Retreating we will go.

I can’t hide my excitement. I am going on another retreat it is local so other than a short drive and trip on a ferryboat ride. It is the first time I am going to this retreat and what has me excited is that there is relatively  few activities planned. If I want to stay in my room and be antisocial, I can totally do so… and ( drum roll please) I am bringing “Meditation” aka my spinning wheel.

I plan on disassembling the distaff and packing up Meditation
I plan on disassembling the distaff and packing up Meditation

I am totally debating what to bring on the trip project wise. How much is too much.  Suggestions are appreciated. My current tally of projects is 2-3 knitting projects and 12 ounces of spinning fiber (

Nothing like bringing an assortment of crafting tools. I mean you never know what could happen over a 4 day retreat
Nothing like bringing an assortment of crafting tools. I mean you never know what could happen over a 4 day retreat





First a big shout out to “The Vault Blue” who says he reads this blog. I had the pleasure of meeting him, J and some delightful people including KBRTMYR  at a mutual friends house.

It was an evening of friendship, great food and crafting. While the ( non +1 participants) are all knitters, it was fascinating to get to look at other peoples projects and different crafts. I was able to learn a fair amount of setting up a loom and see different yarns.  I brought along a new project as I had frogged 20 rows of my Inglis Mitts by Ysolda earlier in the day.

I picked Chill Chaser by Amy Miller because it was a good project for some conversation knitting (aka, where you don’t have to focus or pay attention)

Chilll Chaser by Amy Miller.... Okay can we just talk about the yarn. Spiffy by the Plucky Knitter. I love everything about this base.. it is quickly becoming a leading contender for my one of my top five bases from the Plucky Knitter
Chilll Chaser by Amy Miller…. Okay can we just talk about the yarn. Spiffy by the Plucky Knitter. I love everything about this base.. it is quickly becoming a leading contender for my one of my top five bases from the Plucky Knitter. The silk in this yarn make the color “glow” and while the cashmere adds a lovely softness the silk  and how the yarn is constructed  makes this yarn pretty sturdy and reduces the “drape” element from these two fibers.

I really can’t say enough good things about this yarn. If I wasn’t on a yarn diet I would would definitely buy more.  As it stands I seem to be adding to my stash via the spinning wheel. I finally  finished the last thread of the 4 ply and plied them together. the result is 217 yards of light dk yarn. Not sure what I will do with it, the additional plys give it a roundness and would lend itself well to something with cables.


4 Ply of a One of a Kind dye lot from Nest Fiber studios
4 Ply of a One of a Kind dye lot from Nest Fiber 


So what does one do when the bobbin is empty? Why start spinning some more fiber of course!


Nest Fiber Club's October colorway
Nest Fiber Club’s October colorway

Reflecting on meeting other fiber lovers and seeing their love of different fiber arts really got me excited and inspired. I am know thinking about all of the fiber related crafts I  should/could be doing. While it is not bad to have one particular favorite of the fiber arts, I have found that each craft has given me something different… Spinning is meditative, soothing, and challenging… Knitting gives me a sense of accomplishment and feels familiar like an old friend…. and Crochet well the fluidity of the movements and repetitiveness of many of the motifs is oddly relaxing

Gosh I missed them…


I can’t even remember the last time I have a cable in a pattern. It seems as if it were a year ago ( I know this is not true), but regardless it feels great to be back into the thick of things and working through a cable chart. I am knitting the Inglis Mitts and I have to say it is great fun.

I am knitting them up in Ysolda’s Blend no. 1. It is a nice yarn and shows great stitch definition, while also being soft on the hands, and well, its in one of my all time favorite colors: gray. These things almost seem to be knitting themselves and I find myself saying “one more row.”

It feels great to be back knitting cables and also to have a quick knit on the needles.





