Posts Tagged ‘alpaca’
I don’t think an ad has ever spoken to me as much as that one.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It was such a busy one for me. Hope you all ate your weight in a variety of pies.
First things first, if you’re looking for Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals on your favorite patterns, notions, and yarns, Marly Bird is putting together a fairly comprehensive list of knit and crochet deals. I must add Jill Draper’s First Snowfall pattern is available for FREE with code anythingbutblack on Ravelry.
>> I actually remember buying this knitting book at my LYS when I was in high school. I was in love with Rowan yarns but couldn’t afford any. I loved this denim-inspired book. Who knew Eddie Redmayne was lurking in there?
>> Mocking Jay Part 1 is here! I’m obsessed with the marketing behind the movies (and the books, of course). These “District Voices” videos are awesome. You might recognize the District 8 representatives (my favorite district, obviously) as the hosts of Threadbanger.
>> Therapy alpacas!!!
>> I love this marled Tory Burch short sleeved sweater. Definitely forsee making a knock off for spring!
>> Very excited that Zady is selling a sweater made and sourced entirely in the US! The wool is from Imperial Stock Ranch which makes this extra exciting. The video is gorgeous. Never get tired of that sheep-to-sweater process!
>> This 7Up ad features Magda Sayeg and her gorgeous yarnbombs!
What are you knitting up this holiday weekend?
Tags: 7up, alpaca, black friday, cyber monday, deals, delivery.com, district 8, fiber art, hunger games, imperial stock ranch, katniss cowl, knitting sale, magda sayeg, marly bird, mockingjay, sale, therapy, threadbanger, yarn sale, yarnbomb, zady
Here’s looking at you, kid. Last year I started my Rhinebeck recap post with a sentimental line from Harry Potter so I think this theme needs to keep going. What whirlwind! I’m still trying to gather myself after spending the whole weekend upstate but I wanted to share all of my pictures because I’m just missing it so much!
Where do I start? I actually remembered to take pictures this year! On my phone, with my dslr- I’m getting the hang of this blogging thing, huh?
This was my first time spending the entire weekend at Rhinebeck. I was invited to rent a house with some friends (Lisa, Panda, and Ashpags) and some ladies that would quickly become my friends. We stayed in a house in the woods (holy crap it’s dark up there, this city girl cannot get used to that) just outside New Paltz. I don’t get to hang out with knitters often enough. I say that all the time! This weekend just reminded me that I need to change that.
Nothing felt more magical than curling up on the couch with a cider and my knitting with ten other hilarious gals, all clicking away at our needles. So my resolution before next Rhinebeck is definitely get together with my New York knitters more often.
I thought that spacing things out over two days would be more relaxing but I was beat when it was over. On Saturday, I ran around with the girls, hunting down the finest yarns. (I sent Jon to a class at the Culinary Institute so he wasn’t bored out of his mind and by that I mean so he couldn’t see all of the yarn I was taking home.)
I saved all of the sheep cuddling for Sunday when I brought Jon. We met this amazing ram that really wanted to come home with us. I had no idea sheep liked being pet like dogs. This one was all about it. I’m still thinking about him!
LOOK AT THAT FREAKING FACE!
I talked to just about everyone under the sun, though, ironically, I didn’t meet up with my city friends for more than a second! I really love being able to talk to other designers that don’t live in the area at Rhinebeck. I only get to see most people once a year so it’s a special time. Got my annual hug from Amy Christoffers. (Nothing feels better than getting a compliment from the designer when you’re wearing one of their patterns!) I got to finally meet Emma Welford and Teresa Gregorio in person! We met up for a moment and chatted about a fun project we’re all working on together! (Love that we can be collaborators from the internet, ain’t no thing.)
I’m getting a strong case of the feels looking through all of these pictures. This weekend was such a ride and, wow, that amazing feeling of being around such talented people, gorgeous garments, and fantastic spirit. The fact that I could chat up anybody, oogle some beautiful sweaters, and chow down on a dozen apple cider doughnuts this weekend really makes my Grinch heart grow.
Every year I come out of the Rhinebeck weekend with that feeling, I’m really just psyched about being a knitter. I feel inspired and in the right place and I just want TO KNIT EVERYTHING. I sound like I joined some kind of cult. If there was a cult of NY Sheep and Wool, I’d be there.
A post with the yarn is coming soon!
Were you at Rhinebeck? How it go for you?
Shopping for knitters is simultaneously the easiest and hardest thing to do. We love yarn but we’re very particular. We could always use more needles but interchangeable sets aren’t cheap. We’re always searching for new patterns but with the enormous variety of books out there, it’s tough to pinpoint which might be right.
I tend to advise against buying a knitter yarn (unless they ask for it) as a gift. Usually, we’re all on yarn diets. Of course, no one has ever given me a skein of yarn that I’ve refused. And it’s easy for non-knitters to become sheepish, dizzy, and dumbfounded at a LYS. But around this time of year I like to put together a guide for what knitters really want, those little things that will let them know that you really thought hard about them.
