Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Spin to Knit Exchange Quesions and answers

The following questions came from my secret pal in the Spin-to-Knit Exchange...

1. Favorite color?

2. two ply or singles?

3. Favorite holiday?

4. do you like art yarn? (yarn with extra bits spun or plied in?)
or are you more of a "normal" yarn kinda girl? (for example, my
husband says it's not yarn if there is stuff spun in it. It's only
yarn if its plain :) )

5. ok, so I thought I would have at least 5 questions, but I can't
really think of anything else right now

Happy New Year!!!

And my answers...

1) I love COLOR. Pure and simple. Ther eis beauty in all colors, and I tend to move in phases. Recently, I was in a cool blue/purple phase (still a favorite), but normally my first response is red. Mu house is a mish-mash of navy and white, warm candlelight yellow and russet, mocha brown and caramel -- a little of everything. I love bold, bright colors, and I love neutrals -- anything inspired by nature. So, I'm pretty easy, I think.

2) Depends. I prefer two-ply for its durability, and simply b/c right now I am still working on perfecting my spinning. Trying to acheive an even, balanced yarn that I can use for, whatelse?, socks! lol I love all yarns, tho, and each have their uses. I love a soft almost unspun single-ply yarn, like Malabrigo (mmm), thick and thin fun yarns for various projects, from hats to sweaters. You name it. Except fun fur. No fun fur. and I am def. into natural fibers, but seeing as this is a spinning exchange, I think that is a given.

3) Favorite holiday, huh? Well, I love Halloween and Thanksgiving for the lack of emphasis on gifts. Halloween is just fun, but Thanksgiving is fab b/c it is ALL about family and love and generosity and just being. Love it. This is the one I host in my home, and delight in it. Christmas is wonderful too, when done right. When the focus is on family, not the crazy have-to-get-to-the-mall and buy the "best" gift, or why didn't I get as much as my brother crap. UG. Hate it. I do most of my shopping on-line so I don't have to get frusterated with nasty people and crowds and traffic, and focus on keeping the spirit and fun alive for my kids. And I like making gifts for folk, and putting lots of love into it. I just wish I were faster!!!! I have a lot of people to love!!!

4) I do like art yarn. Yarn is an artform in and of itself to me, and I am amazed at what people can do. My knitting to date tends to be a bit more conservative, since I am not a frilly dresser and try to dress my lumpy-two-baby-body in a way that calls the least attention to my undersireable spots. I like to use the more elaborate yarns and such as accent pieces. Love that. Often, I find the art yarns MUCH to pretty and special to knit with, and wuld just pet them now and then and marvel at the creativity with which they are conceived. So yes, I definately have an appeciation for these, and hope to someday experiment myself. (My present experimentation is with the dyepot.) Your hubby was silly. Of course it is yarn! lol

So how is that for a dissertation?? I hope I helped more than confused, but seriously, where all things fiber are concerned, I am always delighted.

All my best to you and yours this season and in the new year! ~Heather

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A little gift from Iraq

Many of you know my brother, Jason, is serving in Iraq. I miss him horribly, terribly everyday. Christmas is especially hard, knowing he is there, in danger (and don't let ANYONE tell you "it isn't so bad" over there. It is.) and isn't enjoying himself, surrounded by loving family and feasting on goodies like the rest of us are. My heart really just isn't in it this year, but I try, for the sake of the kids. Anyway, my mom got a video from him today, and I had a real good cry. It isn't profound. It is short. But it's my baby, and I love him, and I just wanted to share him with you all. Please say a prayer for him and all of our other men and women serving bravely in the armed forces who are in harms way and away from loved ones. If you want to "meet" my boy, click the link.
Merry Christmas, all, and please let there be peace on Earth.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Few Christmas FOs

Still much knitting to do, so this is going to be short, but I thought I would share some of my latest FOs as I was quite pleased with them. First is a boho inspired bag I made for the gift swap for my knitting guild organized by Joanne of a Knitter's Garden in Chester -- who got the bag, and loved it! I found this fabric ages ago and bought it without a plan but I just loved it and had to have it. There is still plenty left for a few more bags, too, so I will certainly be duplicating this one.

Next are the Fetching Mitts made out of a Debbie Bliss Cashmerino knock-off I knitted and gifted to Rachel's bus-driver (thank you, Jackie, for that great idea!). They came out nicely, exceot I have a real issue with holes where stitches are picked-up around the thumb. I finally settled on a Grumperina-type method of picking up stitches from the knitted piece, rather than out of the working yarn, and then knitting these through the back loop to twist. Any remaining gaps I cleaned up when weaving in the ends. I'm so picky about holes.

