Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Handspun Pretties and Open Studios

The creamy white delicious yarn with colorful bits is by FiberOlio

So many amazing things have happened this year, which is obviously fantastic, but along with it comes an ever-growing, never-ending to-do list and a million deadlines. I feel like I blink and weeks fly by. It seems like my first open studio was just a few days ago, but here we are again - this Saturday, June 2nd, the Western Ave Studios in Lowell will be hosting its monthly Open Studios from 12 to 5 pm. You can find me in Studio 331! I am actually opening my doors at 10:30 am for a Knitter's Brunch (hopefully the first of many). I expect it to be fairly small, but as the word spreads I'm hoping we can build a little community! If you're free, come on over!

Green/purple handspun by KnittinK, Brown/blue handspun by North Star Alpacas

Of course, my knitting needles are as busy as ever. Apart from the lovely handspun I showed you last week, I've also received beautiful goodies from KnittinK, FiberOlio and North Star Alpacas for that collaborative project I'm working on. Now it's time to cross my fingers and hope I actually pull off everything I need to get done in June!


So I know I did just say I'm super busy, but I couldn't resist picking up Reinvention by Maya Donenfeld. I haven't had time to look through it yet, but I've read lots of stellar reviews. Have you gotten your hands on this book? What do you think?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!



For you locals, how are you spending Memorial Day? We had our barbeque on Saturday, so I am spending today with the dye pots. Have a great day off!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Finds #10


I treated myself to some OnTheRound handspun yarn this week!
Photo by me

The Yarn Exploder's beautiful Brownstone sweater makes me want to knit one for Nate

Liz Smith recently started her own TV show called Makers in Business, where she interviews handmade business owners

A beautiful handmade flower headband

These photos of the Tokyo Toy Museum. I really love the smooth, organically shaped wooden furniture!

A great podcast on getting started with wholesale for your crafty business (free only for the first 30 days)

This amazing graffiti artist!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Handmade Project: Long Stitch Notebook


Last summer, Nate and I took a book-binding workshop together. It was a ton of fun and we both agreed we were interested in learning more about book binding. Recently, I came across Erin Zam's shop! She specializes not only in handmade books, but in DIY kits which teach you different binding methods. I picked the Long Stitch kit as a surprise gift for Nate.


The kit comes well organized and packaged in a brown envelope. It includes all the necessary paper, an instruction sheet, cutting templates and sewing materials. It does not include a bone folder or an awl. Overall, Nate was pleased with the kit and it made a great little surprise gift. I definitely recommend checking out Erin Zam's kits if you want to dip your toes into some bookbinding.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Knitting All The Things


Opera Gloves
Pattern: Opera Gloves by Mac & Me
Yarn: Limited Edition Falkland Merino & Nylon Sock in Sun Also Rises

I seem to be amassing a large amount of works in progress this year. I've always tried to be a "one project at a time" kind of knitter, but I'm surprised to find I prefer having multiple projects. When I get tired of one, I put it down and make progress on another. I'm also trying to keep a balance between knitting for the shop and knitting for myself (last year I barely made anything for myself). This weekend I started this pair of Opera Gloves by Mac & Me. This is a great one-skein project. I'd been wanting to knit them in this colorway for a while, and so far I am completely in love with how it's turning out! I'm going to add some conductive thread to the fingertips too.


I'm also working on some new designs for the shop because Fall creeps up faster than expected. I have some new deliciously geeky designs in the works.

Yarn: Just Dessert Handspun by Handspun Treasures
Pattern: Mine, currently being developed

I also got invited to participate in a really exciting collaborative project. I'm not sure when we'll be allowed to share the details, but for now I am sharing this little sneak peek. Leanne of Handspun Treasures graciously donated this handspun yarn for the project.

What are you working on this week?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Finds #11

Photo taken in the South End

An adorable video on how frustration is essential to creativity.

These gorgeous Cherry Blossom Earrings are beautiful and perfect for spring.

My Super Mario loving self adores this handmade Toadstool Pincushion.

This minty green hand-spun yarn is gorgeous.

These handmade stoneware bowls are beautiful. Perfect for freshening up your kitchen!

Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Places to Eat: Flour Bakery


Flour Bakery is one of Boston's delicious treasures. This is one of my all-time favorite places to snack. They are known for their amazing desserts and baked goods, such as the gorgeous Red Velvet cupcakes above. However, salty always beats sweet in my book, and they also have fantastic sandwiches. My personal favorite is their BLT sandwich, but there are also great options for vegetarians too.

mmm, bacon!!
Peanut butter & jelly
Grilled cheese!

If you live in Boston and have never been, what are you waiting for? They have 3 locations - just make sure you avoid lunch time during the work week or you will have a super long wait. For you non-locals, I recommend adding this to your list of eateries when you visit!

So which would you pick? A cupcake or a BLT?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fiber Studio: Baby Steps

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Since neither of our mothers live near us, we spent Mother's Day at Ikea. When you have a studio to furnish on a tight budget, where else could you go? Plus, I have a deep and shameful love for that place.


I even love their admittedly strange looking crusted fish

We definitely went home with more boxes than expected, and thankfully Western Avenue Studios has a handy loading dock to make such endeavors easier.


The beginnings of a couch


I had all sorts of delusional ambitions of having the studio mostly set up by the end of Sunday. In truth, we exhausted all our energy at Ikea. We ended up only hanging the curtains and assembling the couch, but I feel like I am making progress! There may be boxes everywhere, but now I at least have seating for visitors!

So what do you guys think - should I paint over those gray bricks on the back wall with white, or leave them as they are?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Finds #12

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and happy Mother's Day!

Taliesin enjoying crafty time on our cutting mat

Here are some lovely things I came across on the web this week:

This awesome radio interview about Western Avenue Studios.

Some beautiful sock yarn by KnittinK.

A knitting pattern for a shawl with a TARDIS motif (Dr. Who fans rejoice!) on Ravelry

Kim's before and after: a thrifted bar cart turned turntable stand.

A touching and heartbreaking video about the importance of marriage equality.

This adorable tiny bunny photograph.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pattern Review: Frick Frick Beret Progress

You might remember back in March when I threatened to knit myself Pamela Wynne's Frick Frick Beret. I made a resolution to knit more for myself this year and not be completely consumed by the shop, and I'm proud to say I'm finally getting around to this hat. I didn't go for the Blue Dart yarn as originally planned. Instead, I decided to use some Amethyst sock yarn from the same dye lot as my Hitchhiker shawl so I could have a matching set!


I was a little anxious about this pattern because I had never done a hat with a semi-lacy design before. I was happy to find that after the first few rows of the "leafy motif," I was able to memorize the pattern logic and stop looking at the chart for every row. So far, so good! I haven't reached the crown shaping yet, but I'll report back!

If you want to knit your own, the Frick Frick Beret pattern is available on Ravelry. If you do, I'd love to see your finished hat!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fiber Studio: Before

These last two weeks were a complete whirlwind! In the span of a few days, I picked up keys to my new studio, cleaned and scrubbed a very dirty floor frantically, and patched and re-painted some walls with lots of holes and paint splatters. The studio is far from done, but with lots of help from Nate I managed to throw something together for my first Open Studios last Saturday. I'll definitely be sharing photos of the space as it evolves, but let's start with some overdue before photos. Can you tell the space used to belong to a painter?

1 2 3

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Big News!

It sometimes seems like inspiration happens whenever I am busiest and have little time for new ideas. While prepping for Craftopia, my inner cat-lady decided that little knit kitties would be a great idea. I am having so much fun making these! They should be available online soon...

New design, little knit kitties!
... but if you're impatient, you can get them in person! Which brings me to the really big news: you probably remember all those times that I raved about the Western Avenue Studios in Lowell. What I didn't tell people was that after visiting it back in August, I signed up for their waiting list on a whim. And guess what? Last Sunday I picked up the keys to my brand new studio! This week I am running around like crazy in preparation for my very first Open Studio!

image source

Western Ave Studios has open studios every first Saturday of the month from 12 pm to 5 pm! I'll have a cozy seating area for knitting and browsing goodies, as well as my dyeing area. Come by, say hello and hang out for a bit!