Postcards from NYC

Hello my dears! I’m back in Illinois . . . and it’s not quite as hot and humid as I feared! We’ve been busy getting the house–and our lives–back in order for the semester ahead. Phew! I am teaching three classes this term (one more than usual) and my syllabi are (thankfully) just about prepped! Wish me luck! For those of you who want to know: I’m teaching “Science Fiction,” “Speculative Futures,” and “Body, Culture, Society” — three of my favorites 🙂

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Before we left NY state, we had one last hurrah: my son has been asking to visit NYC and so, we took a couple of days to see the sights  shop. Yep, my kiddo fell about as far from the tree as one can fall on that score. I am not a clothes horse or much of a shopper, but this boy of mine, well, he can shop ’til way past bedtime. He found sneakers galore, and shirts, and department stores to explore. I snuck in a quick trip to Mood (“Oh look, we happen to be in the garment district, honey; let’s just pop in here for a quick moment.”) While there, we did see Swatch the Bulldog, which was a real treat! and I scored some long-sought buttons for my Aileas sweaters! We stayed in a Pod hotel with bunkbeds (what fun!) and I brought along my RebelTwo Shawl to pass the eve and morn in the room. Enjoy the photos and I’ll talk to you on next weekend’s podcast about all of the knitting goodness I’ve found out there in the world!

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Posted in buttons, fabric, found, Knit in public, knitting, new york city, travel, unexpected | 6 Comments

Episode 20: Making Connections

Can you believe we’re at Episode 20?? Love it! Thank you all for making this cast such a wonderful community 🙂 This week, I talk about my Andeljus Socks–a finished test knit for Anna of the DunkelgrĂĽn Podcast; a new brioche project, the RebelTwo Shawl by Lesley Anne Robinson of Kit Graffiti. Plus, I announce a DPN giveaway for the KNIT TOGETHER PROJECT. Thanks for stopping by to hang out with me and chatter about all things knit!

**To enter the GIVEAWAY, leave a comment HERE or on the YOUTUBE Podcast #20**

Show Notes

–Andeljus Socks by Anna Dunkebunt

–Dunkelgrün Podcast

–RebelTwo Shawl

–Explorations in Brioche (Nancy Marchant) on CRAFTSY

–Norfolk Horned Sheep

Old Crow Art Yarns

CrawCrafts Beasties

KNIT TOGETHER PROJECT – – won’t you join us??

 

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Knit Together Project!

I am so excited about the Knit Together Project! Instead of an ice pick, we have DPNs, and instead of videos, we have blanket squares! I can’t wait to see all of the ways that our community is knit together, to receive and seam up the blanket squares, to share your fiber stories, and to giveaway the final project(s) to one of YOU awesome participants! I’m getting the ball rolling with a few of my podcast/blogger friends–and they will send on some DPNs to the next crew.

**I’m hoping a lot of fiber folk will get involved, whether you are “tagged” or not!!

You’ll find all of the info below!

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Please get in touch via email (knittingthestash@gmail.com) or via Ravelry (we have a group or you can PM me) if you would like to join in!

KNIT TOGETHER PROJECT
Lots of maker communities collaborate or play “tag” with fun objects, ideas, materials, or FOs. Right now, for example, there is an ice pick making the rounds with YouTubers . . . each person who receives the ice pick makes a video about using the object. I thought that we fiber-fellows could make up a collective project of our own. Won’t you join me?

Our GOAL: make at least one blanket—maybe 2 or 3!?—out of squares knit by members of our awesome fiber community. We’ll keep track and have some fun in a Ravalry group dedicated to the project. I expect the project to last a year (or more!)

How to PLAY (2 ways):

A) TAG: I will “tag” a few of my favorite podcasters and bloggers by sending out a first round of DPNs; if you are “tagged” (and willing!) make and send me a blanket square that is 8”x8”–any pattern you like!– and then, send on the DPNs to someone else!

B) JOIN IN: send me a PM on Ravalry and I’ll gladly accept blanket squares from anyone who wants to join in the knit together!