And lastly is the tote I made for Rachel's teacher. I soooo love this bag! Dying to make another. It was pretty easy, too, but unfortunately, I broke a needle and in doing so somehow threw the mechanisms in my machine out of whack (yes, technical term), and it crapped out on me (another technical term -- aren't I just brilliant?). Luckily, I had kept my old work-horse basic machine for Rachel to use, so I dug that out and was able to finish the project. Rachel said her teacher loved it, so all is good. This was another fabric from the stash, and thankfully I always buy plenty, so I can get another one out of this as well.

So that's it! Let's see, two more pair of smocked gauntlets left (one of four mitts knit), a "secret" project to be sewn together, two pair of Fetching, and two scarves -- and none of the last four have even been started!! A few people on my list will be getting belated gifts, don't you think? sigh.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

ARG! ...tagged

Hmm. Not sure how I feel about this. I like being one of the "cool kids" as much as the next, but I also tend to avoid things like those e-mails that people send asking 50 questions about what type of TV you watch, or what color you would use to describe yourself, or who was your first kiss. But this one is kinda fun, although I have been having some trouble coming up w/ answers. (My husband, of course, has a long list for me.) Gina tagged me for the "5 things that are Weird about me" meme.
1. I am addicted to crime shows of every kind -- drama and reality. CSI, CSI:miami, LAw and Order, L&O:SVU, Forensic Files, the New Investigators, Body of Evidence, etc, etc.
2. I am probably the only female in America who doesn't give a crap who the next American Idol is, or the Next Top Model, what B-actor is the best amateur dancer, or who is most capable of surviving a completely contrived torture filled month on a remote island. Ick.
3. Some of my friends get the "baby itch". Me, I get kitten itches. Must. Have. Kitten. (I am entirely content w/ my children -- guess they don't leave me wanting!)
4. I love cereal and milk -- any and all kinds. I basically live off it. Morning, lunch, dinner, doesn't matter. Love it. Oh, and I like cold spaghettios right out of the can. hmmm. might go get some right now!
5. I consider the shower a sacred place. This is my haven. EVERYONE knows to leave me ALONE in the shower. It is the only completely private place I have. No noise but the rushing water, hot and soothing. I swear, I think this is the closest I get to meditation.
Of course, to all of my non-fiber friends, the knitting, spinning, fiber-obsession is the weirdest thing, but then I think they are weird for NOT appreciating the art, so hey! I guess weird is a bit subjective. I'm going to pray I don't get shot for this and tag Nora, Holly, Rachel, Jessie, and Chris at Ericka's blog. Have fun folks! If I had to do it you do too!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

oooh yeah, Mommy Rocks

Friday night brought about a long-anticipated suprise for my little girl. You see, Rachel is a Rockstar. She and her three best friends have been calling themselves "the Cheetah Girls" after the Disney group since last year. So a few months ago I was alerted to the fact that the original Cheetah's would be playing in concert here in NH, and got my baby and me tickets. And didn't tell her. This week, I told her we would have a night out together, just the two of us. With Mommy working so much on Sereknity, she has been feeling serious mommy-itis. (Of course, if I worked out of the home, I don't think it would be so bad, but since she can see me, hear me, and touch me, she doesn't really get why she can't have me. But I digress...) This night was going to mean a lot to her. I arranged a manicure with my good friend Kendra, and being in on the secret, she designed fabulous pink Cheetah nails for Rachel...

I decked her out in the perfect Cheetah-licious outfit, we had dinner, and then off we went! And she still had NO CLUE where we were going...
Until we were right in front of the venue and I had her close her eyes, put the ticket in her hand, and told her to open her eyes and read...

What a great time. Of course the Cheetah's are a bit hokey for my taste, but perfect for a seven year old, and I'm sure she wants to be a Rockstar now more than ever. So happy was she that during intermission when I asked her if she wanted to go get a t-shirt (30 bucks!) or poster or something she said, "No, Mommy, I have EVERYTHING I want." sigh. I love my baby.
(and NO, I did NOT knit one stitch that night, and it was good. I had everything I wanted.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Weekends are for Christmas Knitting...

I've had to place a self-imposed moratorium on working (ie dyeing or sewing for Sereknity) on weekends -- just so I can get my Christmas gifts done! I have MANY pairs of Fetching and Smocked Gauntlets to do (thankfully these are quick), I want to send a few hats in to my daughter's school for their clothing drive, and my kids need mittens! I am determined my family will have warm hands this winter! I also have a faint (very, very faint) hope of getting at least one scarf done for "someone" from the new Magnits -- the one w/ the swarovski crystals?? NICE. yeah, we'll see.
And so what did I get done? 2 Fetching mitts -- w/o thumbs. whoo. In my defense, however, I did make this bag...

