Magpie in Lexington, KY

So I travelled to a plant in Lexington to go to an awesome workshop on ergonomics.  It was really cool to see how each task is broken down and the motions are analyzed – and the Lexington area has got a lot to do and see (well, not for someone who has to sit in the hotel room and prop her leg up! 🙁 )
The one place I made sure to check out was Magpie Yarn downtown.  It had a great selection of yarns (by color and size) and the woman there was so helpful.  Here’s some pictures of the inside to get a feel of the ambience:
It makes me want to sit and knit all day. But, doesn’t take much.
Anyway, I decided to buy some local Kentucky yarn – which, strangely enough, there isn’t a lot of.  I got two skeins of Colors to Dye For, which are very squishy and beautiful.
This blue is for me, it’s a Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend sock yarn.  Cashmere socks.  I feel so rich!  I actually think I might make wristwarmers for these, or maybe another shawl… I broke my cardinal rule with this, which is not to buy yarn unless you have a plan for it… but it was in the spirit of tourism/supporting local business/Iwantitandit’snotlikewe’regoingtostarveifIbuythis.
I don’t want to oogle over this light blue/blue/purple mix too much because I bought it for Alysia.  When I find pretty vegan yarn I like to get it for her because she can’t work with animal fibers.  The colorway is “Panda” which is her fiance’s pet name for her… right? Destiny!
Then this last yarn isn’t Kentucky-made, but I was inspired by it.
A few weekends ago Dan and I went to a convention and he bought me a corset that was cream and this exact color yellow.  So, I can make a shawl with this that will match! At least, that’s the dream.  My current pace of knitting probably makes that dream laughable, but whatever.  It’s a silky smooth sock yarn from Knitted Wit, and the colorway is “Sunshine.” I actually think I might design with this yarn, a first for me in like 6 months.  
Ugh, it’s been six months since I finished Moby and I still don’t have the pattern up :'(

Rhinebeck Recap 2013

I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with my mom and Ash this year and go to Rhinebeck! My mom is a travelling nurse, and she’s staying in Hyde Park… so naturally we said “Hey, mooooomm… would you mind letting us stay in your apartment and doing nothing but talk about knitting for the weekend?” And, weirdly enough, she said yes!
So, Ash and I met up on Friday, ate dinner, and we blocked our Rhinebeck projects out on my mom’s carpet while watching really bad horror.
Then, on Saturday, we realized neither of us had a yarn needle, so we ended up kitchnering the armpits of her sweater and weaving in the ends with a bobby pin.  I felt the most clever I had ever been, and she took this picture of my hands that “look like the light of god is shining down on you.” Not my words!
So, we perused all the crafts and yarn and demos, and I didn’t really see anyone famous, sadly.  The past few times, I’ve seen someone that I’ve known online (whose blog I follow) but have been too shy to say hello.  I don’t want to be a creep! I did meet some lovely sheep though.
I spent more money this weekend then I have any month this year on personal stuff.  I feel almost ashamed! In addition to yarn, I bought:
1.) A 2013 tote bag
2.) A basket (I’ll use it for other stuff besides knitting!!)
3.) Boy scout popcorn
4.) A hat that my mom and Ash said looked cute on me
5.) 2 project bags
6.) A bouquet of sweet annie, whatever that is – it smells so good!
7.) 3 magazines
Ash and I also started on some socks.  There was a booth that was winding yarn into skeins for a fee – it was awesome! 
And I managed to finish the toe – it’s Rainbow by Steam Valley Fiber.  Here’s a closeup:
Have you ever been to Rhinebeck? What did you get? Did you go this year? If you did, why didn’t we meet up!? I’ll kick myself 🙂

Mail Coming and Going

I sent a lot of mail over the weekend – my mom’s birthday gift, my redditgifts yarn swap, and a mountain of letters.  And today, I got some mail!
It’s an embroidery thread holder from Bugs and Fishes! I won it over at her blog a while ago.  I love her blog, by the way, and her felt squares are my favorite things in the world.  (I used them to make my hedgehogs, but she doesn’t sell them anymore.)
I can’t wait to embroider something… my fingers are just itching.  I have way too many projects on the docket 😉
Oh, P.S. – she also included one of her Vintage Scissor cards.  It’s really nice quality and looks like a work of art! I’m contemplating putting it on my wall.

I Regret Nothing!