SOULFUL Stash: yarn/fiber materials should be special in some way: local to you, handspan, something you’ve dyed, something you love ❤ Nothing acrylic, please! Thanks to Sarah of Fiber Trek for the perfect terminology for this 🙂

GIVEAWAY: I will seam up all of the squares I receive . . . Everyone who knits and submits a square will be entered to win the finished blankets(s)!! Wowza!!

Posted in big projects, blanket, community, Knit Together Project, knitters, knitting, unicorns | 12 Comments

Episode 19: Knit Together!

Oh my, we’re up to Episode 19! This week, I talk about travel knitting, my test knit for Anna of the DunkelgrĂĽn Podcast, and exploring brioche knitting. Plus, I announce the latest community-inspired project: a KNIT TOGETHER. Won’t you join me? Details below and on the blog. Thanks for stopping by to hang out with me and chatter about all things knit!

Show Notes (scroll down for links!)

KNIT TOGETHER INFO
Lots of maker communities collaborate or play “tag” with fun objects, ideas, materials, or FOs. Right now, for example, there is an ice pick making the rounds with YouTubers . . . each person who receives the ice pick makes a video about using the object. I thought that we fiber-fellows could make up a collective project of our own. Won’t you join me?

Our GOAL: make at least one blanket—maybe 2 or 3!?—out of squares knit by members of our awesome fiber community. We’ll keep track and have some fun in a Ravalry group dedicated to the project. I expect the project to last a year (or more!)

How to PLAY (2 ways):

A) TAG: I will “tag” a few of my favorite podcasters and bloggers by sending out a first round of DPNs; if you are “tagged” (and willing!) make and send me a blanket square that is 8”x8”–any pattern you like!– and then, send on the DPNs to someone else!

B) JOIN IN: send me a PM on Ravalry and I’ll gladly accept blanket squares from anyone who wants to join in the knit together!

SOULFUL Stash: yarn/fiber materials should be special in some way: local to you, handspan, something you’ve dyed, something you love ❤ Nothing acrylic, please! Thanks to Sarah of Fiber Trek for the perfect terminology for this 🙂

GIVEAWAY: I will seam up all of the squares I receive . . . Everyone who knits and submits a square will be entered to win the finished blankets(s)!! Wowza!!

TAGGING (if you accept . . . I’ll send you some DPNs!!)

  1. Sarah of FiberTrek
  2. Rachel of TreehouseKnits
  3. Tommi of SquirrelPieProductions
  4. Shirley of Handmade Habit
  5. Mandy of Little Golden Notebook

__________***___________***____________***____________***_____________***___________

–Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins

–Spin, Span, Spun

–Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn

–Stitchin’ Den

–DunkelgrĂĽn Podcast (Test Knit)

–RebelTwo Shawl

–Explorations in Brioche (Nancy Marchant) on CRAFTSY

–Ice Pick Videos—Spencer’s version is HERE

Posted in brioche, community, episode, found, KAL, knitting, mountain goat, not knitting, podcast, socks, travel, video | 12 Comments

Indie Dyer: Cherish Stevens of Dandelions and Daisies

Well hello there, weekenders! Today I have an interview with Cherish Stevens of Dandelions and Daisies–an indie dyer of fiber and yarn; and a doll maker! I met Cherish through her Etsy shop and a shared FB group. I was attracted by her beautiful and vibrant colorways and the fact that she is also a maker of dolls and other fiber creations. So much beauty in one place 🙂 Cherish agreed to an interview and the results are below. But first, some awesome photos for crafting inspiration (all courtesy of Cherish).

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Where did the inspiration for Dandelions & Daisies come from?
I wanted my business name to have a special meaning and to be a tribute to my children. They bring me fists full of dandelions and daisies all summer long, after kicking around several other ideas it just felt right. I have wondered if it was the best name for my business from time to time, wishing that the name reflected my gypsy sprit but I simply can not bring myself to change it, just like I can’t bear to discard the sweet wildflower once they have wilted because they were giving to me with so much love!

What is your favorite kind of crafting project?
Oh that is tough! I honestly love all things cratfy! I feel a deep sense of satisfaction from anything that I make for my children, whether it’s healthy treats we bake together, a warm quilt I made them for Christmas, a handspun knit hat to keep them warm as they play, a sweet dress, or lovingly crafted dolly. I have to say that making things for my children is my favorite craft.

