More Weekend Yarn Adventures!

This past weekend I spent with more yarny adventures!  Saturday I taught a Tiny Sweater Class at Yarn & Coffee and Sunday I had a Trunk Show at The Yarn Store at Nob Hill and they were both fabulous.IMG_1664

I was able to talk to lots of interesting knitters, eat cookies, work on my sweater, drink hot chocolate, eat another cookie, talk to more knitters and spend time breathing in the yarn and fiber fumes.IMG_1680

Sadly, these are my last events in Albuquerque, but they were so fun!   I really appreciate the local knitting scene making me feel welcome and at home, I know that the Loveland and Fort Collins knitting scenes will be the same and I’ll get to meet even more fun, funny and fabulous fiber folk!IMG_1685

If you’re interested in making one of these adorable little things for your holiday decorations, just wait a few days!  The pattern for the Tiny Sweater will be published here on the blog soon with plenty of notes to customize it and make it easier to fandangle those beginning stitches on dpns!IMG_1672

Continueing the Fiber Binge Weekend

After getting such a huge Fiber High on Saturday, I had to continue the trend on Sunday, it would’ve been too abrupt a withdrawal to just stop it right there.  And besides, I had PLANS!  Needs and wants and ideas and things to act on lest this yarn somehow disappear before I could make something with it.IMG_1401

Andrea, luckily, was up for round 2 of Fiber Binging and we started off at the Yarn Store at Nob Hill where we both purchased a few skeins of yarn for future projects and I, a tiny crochet hook for beading.  I came home with 3 skeins of Zealana Rimu, a 60% New Zealand/40% Possum mix in the most gorgeous and difficult dark turquoise dk weight yarn with little bits of a darker (what I believe to be natural) fibers spun in.  I imagine these three skeins to become a matching hat and mitt set!IMG_1408 IMG_1406

We then visited the bead store up the road and picked out some super awesome brightly colored seed beads to go with this yarn from Bittersweet Woolery for a hopefully-soon-future project.IMG_1392

The day was capped with plenty of time sitting around at our usual watering hole doing what we do best – knitting and sipping brews!IMG_1354

What’s your favorite place to enjoy some knitting time?  Did you indulge in any recent stash enhancements?IMG_1353

Taos Wool Festival

This weekend was full of yarny adventures!IMG_1301

Saturday I went to the Taos Wool Festival for the first time and man oh man was it a blast!  Much smaller than Rhinebeck, which I attended last year, the Taos Wool Fest was the perfect size for the small, artsy, historical town.  There were plenty of vendors selling handspun and handdyed yarns, fibers in various stages of processing, tools and notions and even little furbabies! IMG_1312

There were shearing demonstrations, sock knitting machines, classes, raffles, cinnamon roasted almonds (the smell of which took over my knit-friend Andrea who disappeared then reappeared with a cone of the sweet, cinnamony goodness) and all sorts of pretty knitwear walking around to be admired, fondled and discussed. IMG_1237

My SO’s folks accompanied us (and drove…and gifted me with a gorgeous skein of yarn which I’ll get to in a minute) and his mom picked up a drop spindle and some fiber to teach herself how to spin!  This renewed my desire to pick up my own drop spindle and learn to spin better and more consistently, so hopefully the blog will feature some of that soon too!IMG_1305

Ok, so, the loot.  I only came home with one skein of yarn, can you believe that?  (I think I’ve said this before) I can’t either!  But it’s a gorgeous skein and I almost left it behind but, as previously mentioned, my SO’s momma came to the rescue and knew that if I left the skein at the booth, it wouldn’t be there when we made our second round, so she purchased it for me (such a nice nice nice lady, and I can’t thank her enough for it).  It’s a lace-weight handdyed yarn from a yarn store in Fort Collins called Your Daily Fiber.  I’ll be visiting them soon (exciting news for a future post!) and will hopefully pick up the other skein I was longing for but left behind which, lo and behold, had vanished, off to join some other crafter’s stash and not my own!IMG_1331

But look at that color ya’ll!  Isn’t it fabulous?  I know, right?  Just fantastic and totally perfect and I’m super excited to make something with it.  The process of picking what to make with it is another post entirely.IMG_1293

The day finished up with delicious pizza from Taos Outback Pizza and plenty of car-time to pet the new additions to everyone’s stash, it was a PERFECT day.  IMG_1285

Did you do anything fiber-related this weekend?

Blocking

After teaching my latest class at Yarn & Coffee on the Sweet Summer Rays Shawl, my students asked how best to block the finished project.  The conversation ultimately led to the decision to host a blocking demonstration at the Yarn Store at Nob Hill this past Saturday.IMG_0707

I want to thank everyone who came out, I was expecting a small group – maybe just the students, even – but we had a great turnout and I’m so glad that so many knitters were able to come and ask their blocking questions!IMG_0693

Here you can see my basic blocking setup – my blocking mats (kids’ playmats), my safety pins, blocking wires (welding wires, really) and my spray bottle filled with water.  An un-blocked Sweet Summer Rays lays on top of my blocking one, so you can see how much this shawl can grow with some aggressive blocking!IMG_0698

I love using the wires to block my straight edges, they keep the edges super clean and neat while also allowing me to save time by not using a jillion pins instead.  These wires are also flexible enough that they’ll allow for blocking of curved edges too!IMG_0710

When I block things like this shawl, I pin first and spray with the water bottle second, then re-adjust the pins if necessary and play with the shaping until I’m perfectly happy with it.  Many knitters will soak the knit first and that’s just fine, it’s only my preference to pin first and water second.

What are your favorite blocking tools?

Garden Update

Remember all those weeks ago when I gave you a photo-montage of my garden area being built?