Last week I went into the yarn store in Concord, NH – The Elegant Ewe.  I really didn’t INTEND to go into the store.  Really.  I had to go to the UPS store because Amazon sent me a set of lint rollers instead of two crystal glasses (present) and as I was getting into my car I thought “Oh, hey, there’s the local yarn store.  I should go in for a second.”
Of course, one second turned into almost an hour looking at yarn, buttons, and books.  I also talked to the people inside.  Eventually I decided “What better thing to do than to buy gifts for Ash and Alysia?” partly because I haven’t gotten them gifts yet, but mostly because it would give me an excuse to hang out around yarn.
Well, most of their products were wool, and the interesting silk or linen that they did have felt so icky.  I would have felt bad sending that as a gift to Alysia.  And I found some nice yarn for Ash that was made in New Hampshire… but there was no heather gray (her favorite color.)
But I didn’t walk out of there empty handed.  Nope.
I bought these.
A Christmas present for me, from Santa 🙂 Don’t even ask me how much it was! I don’t want to think about that right now.  I’m just going to put them on my shelf and feel fuzzy inside.

Best Gift EVER!

I have the greatest, most greatest BKFF (Best knitting friends forever).  At club last night, Ash gave me THESE…
I am seriously going to treasure these forever.  I can’t take my HazWOpER refresher this year because I have a class that meets – this totally makes up for it.  I had them clean up some cocoa today.
Part of me just wants to carry these around with me and photograph them cleaning up spills.
The most amazing thing is that I’ve had a pretty crummy week, and these have just made it. I’ve found that my happiness can be won over with presents.  What cool things cheer you up, Internet friends?

Beck from Rhinebeck!

Rhinebeck was pretty super awesome. I blocked my shawlette while the friend I went with, Rebecca, packed. We drove to Schenectady Friday night with it in the back seat of my car, and then it sat there until Saturday morning, where I took it down while we waiting in traffic for an hour and a half to park in the fairground.
W let me borrow his camera, but remember those nice blog photos I put up on Thursday night? I was an idiot and left the cap on. So, I can tell you about the sheep, the crowds, and the YARN… I can even tell you about the projects, and the people watching, and they lady that wore three shawls… but no photos.
I wish there was some kind of way to describe the Rhinebeck feeling. I get through the gate and I feel like it’s Christmastime. I glimpse bloggers that I follow waiting in line to get food or coffee. I get to look at and touch yarn that I only see photos of online.
Maybe I can describe it with the photos of the swag I got.
It’s a pretty modest haul. I got sock yarn for me, and enough yarn for two W socks from the same stand that I got my Opal Sock Yarn last year. No Opal this year, though… but Regia isn’t so bad, I guess…
I also got a sweater’s worth of yarn! I saw the Maple Creek Farm stand that I bought yarn from last year, and I saw their Jade colorway and KNEW I had to have a sweater made from it! It was only 678 yards – nothing to laugh at… but not enough for a cardi for someone as busty as me. So I got the lighter color, Sherwood Forest, to stripe with it and maybe push it a little more.
I would definitely recommend checking them out if you ever have the chance – there’s supposed to be a website for them, but the link on Ravelry is broken! Even if you don’t want to spend some money… just go and smell the yarn. W thought I was crazy, sniffing yarn, but it just smells so good!
Crazy luck got me this lace yarn. I was suffocating in this crowd in one of the buildings, and I slipped into a booth to cut towards the exit… but I was fixated by the colors! I ended up picking up Sweet Nothings Silken in a colorway called “A Rose By Another Name.” I would definitely recommend them… Bittersweet Woolery.
I also managed to snag a project bag from Go Monkey Design!  I keep all my projects in little ziploc bags… Now I have a REAL project bag! 🙂
Speaking of snagging…
Ash couldn’t come with us – she has been really sick – but she gave me money to buy her some goodies. I’m not going to reveal the bag until I give it to her, so I’ll save it for a later post. I really hope I can make her happy! I would be nervous giving cash to someone and saying “I’d like a tote bag and… I’m sure you’ll find good things for me.”