I absolutely love the entire process of handspun yarn, from sheep to finished item every last part fill my heart with peace and comfort. It is difficult to try to explain to someone but there is something terribly romantic about it, it is like the feeling you might get when you’ve finally arrived home after a long journey. That is how I feel when I sit down at my wheel. When I give a gift that is made with handspun yarn it feels like I am giving them the gift of love. I know that it sounds sappy but I really can’t explain it any other way.

I am currently learning how to  make pottery, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to throw beautiful pottery on a wheel so I am over the moon excited! Hopefully I will be adding yarn bowls to my shop in the future!

Who are your biggest crafting influences/inspirations?
This one is easy! The women in my life!  My great grandmother was a doll maker and taught me how to cross stitch and embroider when I was very young. Both of my grandmas are extremely artistic and taught me how to bake, paint, draw, make wreaths, jewelry making,  photography, how to crochet and much much more. My mom who took the time to homeschool six children and always encouraged us to make anything and everything, she taught me to sew, to make soap and to do all things with love. And of course my sisters who are my best friends and are always up for learning a new craft with me and are always inspiring me with their own creativity.

You are also a doll maker–how did you get interested in that craft?
My great grand mother was a doll maker and made me two of the most beautiful dolls when I was young. I wanted my daughters to know the love of a handmade doll so I taught myself to make them before my oldest daughter’s first birthday. At first I just made softy style dolls but quickly fell in love with the beauty and simplicity of Waldorf dolls. I read everything I could on how to make them and ordered my supplies! She received her first Waldorf doll for her second birthday. This is actually what gave me the push to learn to spin, Waldorf dolls traditionally have handspun yarn for hair. I had always wanted to learn to spin from a really young age  but I had no idea where to begin. I had never met a spinner but I knew I just had to learn! I found a used wheel on a local sales site and fixed it and the rest is history. I have not listed  any dolls in my shop lately because they are incredibly time-consuming and I worry that my dolls do not hold a candle to other makers. I find more joy in creating them for my own children for now; I may feel inspired to add them to my shop again someday but for now I will continue to gift them.

Any advice for new dyers?
I would tell them to learn the rules and then break them to see what happens. Find your own style and don’t be afraid to fail, it’s how you grow. If you dye something you absolutely hate then overdye it! Some of my favorite things have come from something I thought was a mistake or something that was ruined. There is always beauty to be found. You just have to know where to look. Do what makes you happy, life is too short not to be happy!

Where can folks find your shop? or find out more about you? 

You can also join my Facebook group where I host monthly Spin Alongs and give away prizes to those who play along. I also post to shop updates there and let people know about sales that might be going on.

***

Thanks so much, Cherish!

I love farm visits and meeting new people (and sheep!): if you are a hand spinner, a shepherdess, a small flock owner, a dyer, a mill operator, or a wool trader, I would love to feature your work on this site. Please get in touch via email or Ravelry by clicking the “About” tab (above)

Posted in color, colorway, community, dyeing, indie dyer, interview, knitting, spinning | 5 Comments

Guys! We Saw Mountain Goats!

We have been out and about in the Montana Rocky Mountains–ahhhh, wilderness–and thus, the radio silence from me 🙂  I’ll give you all the details in the next podcast . . . but for now: the most exciting part: we saw some live mountain goats: a mama and a baby. I was busy staring at the stunning waterfall . . . and my son said, “Oh look, mom, mountain goats!” Holy guacamole! See if you can spot our little friend in the following pictures ❤

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Posted in in the wild, mountain goat, unexpected, unicorns, wilderness, yarn on the hoof | 9 Comments

Episode 18: Ella Love and Farm Investigations

Happy to be posting Episode 18–wahoo! This one is short and sweet: I talk about my finished Ella cardigan, some farm investigations I’ve been undertaking, and a test knit for Anna of the DunkelgrĂĽn Podcast! Plus, I announce the winner of the Moonstone Dyeworks Giveaway!

Show Notes:

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