems like this sweater took me forever, it really didn’t – I’m just a lazy person with button issues, LOL! But still a lazy person with button issues that has a big smile on her face! ๐Ÿ˜€

Swing Cardigan - FINISHED

Pattern – Swing by Mel Clark (rav link | project link)
Yarn – Madelinetosh Tosh DK (rav link | store I used)
Needle – US6 (4mm) and US7 (4.5mm)
Cast on – January 23, 2010
Cast off – April 12, 2010
Modifications – Changed stitch/row count for different gauge and different weight yarn. More exact numbers in my pattern page. Placed more buttons than called for in pattern, used afterthought buttonhole.

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