Fun Stuff

The Stitch Marker is On

I’m playing catchup on some posts and wanted to share one of the goodies I got for my birthday. In addition to this adorable cupcake, that is.

birthday1

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the show Sherlock and have been a bit of an evangelist to recruit new fans. It’s become a running joke whenever anyone talks about TV shows in my immediate vicinity: “Hey, you know what’s a good show? Sherlock.” Fine. But seriously, you do need to watch it.

birthday4

For my birthday, my husband got me a set of Sherlock stitch markers on Etsy in honor of my fandom. I love them.

birthday2

My fellow fans will recognize the references and that trademark Sherlock stare. The game is on.

birthday3

Fun Stuff

Out and About

I went out for a quick shopping trip today, and found this crocheted skirt. It wasn’t flattering on me, but I thought the design was interesting.

photo 1

The bottom edge was especially pretty. I bet I could make something like this if I had the inclination…

photo 2

Here’s a closeup of the main stitch pattern:

photo 3

I also enjoyed this sign… well, they’re not wrong.

photo 4

And finally, HobLob attempted to put me in the Christmas spirit, but I wasn’t into it.

photo 5

Fun Stuff, Yarns

And Then I Gave My Yarn a Glamorous Photo Shoot

I don’t enter blog contests very often, but when I saw the “Yarn Glam” contest post on the Knit Picks blog, I knew I had to give it a try. If nothing else, it let me set up some fun vignettes that I could post here, and get practice for future photos.

Art directing and photography are hard work. There’s a reason that photographers, stylists, and art directors can spend all day working on a photo shoot and only walk away with a couple of usable shots. I didn’t have that kind of time/patience/skill to devote to this little project, but it was a good reminder of what a tough (though enjoyable) job it can be.

The entry timeline was pretty short, but luckily I had some of my box of yarn stash left. I used my iPhone to capture these photos, and uploaded them to Instagram. There was a limit of three entries, and here are mine:

knit picks gloss tranquil

Knit Picks Yarn Collection

knit picks gloss tranquil

I had a few outtakes that I didn’t submit, too, including this close contender for my top three favorites that just didn’t quite make the cut:

knit picks gloss tranquil

It was especially fun to set up the “yarn buffet” vignette. The main yarn used was Knit Picks Gloss fingering-weight in Tranquil (as of this writing, this colorway is not available on their website). Also pictured are Imagination Hand-painted Sock Yarn in Enchanted Lake (discontinued) and Chroma fingering-weight in Midwinter. Click here to see the contest winners.

Fun Stuff

Geeky Crafter Gifts

When a gift-giving opportunity comes up, crafty people are shockingly easy to buy for. The only type of people who are easier to shop for? Geeky crafters. 🙂

I do have to give my husband credit for these Christmas gifts, though – he definitely knows me well. Check out my awesome Doctor Who stitch markers.

Doctor Who Stitch Markers

I use stitch markers now. Stitch markers are cool.

All of your Doctor Who favorites, represented in useful stitch marker form. The husband found them on Etsy (yes, my husband buys me things from Etsy – be jealous) – the seller’s shop is here.

Doctor Who Stitch Marker

I use these while working on my projects, and drinking out of my Downton Abbey mug. While the cat sits on my lap. And I’m watching episodes of Downton Abbey or Sherlock. Periodically taking a break to read blogs or social media. I have become a parody of myself.

Downton Abbey Mug

Fun Stuff

OttLite Flex and Store

PSA: I just scored a new OttLite from Michaels for $24! I had been eyeing these awesome lamps for a while, and this deal was too good to resist.

OttLite Flex and Store

The Flex and Store lamp was originally priced at about $80 – but it’s worth noting that it can be had for much cheaper elsewhere. (This same model is on sale right now, along with other models, at Jo-Ann’s infamous periodic lighting sale.) In any case, I already had a Michaels gift card from Christmas, so it was priced just right for me. 🙂

OttLite Flex and Store

Note the small built-in caddy – perhaps now I’ll be able to keep track of my cable needle. Doubtful.

OttLite Flex and Store

I just got this and have already been using it a TON. I don’t know how I managed without it, really – I have such bad eyesight anyway, and I wasn’t doing myself any favors by going without a decent task light.

OttLite Flex and Store

It’s set up on my coffee table right now, in fact, casting light over my otherwise eye-straining thread crochet project. Anybody else loving their OttLite (or another type of task light)?

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend – I’m getting ready to settle in for a night of PBS. Downton Abbey + Sherlock? Can’t think of a better lineup. The cup that the husband got me for Christmas has been coming in handy. 🙂  (It’s from Etsy, but it doesn’t seem to be available now.)

Downton Abbey Mug

Fun Stuff

Gift Ideas for Knitters and Crocheters

Stumped about what gift to get the knit/crochet lover in your life? Not sure what to tell those who ask what you want for Christmas? I have a few ideas to get you started. Let me tell you, it was a real sacrifice to research this post. 😉

“Splurge” Yarns. Knitters and crocheters never get tired of yarn shopping. Unfortunately, our bank accounts (and spouses?) do. That’s why getting a skein or two of a luxury yarn as a gift is so great. Pictured: Knit Collage Pixie Dust Mini in Granite Peak.