My Random Monday – October 3rd

1.  I have bronchitis.  This explains a lot of how I’ve been doing these past 10 days.  The health center thinks that I got a cold, then it’s developed into bronchitis because I haven’t been “taking care of myself.”
2.  Considering that I’ve been sleeping for twelve hours at a time, forcing myself to eat, and still managing to do the chores around the house and “most” of my homework, I seriously wish someone at the health center would define “taking care of myself!”
3.  Also, my lost camera has not turned up.  I only assume that it’s living a happy life taking photos for someone else’s blog (though, if my camera benefactor ever reads this, if you could send me the touristy photos I took I’d really appreciate it, since all W really took were  artsy photos of birds.)
4.  Speaking of W, he is letting me use his camera but it’s a Nikon D300 and it’s really, really fancy.  It took me 20 minutes to take photos of the yarn I bought on Saturday.
5.  Oh, I bought yarn Saturday.
Plymouth Encore in bright colors for an upcoming craft table that Hooks and Needles is going to do as a fundraiser.  I’m going to un-vent some flowers, and make little Inkly’s, and maybe some hedgehogs if I can find the yarn.
Mini Mochi to go with the Mini Mochi I already have in my stash to make a Mini Mochi striped scarf (like a Noro striped scarf, but without the Noro because… I’m still not convinced I want to try Noro) for myself.
Some cotton that was in the sale bin that will make good fingerless gloves.  It’s organic, naturally dyed cotton and it only cost $3.90 for the two skeins! Who says yarn stores are pricey? 😛
6.  I ended up finding another mistake on my shawlette last night (besides the surprise stitches) – I had messed up the lace pattern beyond tinking back, so I just frogged back to the lifeline.  Stitch count for the entire weekend: -15. 

Essential Tools

Yesterday W and I went on an adventure to Rochester.  We travelled up Route 14 through the gorgeous Finger Lakes Area, and then, on the way back, WE STOPPED AT A YARN STORE.
Notice the box? It’s a ball winder!
I also bought yarn for future projects, but the ball winder was especially useful today because the Skew sock is not cooperating – at least, the skein wasn’t.
So I set up the winder in the only surface on the ranch that I could – the front porch.  It was quite romantic, winding yarn on the porch at sunset.  And at the end, I got my perfect ball!
Hopefully the yarn will cooperate from now on!


Exams are finally over, final projects are turned in, hearts were broken and drama was had.  I’m happy to say that I spent the past (almost) 24 hours being a lazy young person. There was a short time where I worked, but for the most part, laziness!
And it was glorious.
Today me, W, and two of our friends decided to go to Eastview Mall, just for the heck of it.  Two things I love about Eastview. [1]: Yogenfruz.  It is a yuppie frozen yogurt stand with (usually) sour-tempered employees who go to private school and hate their families.  At least, today it was.
The second, and perhaps most important one, is ANTHROPOLOGIE.
I love the anthropologie store.  I love walking around and looking at the expensive clothes, not touching them because it’s like a museum of glorious clothing, if I were to touch them then the oils from my skin would stay on them forever, and then sediment will be unable to deposit there, and people that want to come and see them in the future will never be able to! Or is that a limestone formation?
But really, I do love that store.  It really inspires me, mostly because I could make things like the stuff in anthropologie! It wouldn’t be that hard! Ever been to a paint-your-own pottery studio? Corning NY has one and I’m totally going on a date with W over break to make some dishware 🙂
Here are some other goods that I thought “Oh, man, I could make that myself!!”
I could probably make this BETTER than Anthropologie… This looks kind of shoddy, for $15…
The cardboard stumps just made me think of W, wouldn’t that be a cool stop motion set?
And some gloves from Charlotte Russe.  They’re really chic, but if I knit myself a pair I would make glittens.
So what do you think? Do you get inspired by stuff you see in stores or magazines? Do you buy it, or go and craft it? What will happen when the crafty look goes out of style!?

Table for 6?

The quarter is almost over, and with that comes the joyous thing called free time. Until then, I have a ton of paperwork to do and not enough time to knit.  This Monday marks the beginning of two-three weeks of stress, squabbles (from the stress) and indigestion (also from stress, but possibly from eating out every night.)
But, a few good things have happened this week that deserve to be memorialized in blog form.

I started working on Christmas gifts! For W’s mother and sisters, I’m making French Press Slippers.  They work up really fast! It’s really gratifying to make these.

Yesterday, I saw a rainbow outside of my building! That was pretty sweet.

Lotus and Rocky have been very active lately.  They’re much less skittish much more adventurous.  If I let one out of their cage, the other wakes up and wants to sit on my lap (they aren’t allowed to be out together, for obvious reasons!)
The number one good thing of the week, though, is this.
I bought a 35-piece set of China.  Yeah, I know, what will I do with that? The future is ripe with dinner parties followed by dessert and tea.
I just need a table for us all to sit at.