That took awhile

I have been on a mission over the past month and a half  to clear my needles and get some of the WIPS completed. It feels really great to have Marley and Hyoutan off the needles not to mention the Sankaku Shawl done that I finished in August.  I have been looking at them everytime I open my project page and seeing the “WIP” in the little picture of the project. Sometimes it feels that they are staring back at me  and giving me a dirty look.  I still have about four WIPs that are not complete but at this point only 1 of the 4 actually have a serious shot of getting my attention. I should think about  maybe frogging a couple of them.

Hyoutan by Rie from Pom Pom Quarterly's  Fall 2013 issue
Hyoutan by Rie from Pom Pom Quarterly’s Fall 2013 issue

I  at least think it is time to cast on a new item, Hyoutan was great (I actually had been meaning to knit it up since 2013) but after knitting on WIPS for the last 2 months I am ready for a new challenge.



Growing pains

img_9477Every once in a while I get the itch to try to get out of my comfort zone. I think about how I would like to grow  as a fiber nerd and see if I can mix things up a bit. I can’t admit it is a fun thing to do, but it does reduce the possibility of getting bored. The class I took with Judith earlier this month has made me think I should try some different techniques and skills. It pushed my out of my comfort zone ( I am mostly self taught other than a Craftsy class) and I have been thinking on the knitting front it wold be good to add something to the tool kit as well.

So far this is what I had come up with 1) Spin up enough threads to make a 4 ply yarn….. I seem to live in the 2 ply and the Navajo ply zone. I currently have 3 of the 4 spun up.  I have a tensioned lazy kate, but I think the plying should be a bit interesting since it is double the amount of fiber I usually work with to ply a yarn 2) I don’t even want to talk about it, but I suppose I need to revise the disaster of trying to spin super wash merino and give it another go. There is a whole bunch of super wash merino fluff in my bins that will eventually need to be spun up 3) Try my hand at designing a knitting pattern. I sketched a motif about a year and a half ago and haven’t done anything with it.  This week I  grabbed my colored pencils and put them to a notebook. Don;t know when I will get the chance to swatch it, but I suppose it is a start.

At the moment though I am not firmly entrenched on mitten island, or as a knitter who doesn’t knot socks.. the accessories version of sleeve island (Hoping I can get off the island soon:).



Learning new tricks and no Rhinebeck;(

Wearing my new Marley Shawl designed by Andrea Mowery

Its been an interesting month, and we are only a third through October.

  1. I am finally healthy (YAY!)
  2. I finished my Marley by Andrea Mowery
  3.  I took Judith McKenzie’s “Spinning for Socks” during the Nordic Knitting Conference
  4. Talked myself into a yarn diet ( there are exceptions, and some of my friends are already giving me crap)
  5. Committed to doing a KAL with a freind.

First things first,  I have new appreciation for being healthy. It is not that I have been living an unhealthy lifestyle  but after catching my daughter’s cold and stomach flu, I realize how I should be taking better care of myself.

So finally done with my 1st 2 color brioche knitting project. I have wanted to knit Marley since I saw it come out and when I was able to score some Druzy Rising I knew I wanted to use it for this project.  I will admit that the learning part was a little bit of a mind bend when I started. I had previously knit a hat with a brioche brim, but that was 1 color and in the round.

I really tried hard to watch and have patience with  the Nancy Marchant video on Craftsy, but what seemed to work best were video tutorials on Youtube.

Spinning for Socks class with Judith
Spinning for Socks class with Judith

So Judith’s class at the Nordic Knitting Conference, was AH- MAZING! I can’t even describe how much I learned. I have had friends tell me “If you get the opportunity to take a class with Judith, take it” Wow they are so right. I have never met anyone more knowledgeable about fiber, the industry, the history of  crafting with fiber,  or the actual techniques.  She is like a Jedi Master of fiber.

So next topic, yarn diet. Well what can I say I have a crap load of yarn and now I am actually making more. While I didn’t go “Cuckoo for Cocopuffs” buying new yarn at the Plucky Knitter’s Glampning event. I did decide that it wouldn’t be the worst thing if I stopped buying yarn  until Madrona ( exceptions are for spinning fiber, Druzy Rising and Viola). Yeah it sounds funny to give exceptions, but to be honest I think it is more realistic, at least to me. Good news is that my wheel is more powerful than the one I learned on and I actually think if I spin heaver yarns I can work through my fiber stash at a decent pace.