Knit Collage Pixie Dust Mini

 

Ottlite. I don’t have one of these, but I have heard great things about the powerful, color-accurate light they produce. Bonus points for models (like this one) with magnifiers (thread crochet, anyone?) and supply-storage bases (Where is that cable needle? Oh, there it is.)

Ottlite Table Lamp

Project Bags. Crafters have a lot of supplies, so we need a handy place to put it all when we’re on the go. Project bags are available in a variety of price ranges. I like the delia Q Isabella bag pictured below – with pockets that button closed!

Yarn.com Della Q Bag

Hook and Needle Cases. Did I mention that fiber crafters have a lot of supplies? That makes a good needle and/or hook case so indispensable. The hook and needle case I use (Thirty One’s Timeless Beauty Bag) isn’t actually meant for the purpose – it’s a beauty supply bag. But the elastic bands meant for brushes work great for holding knitting needles, and the clear interior pockets allow me to find the right crochet hook quickly. I also use the Thirty One Organizing Utility Tote as my project bag most of the time, which works great.

Thirty One Timeless Beauty Bag

Fun Knitting Needles and Crochet Hooks. A pretty set of crochet hooks or knitting needles can make a project even more enjoyable. I like these gorgeous new Caspian knitting needles from Knit Picks.

Knit Picks Caspian Needle Set

Printed books. Knitters and crocheters can never have too many patterns, so pattern books are always a great idea. I’ve heard good things about Crochet at Home, for example.

Crochet at Home Book

Magazines. You can find a lot of great patterns in magazines, too. I still love getting magazines in the mail, and for people like me, getting a new issue of a crochet pattern magazine such as Interweave Crochet is like Christmas every time.

Interweave Crochet Magazine

Pattern Downloads. Great patterns aren’t just in print – many are available as online downloads. Because so many knitters and crocheters use Ravelry patterns, you could consider gifting one of the paid patterns.

Ravelry Pattern

Stitch Markers. I haven’t had too many opportunities to use stitch markers, but with adorable options available through Etsy artists, I might have to start. These cookie-shaped stitch markers are by OneElf.

OneElf Etsy Cookie Stitch Markers

Fun Stuff

knitxmidwest Part 2

knitxmidwest was a two-day event, and the second day was just as much fun as the first. You may have caught photos of some of the decorations in my Part 1 post, but check out this closeup of the pumpkin-and-cat motif. The organizers certainly know their demographic – the decor was a big hit. 🙂

knitxmidwest decor

The second day included a session of “knitting yoga” stretches – much needed after the previous day’s knitting marathon. 🙂 We also heard about handspun fiber from Maggie of Girl With A Sword Productions, and got to watch her work on some amazing creations.

knitxmidwest girl with a sword yarn

The Stash Swap was a great idea.

knitxmidwest stash swap

There was also a bunting that grew as the weekend progressed. Several retreat participants contributed flags to create a fun group project. This would be an awesome activity for a small knitting group, too, to celebrate a baby/bridal shower or just for fun.

knitxmidwest bunting

Still. Cabling.

knitxmidwest project

There was a door prize drawing, and I won a couple of skeins of gorgeous yarn, plus a pattern booklet. (Yay!) I’ll share details in an upcoming post. I have a couple of pattern possibilities in mind for this yarn, but I might need your help deciding. 🙂

It was such a relaxing weekend – I can’t wait to go again!

knitxmidwest day 2

Fun Stuff

knitxmidwest Part 1

Last weekend I finally got to attend the event I had been looking forward to foreverknitxmidwest, the first (of hopefully many) knitting retreat hosted by Jen of makexdo and the ladies of Hill Vintage & Knits. The setting was picture-perfect:

knitxmidwest Walnut Woods

I made my way to this picturesque lodge, ready for a weekend of fun and yarn.

knitxmidwest Walnut Woods lodge

The lodge was filled with lovers of all things yarn, and I can’t tell you how great it was to be among them. Some came in groups, some came with a friend, and some came ready to make new friends. Lots of laughter and sharing of tips, patterns, and stories.

knitxmidwest Walnut Woods lodge

Most of the time was unstructured, and I appreciated having most of the weekend set aside to work on projects. There were a few scheduled activities, including a presentation from Robyn of she makes hats. She shared her journey to making 10,000 hats (most given away to charity) in her lifetime. Her project is amazing, and her blog is definitely worth following.

knitxmidwest she makes hats

The food was great, too. Just check out these adorable knitting cupcakes, complete with golf tees as knitting needles. Definitely worthy of the paparazzi that swarmed them. 🙂

knitxmidwest knitting cupcakes

Here’s a closer look at the adorableness.

knitxmidwest knitting cupcake

I spent the entire weekend working on my cable-knit scarf. All. Weekend. I had long since reached what I like to call the “point of despair” in this project, and was just ready to be done and start something new. But… I love how it has turned out, so it was worth it. More to come!

P.S. How cute are those can coolers?!

knitxmidwest project