...as a swap gift for my "crew's" Holiday party, hosted by the ever fabulous Gina (more about that later). The bag was easy, until I had to sew many layers of denim, corduroy and canvas together and bent two needles doing so, ran out of thread, and impaled my little piggies MANY MANY times on the numerous pins holding it together. ARG. BUT, good news? The recipient ("newbie" Mike) seemed to really like it. So all is good.
I did manage to carve out a little quiet time for hubby and I on Friday night, thanks to the children's katate school, which hosted a Pizza Party Game Night/ Parents Night Out. For us, it was "Parent's Night In", with hubby's favorite, Chicken Parm, on the menu. Nothin' fancy, but it sure was nice.

Saturday brought more fun and excitement with the visit of one of my oldest and dearest friends and her girls. My kids were bloody psyched to see the girls -- it really had been far too long, and Kendra and I finally got to just sit and chat and enjoy each others company. We just never get to do that. What a wonderful visit. And we sat and knit and crocheted, respectively, so we even got something done! And the best part? She wants to join me in the business!!! YAYAYAYAY!!!
On to Sunday and the Holiday Party; what a blast!! Great people, these Manchvegans. Fun, funny, they KNIT (and crochet!), make AMAZING Peppermint Cheesecake (omg -- I'm telling you -- O.M.G. -- can that Ericka COOK) and help me (barely) polish off a bottle of merlot (just so I don't have to say I drank it all myself -- thank you Chris!). My swap gift was an awesome book, Cables Untangled, by Melissa Leapman (autographed!). I love cables. sooo much. very very cool.
Gina giving Caroline a spinning demonstration...

The crew, Chris, Ericka, Jackie, Jenna, and Mike...

Gigi and Sarah...

The amazing pooping polar bear...


Gigi's finished crochet mitts...

Mike with his new bag (and finished first project! a baby blanket!)...

So tomorrow, it's back to the dyepot in the morning, then off to watch my scrumptious nephew and niece in the afternoon, and with a bit of luck, I'll have some dry fiber from today to post to the Etsy shop -- I'm starting to fall back on the search pages again!
In the meantime, Lilah is getting on very well. She has a new, larger cage and is getting the hang of the litter box. The other animals have gone from being very watchful and suspicious to remarkably accepting. I managed to snap this shot of Lilah and Bella.
On two seperate occassions today, I caught Bella and Mouse GROOMING her! Too FREAKIN' cute!!

My one quandry is whether to pluck Lilah, or shear her. There are apparently many different opinions on this -- I've been told shearing promoted better fiber growth, but I am worried that it may leave her susceptible to wool block. I've already plucked her a few times, and she tolerates it quite well (she only fusses when I try to put her on her back to brush her belly). If anyone has experience with angoras that molt (although she is mostly German, the Satin cross in her has left her able to molt) I would love your input on the subject.
******14 more knitting days 'til Christmas!**************

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

ah, yes, I'm still here...

..barely, it would seem, but here I am. The past few weeks have been quite a whirlwind -- I haven't bloggd since Thanksgiving! Yikes! To sum up that wonderful holiday, the delightful Lora and her fab family came and spent the holiday with me and mine (hubby, kids, mom, and two sibs) and a fantastic time was had by all. I really loved adding them to my crazy fold, and although the turkey was a bit dry (grrrr) and I forgot to cook the corn (DUH!), I do believe dinner was a success.
The whole next week was spent frantically preparing for a Holiday Open-house in Rockport, MA with Nichole. I was so unsure of what this would bring, but thankfully there were knitters! I did sell a bit of yarn, a kit, and got to spend a great day with great ladies. Sadly, Nichole did not fare quite as well -- while her items were BEAUTIFUL, most people there were in the market for larger sizes than she had on hand.
My table...

Nichole's table...

The remainders of my wares are being listed on the etsy shop this week -- many are there already. I just did a HUGE update -- and I'll be adding the worsted weight yarn and earrings over the next few days. Earrings, you ask? YUP. Made a few pair, as it is a small jump from stitchmarkers to earrings, to prepare for the non-knitters at the fair.
Also coming this week (I hope!) will be the pattern for Jacob's hat in the last post that I am calling Upward Motion for the purl stitch arrow pattern in the hat. While I love the yarn used on his hat -- Malabrigo -- I do think it would work better in a solid color. Malabrigo is the softest most LUXURIOUS yarn -- o.m.g. Amazing. Knitting heaven. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm
On the home front, things have been a bit rough. Poor hubby has been SICK SICK SICK.
SEVERE sinusitis. Bronchitis. We spent the day in the ER Sunday after I called his folks for help in a medical intervention (sorrym hun!). He kinda hates doctors. 3 nebulizer treatments, a CAT scan, chest x-ray, steroids, and much vicodin later, we returned home with a slightly improved man. And this was after he had finished a full course of Zithromax. UG. I've never seen him so sick -- scared the hell out of me. Seriously.
So I am exhausted. Weary to the bone exhausted. A nice trip to my knit night tomorrow will be a welcome escape. I'll be late (kid stuff) but I'll be there! with a real simple sock. simple. yup.
Before I leave you, this is a preview of some of my favorites from the etsy shops new updates.