Lastly, I signed myself up to do a Knit a long with a friend I am going to cast on the Inglis Mitts by Ysolda. I hope to wind the yarn and cast on this weekend. If I am not going to Rhinebeck this year, at least I can cast on a new project. There are several WIPS on the needles, but I will have finished two WIPS by the end of this month, so I figure I am allowed.







Retreat season is here…

fullsizeoutput_1431Iv’e been kind of MIA.  Thing have just been kinda nutty you with, work, family,  and getting sick (x2), but I did just get back from the Plucky Knitter’s Glamping event held on Bainbridge Island. It was held at a new location this year so aside from knowing that the Plucky Knitter knows how to throw a good event I really didn’t know what to expect.

There had been a few comments in the Raverly forums  about not wanting to go and be mandated to have a roommate, sleep in a bunkbed, or it being not in the Midwest and centrally located for everyone, when the location was announced, but I couldn’t not go, and those things didn’t deter me because  well the event is just fun and they do a fabulous job of putting it together. The group has grown a lot  and it was nice to have an intimate setting with people who wanted to hang out, knit, chat, shop and talk about yarn.The retreat while different than year’s past was really lovely and it surpassed all of my expectations (except I feel really guilty about giving my roommates my cold).

Islandwood on Bainbridge Island is a special place and while I am local to the Seattle area it felt  I was a lot further from  10 miles from the city; if I were to try to describe it, I would say it reminded me a lot of the Olympic Pennisula. img_9835


Treehouses! How cool!
Moss and a distant view of the pond
Knitted slug and real ones were everywhere on Islandwood

There were wonderful walking trails ( full disclosure, I am not a hiker but I enjoyed it and they were very walkable). the event itself felt special and  more intimate than years in the past. The weather was perfect for knitwear and people seemed excited to see some new scenery ( I could not believe how excited people were about slugs)

Spiffy! I really love ho the silk makes the color sing in the light. It almost glows.

The marketplace was exceptionally nice this year and it was very open and easy to navigate.  I didn’t go too nuts on yarn ( It was the cheapest year yet) and to what I thought I could really use. The latest base that I am really into is “Spiffy”(I can’t say enough good things about it, it is not offered regularly and is more expensive than some of the other bases, but for what you get I think it is totally worth it. I would even say I might like it more than their cashmere sport)  and while you were not able to special order it  the even they did have some on hand and I picked up about two sweater’s quantities, I also picked up some Oxford for color work ( I was totally enabled after taking Janine Bajus’ (aka the Feral Knitter) color work class) and a couple of  One hit wonders (OHW) for my daughter ( she requested a pink hat).

“I’ve Loved the Stars Mitts” by Janine Bajus

When you booked the retreat package a class was included  ( you had the option of selling it) and I signed up for Janine  Bajus’ class (aka the Feral Knitter). I had the pleasure of meeting her at Madrona Fiber Arts Festival last year and was so impressed by her work. When I see her colorwork it makes me think about selecting colors differently, and I enjoyed seeing how her contrast and main colors changed in work, it makes it look more 3 dimensional than some of the color work I am used to seeing.  There were several of her samples in the class and I “had” to try on a pair of mitts she brought. Janine also designed a hat just for the event and we were provided with kits. I am super excited about the hat (I just need to find time to make it. If you would like to knit the hat the pattern is now available for sale on Raverly here Dryas Octopetala

It was great seeing old friends an making new ones…. even if it can be a little overwhelming ( I’m and introvert and was pretty sick), and I am really glad that I went, now it is time to gear up for the next one… I have a class with Judith McKenzie this weekend and the Nordic Knitting conference and next month will be heading to the Olympic Pennisula for a private retreat. I think the thing I just need to do know is just stay healthy.