The space is doing remarkably well and my plants are flourishing!  Just the other day I woke up to find some HUGE squash blossoms coming out of my 3 squash plants!  Seriously, they’re the size of my hand!IMG_0654

And shortly after that I found a little bean had grown in the night.  IMG_0650

Now I also have 4 little tomatoes!IMG_0646

The “Carrot Forrest” as I like to call it seems to be doing well, although the carrots kind of make me nervous because I don’t exactly know when to pull them since they’re, well, underground and I can’t see how they’re doing.  IMG_0651

Late start to the growing season, but it looks like it’s hopefully going to be a fruitful (and veggie-ful) one!IMG_0653

Are you gardening this year?  What’s your favorite plant to watch grow?

Weekend Adventures

This past weekend was a super fun one. My awesome friend Freshy flew in from Seattle and hung out with me!  We hit up all the yarn stores, some of the breweries, plenty of tourist-y spots and had some quality veg-out time on the couch with tea (or wine) and our Ravelry queues. I instagrammed a lot of it, if you don’t already follow me, sometimes I post pretty pictures 😉

Some pictures from the weekend? Sure, why not!

Yarn Store at Nob Hill
This is the mural on the Yarn Store at Nob Hill
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Hiking around on the top of the Sandias
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“The Rock House” on top of the Sandias
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Oddly similar tastes in beer colors as in yarn colors
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Sometimes you just have to hug the yarn up close and personal

And look what she brought me all the way from the Pacific Northwest! Isn’t it beautiful? Not a clue yet what I’ll make with it, but it’s soft enough to hang out around my neck anyway.IMG_0553

What did you do this weekend?  Fun adventures, even if they’re in your own town, can be had regularly and I highly recommend it!

Pints & Purls Edition 9: Marble Amber Ale

This is the ninth in a series of installments that will highlight one of my favorite brews and which knits to go with it!

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Brew: Amber Ale

Brewer: Marble Brewery

Malts: toasted and caramel malts

Hops: light, aromatic dry hop

Flavors:  This beer is smooth, almost sweet with a carmel-y and nutty flavor.  It’s got a quick, dry finish.IMG_9384

Knit Pairings:  This beer would lend itself easily to quick, fun novelty projects because it won’t dominate your attention span.  It’s a pleasant addition to complicated projects in luxury yarn and will let your projects do the talking.

Notes:

Let me know what you think!  Suggestions for future beers, more/different information to include, this is a work in progress so I won’t be offended by constructive advice!

 

(I really really apologize about being so MIA lately, I got a new job and I’m still working out how to get allofthethings done in 24 hours, including some sleep, I promise to be better about it!)

A Garden For Me

Warning: Photo-heavy post. Don’t judge. I’m excited. You be too.

Over the 4th of July weekend, my beau and I spent most of our time outside.  We weren’t relaxing in the sun, sipping frosty beverages and working on our tans, instead we were building arguably the most stable fence a garden has ever had.  IMG_20130704_162022_338

When I initially started thinking about parsing off some of our backyard into a garden space, I was thinking we’d go find some pallets, secure them to each other, leave one able to swing open and tada! I’d have a quick and easy fence to keep the dogs away from my plants and compost heap.IMG_20130705_135608_610

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Mentioning such a plan to an engineer with a perfectionist streak? My “easy” afternoon plan turned into 4 days, 3 trips to Lowe’s, countless leveling and securing and stabilizing attempts and, a really pretty fence with a pallet gate.IMG_9932

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It does what it was set out to do – it keeps the dogs out (much to their dismay).IMG_9904

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And on the inside?IMG_9921

I fashioned a very simple compost heap and planted this year’s seeds in containers.  If we’re still in this house next year I’ll put in raised beds and really go to town on the space.IMG_9918

And, even though I got a super late start on the growing season, I already have a number of my seeds sprouting!IMG_9915

Carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, bush beans and tomatoes (from starters, not seeds) are hopefully going to grace my dinner plate later this year 🙂IMG_9939

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This is my first real time gardening and so far I’m really enjoying it.  I go out to “visit” my plants at least 2 or 3 times a day to make sure they’re getting enough water (as you can see in the pictures, this is New Mexico, the dessert, even container plants aren’t safe from drought) and to see if anything new has grown!

Have you ever gardened before?  Any words of wisdom for the newbie?

Classes

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a great weekend, we did!  Ours was packed with productivity and it was so rewarding to get some projects done, but I’ll share more about those later.

I wanted to remind everyone about a few classes I’m teaching this week and next here in New Mexico.

There will be quite a few more classes coming next month, so keep an ear out for that!  What classes have you taken at your LYS that you’ve enjoyed?  What classes would you like to see offered?

Summer Camp

A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to teach students at a summer camp about Fiber Arts.  Ranging in age from 6-12, the students got to learn how to finger knit, needle knit, basic sewing and embroidery, kool-aid and procion dying, along with a few other projects just between the other Fiber Arts teacher and myself! IMG_9394

Not to mention farm chores – milking goats, making ice cream, collecting eggs, tagging baby goats, letting the horses out to pasture and all that fun stuff!IMG_9401

I really enjoyed myself, teaching adults is always fun and teaching kids brings a whole new set of challenges.  Learning how to teach is a fun little game to figure out and everyone learns in a unique way!IMG_9393

Camino de Paz is a montessori school during the year and also a farm, year-round.  I think it is the coolest school I’ve ever heard of, and if I’d had similar opportunities as a student, I’d definitely have wanted to attend!IMG_9432

Being an instructor at a summer camp was a ton of fun, a lot of work, but totally worth it and I hope to be able to do it again soon 🙂IMG_9421

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