Friday, December 01, 2006


I am a bad, bad, bad blogger -- over a week?? UG. My apologies, but I have been frantically busy getting ready for a sale opportunity tomorrow and also hubby has been sick w/ a inus infection and bronchitis, so yeah -- time and energy have been expended elsewhere to say the least. I'll write more tomorrow, or possibly Sunday, but in the mean time, here are a few pics to prove I've been busy!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Holiday Fun

OMG...This made me LAUGH! Found it over on Julie Noolie's blog...
You Are The Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.
People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Of Planets, Prizes, and "Peds"

The long awaited shop opening of One Planet Yarn and Fiber has finally arrived! This is a wonderful new shop in part run by the folks at Yarn Botanika that will feature items from all parts of the globe and from many independent artisans -- including me! YAY! You can find a little bit of Sereknity in lots of places on the site, including Indie Yarns, needles and notions, and spinning fiber. They also have a wonderful new yarn company called Sheep Shop yarns, that looks fantastic, as well as Black Pearl Yarns, which feature a design by Gina, and many other wonderful things. Give it a looksee, won't you?

As mentioned before, Gaye, Ericka, and Rachel all won prizes in the "Name that Bunny" contest, and here is what they won...
Rachel chose this skein of green tone-on-tone sock yarn from the etsy shop that I am sending her along with some matching cute and girlie stitch markers...

Ericka chose sock yarn in the Gothic Rose colorway, and as she recently voice her aversion to stitch markers, I am including this mini-skein of Gothic Rose dyed with the same dye lot. An extra 160 yards. And hey, who doesn't love more yarn??

And for Gaye, for her winning name, she gets her requested Blue Hawaii skein destined for a lacy scarf and a custom decorated crochet hook with sheep topper. I really hope she loves this little gal!
In other news, I need socks. Desperately. I have no desire to wear store bought white socks ANYMORE. But I kept picking these wonderful, gorgeous patterns with lace and charts and details that take much more time an concentration than I have to give, thus, NO SOCKS. grrrr. SO I forsook all WIPs and sat down with my lovely but small hank of Bella-dyed handspun (dyed to look like my little kitty Bella) and cast-on for little footies -- or Peds -- since they would work up quickly on size 5 needles and I of course did not have nearly enough for a taller pair. And here they are! 3 days later! YAY!

Simple is so the way to go right now. I was also left with a too-small-for-sale skein of Christmas Tree dyed sock yarn and I was so very curious as to how this would work up, so I cast on ribbed a cuff in red (Cervina Calzetteria) and went to town with Christmas tree in stockinette. The results?

What do you think? I think I like it! The red and purple swirl completely around the leg like a sting of garland. Pretty cool. And QUICK, and very definately festive. (I am a sock knitting MACHINE! HA.) The toes will also be done in red, to round it out and to conserve the varigated yarn.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

Etsy, Etsy, Etsy...

Talk amongst yourselves!

The question? Is it kosher to knit on the toilet?


Saturday, November 11, 2006

A few new things...

Been doing a bit of knitting, a bit of spinning, some designing, and lots and lots of PRODUCTION for Sereknity. Wouldn't you know that I finally got the hang of my new camera and lighting studio, got enough product to do a "photo session", finished the first of four sock kits to be listed (even got this one listed in esty late last night), and THIS is the weekend etsy is down to install the new version!! ARG! FIGURES! Oh well, it will have to wait until Monday, but until then, here is a sneak peek...
I also began knitting/designing a new sock (for Nora of Black Dog Knits) and I am using beads for the first time! I am using my hand dyed 50/50 merino/silk and I love how it is working up. My question is, do I continue the pattern down the foot of the sock w/o the beads? I personally like socks with a patterned foot, but you wouldn't want to have a sock with beads on the foot, so will it look odd to have the pattern repeat omitting the beads? Also, I plan on making a sandal sock version of the heel -- will a sandal sock look funny without a pattern down the foot to balance it out? I would LOVE feedback on this, and as you can see, you have time! I have a ways to go.Also completed were two skeins of two ply handspun. The first single was a local lambswool/angora blend in a heathery mix of white deep red and orange, and the second one of my own hand dyed fibers in a BL/Mohair blend, dyed to stripe in red and pumpkin, with some yellow thrown in the mix. I think it is comming out pretty cool! Can't wait to see how it knits up.
As you may have noticed, I've been having fun experimenting with the new lighting studio. I'm not the only on -- the elusize BooBoo decided he'd give it a try...lookd thrilled, doesn't he?
Lots of dyeing to do over the next few days. Have to get ready for an in-home craft "show" of sorts being held in Rockport. Wish me luck!