Thursday, April 29, 2010

purchases from Stitches South

So I think I mentioned that some friends and I headed to Atlanta last weekend for a little girl's trip. We went to check out Stitches South, a knitting conference and yarn shopping paradise. XRX (a knitting publisher) has been putting these conferences on for years in other locations throughout the country. They finally added a southern conference last year. We had a blast shopping all day for lovely yarns. They offer classes as well, but we stuck to just shopping. There really were some beautiful fibers and interesting gadgets to see. Moriah wound up buying a really cool drop spindle so she could learn to spin yarn. I can't wait to see what she creates.

I thought I would share a few pictures of what I bought and my ideas for what to make with them.
The picture above is a gorgeous baby alpaca and silk yarn from Lisa Souza. I have ordered her lace yarn before and she just dyes some of the most beautiful colors. It's hard to see in this photograph, but there are slight purples in this lovely gray/brown color. I think I'm going to make this shawl out of the yarn.

The pattern is called Laminaria by Elizabeth Freeman from Knitty Spring 2008 ( This version is by Nasseknits on Ravelry. I love it! The yarn I bought is bigger than the lace weight the pattern calls for, but I will just do fewer repeats of some of the sections of lace.

The next thing I bought is this lovely, super-soft merino. This was from a company that sells lots of qiviut yarn (yarn made from the muskox!). Qiviut is so incredibly soft! They must have learned how to make their merino even softer because this that I bought is amazing. I couldn't afford the qiviut, but maybe next time :) I purchased this pattern they had to make a lace wrap. I think it will be a great sweater to slip on with a nice dress, tank, etc.

The last yarn that I purchased was this silver merino from Louet Gems. It is very Koigu-esque in it's texture. It was on super sale at one of the booths and I bought two bags (5 skeins per bag) to make the cardigan below. The cardigan pattern is Pas de Valse by Marnie McLean from Twist Collective Fall 2009 ( I love the fluttered edging and the softness of the cardigan.

We had a great time at Stitches South. I encourage you to go next year if you're at all within traveling distance of Atlanta. It might be fun to stay for a class or two as well. We wanted time to hit up Crate & Barrell and Ikea, of course :)

Off to crochet more on the baby blanket. Photos soon!!!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Craft Room Tour

Yay! I promised a post with the new Ikea shelf and here it is! I assembled it earlier today. It was really quite a quick and easy process. Honestly, it took as long to put 3 of the plastic drawers together as it did to put the whole shelf together! Well, ok, maybe not quite as long, but close. I LOVE how it looks in the craft room. Now I have a real piece of furniture to put the t.v. on, instead of the tower of red plastic bins you see next to it. Here are a few pictures from around the room:

It's finally starting to come together. I still have to work on the window seat area and organize the bookshelf a bit more. I'm really enjoying organizing my life over the past few days...thanks to Ikea!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

baby blanket progress & trip to ATL

Here's the updated on the baby blanket. It's actually been really fun to make. I just finished sewing the center squares together. Next I will add a couple of rows of single crochet between the rows of squares. It's really coming together!In a Stitches South report, we had a lovely time in Atlanta last weekend. Stitches was fun and we all found some really beautiful yarn.I got some LIsa Souza alpaca and silk yarn to make a shawl and some great fingering weight Louet Gems merino in a silver color to make this cardigan:

We also hit up Ikea this weekend (of course!) and I've now organized our media cabinet. Yay! They have awesome boxes to organize DVD's, etc. Next up is to put together the shelf I bought there to store my yarn in. We got it upstairs, but I have yet to assemble it. Pictures of that soon! Hooray for organizing!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

new sandals

I just ordered some sandals the other day and they came in the mail yesterday. They are my new faves!! They are from Sseko Designs, a company that employees women in Uganda. The women attend a leadership academy that enables them to learn a variety of skill sets to help build their careers.

The sandals themselves are so great! They have a slightly cushioned heel and are much more comfortable than a lot of flat sandals I've worn. The funnest part is that you can interchange the straps. I started with the black straps and also ordered red ones and blue and white striped. If you were really feeling spry, you could wear one color on one shoe and another on the other :)

If you're looking for some summer sandals to show off your latest pedicure, please consider ordering these. It's such a great program that you get to support by buying shoes! What more could you ask for.

Check out their lovely website to order a pair (or two! This would make a great Mother's Day gift!): Sseko Designs

Friday, April 16, 2010

Loveliness from England

Well...this is what I received in the mail today! My lovely shipment of nicely priced Debbie Bliss yarn for the baby blanket I'm making. That bottom color looks quite red in the photo, but it's another hot pink. That's the only trouble with ordering online. I think I may go pick up a red to use instead. I'm so excited to make this blanket! I cannot tell you who it's for yet, because they occasionally peruse Facebook and my blogs feeds to FB.

It's such a lovely pattern from Attic24 though and I'm super excited to get going. Here are a few pictures of the tiny crocheted blocks I've done so far.

I can't wait to start putting it together! The pattern for the blocks I'm using is from 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton. It's called the Target Square. I just did the first two rounds of that pattern to make the itty blocks. I'll be sure to post pictures as it progresses. Enjoy your lovely weekend!! xoxo

Saturday, April 10, 2010

a mini-house tour and dogs who hate having their picture taken

Originally uploaded by elletrain
This week marked an exciting change in our household...I repainted the dining room! I think everyone is probably tired of hearing about it, but being the fan of color that I am and being fairly picky about the colors that surround me, this was a big deal. Our dining room was previously vampire red (don't get me wrong, I love vampires, but I didn't want our house to resemble a crypt). Last week consisted of two coats of priming to kill the vampire...this week I went over the remains with a lovely slate blue. The Gliddon people call it "French Grey." I really am happy with how it turned out, especially against the pale green of our living room.

Not sure what our plans are for the dining room now that it's gotten a fresh coat of paint and the pool table is gone. We have a "breakfast nook" that fits a full dining room table quite nicely, so we don't need it to be an actual dining room. It will probably consist of some bookshelves, a low lounging couch, and a small desk by the end of it all. We'd like to leave the middle of the room open for yoga or exercising (now that the demonic wall color is gone).

Also gracing this blog post are a few pictures from around the kitchen. I love my little deer and cardinals who sit on the kitchen window sill....and my new little mini-garden of succulents. They are super cute.I also had to include some hilarious pictures of Kodi avoiding the camera. She went a little crazy yesterday when I got the camera out and started darting around the house and backyard. It was awesome because she's an old girl and rarely gets a wild hair like this anymore.

We just walked down to the local bakery a block from here to buy the best breakfast sandwiches in existence...a slice of egg casserole with green chiles on a soft, delicious cheese scone. A.Mazing. Sweeth 16th is the best bakery around. Seriously. And it's scary how close is it to our house.

It couldn't be a lovelier day today! I hope you enjoy your weekend as much as we have already!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blanket... still in progress

Blanket still in progress
Originally uploaded by elletrain
Well, I used to be one of those knitters that said "I'm never making an afghan. I can't imagine working on something for that long!" I'm all about handmade crafts, but it just seemed like a silly project that would not keep my interest.

Here it is a few months shy of a year later since I started the Barn Raising Quilt, knit on SIZE 2 needles in Koigu SOCK yarn. Yeah, guess I didn't heed my initial take on afghan knitting. I decided to do one on tiny yarn and tiny needles!

But...I have to admit. This project has been a joy to work on!!! It has taken quite a while, but I love having something to pick up in between other projects or when I don't want to concentrate. Pinky loves picking out yarn when we travel and is super excited about the day I finish this blanket. It really has been such an amazing thing to work on...collecting the beautiful hand-painted yarn...

I've only got 10 squares left to knit. Then I think I'll do some kind of crocheted border, though the pattern doesn't call for it. We'll see. All of this is to say I have enjoyed slowing down a bit, taking time to make something lovely that hopefully will be a family heirloom. It's worth the wait!