And, don’t forget, knitters always appreciate gifts that are handmade, local, and/or independent!
What gifts would you love to get this holiday?
When Kollabora asked me to create a project using their yarn, you can imagine how excited I was. First of all, I’ve been creating my own accessories for a few years and I was ready to share with the rest of the knitting world.
Second, I got to dive into a giant box full of yarn and pick whatever colors I wanted. (I warned them ahead of time, this was a dangerous move.)
Well, here it is!
The mitts are knit in the round with Kollabora’s Alpaca au Natural and Nora’s Pantry yarns. The yarn is super soft and yummy. (The alpacas are raised in cold temperatures in the Andes!) I love the colors of the Nora’s Pantry yarns and, you know me, I can’t say no to an undyed alpaca! Making this was a lot of fun!
Coming up with a beginner/intermediate pattern was actually a bit of a challenge for me. I didn’t want to make something so simple that it had been done before or so easy that it was boring. But I definitely didn’t want to over complicate it. I realized that it’s difficult for me to gauge what is easy and what is “hard” (or, let’s say ‘advanced’) after so many years of knitting. When it comes to knitting, I am fearless; it’s just combinations of one stitch and it’s mirror, if you will. But newer knitters can easily be intimidated and patterns can quickly begin to look like complex calculus formulas.
Colorwork was something that I wanted to do when I first started knitting. So I thought that it would be a fun project. Also, it involves knitting in the round which is my favorite thing to do!
The pattern is available for free on Kollabora! You can even buy all of the supplies you need through their shop. I’d love to see your fingerless mitts!
Have you worked with the Kollabora yarns yet? What do you think?
You’ve heard of Christmas socks? How about some Chanukah socks?
I wanted to make my amazing Aunt Sherry something for Chanukah. I promised myself (for the sake of sanity) that I would not make gifts for everyone but I made a few exceptions and she was one of them. She is very special to me and I am constantly getting awesome handmade gifts from her. I don’t think socks are ever a terrible gift (ungrateful kids these days!) so I made her these.
I was inspired by the Purl Soho homespun socks (as I’m sure you can tell by the colors I chose and the style of the sock. I won’t pretend I didn’t rip the idea of a neutral, chunky sock off a little bit.) But I’m a sucker for toe up socks. So I designed my own toe-up sock.
It’s a simple toe-up sock with a short row heel. That’s kind of my go-to sock pattern. I adjusted it to use size 6 needles and Cascade Eco Duo. (Undyed alpaca, you are my kryptonite!) I thought a nice chunky sock would be nice to wear around the house or with snow boots. And, selfishly, they worked up pretty quickly. (Which is good because the other gifts I’ve decided on are driving me insane.)
I love the look and feel of the socks. I’m excited to make more with this pattern. And hopefully more for Aunt Sherry!
(Gift knitting also means that I never get proper photos. Hopefully I can update sometime soon with better ones!)
Have you given socks as a gift? Seriously, though toe up or top down?
Here we are in the holiday season. Let’s not talk about holiday knitting. You have plenty of time to finish all of these gifts! So let’s not focus on the stress of the holiday season matched with your well-intentioned yet over ambitious insanity. Let’s talk about you. What would you get you for the holidays? You are a devoted, thoughtful, wonderful friend/spouse/parent/child/aunt/uncle/niece/nephew/cousin. You are spending all of December working on gifts for these wonderful people that you love so much.
No, no, it’s okay. I know you were swearing about how you can’t believe you’re making another gift for Aunt Kate even though she never even shows up to Christmas dinner. You didn’t mean that. You’re just a little over worked. I mean, you’re still making cousin Joe’s baby some booties even though they didn’t invite you to the shower. See, you’re a wonderful person!
Here are some gifts that YOU deserve.
What do you want for the holidays?
More gift guides coming up!
ps. If you are still looking for patterns for gift knits, Amy Christoffers is offering 20% off her fantastic patterns for accessories! No coupon code necessary! Buy Savory Knitting patterns! You will not regret it!
What a weekend! I’m still reeling. I took Jon and Ashley upstate to shoot at Rhinebeck and we had so much fun!
We spent all day filming the festival. And we were so busy, I see now, that I didn’t even take photos! But we do have some awesome video that will be coming up soon!
Much of the day was spent doing interviews but we did get in some time to pet furry animals. It was magical to meet so many people from Ravelry and overwhelming to see so much yarn in one place. I wish I’d had more time (and better cell reception!) so that I could have met with everyone. All in all, it was an amazing time. Next year I think I’ll have to split the fun between two days!
Stay tuned because there will be some Rhinebeck videos coming up.
Were you at Rhinebeck? What did you get? Did you pet any animals!?
I’m all about giving hand made gifts. I like seeing genuine excitement instead of looking for a gift receipt. That feeling of pride as they unwrap it makes it just as much a present for me as it is for them. I like that my friends know that I really took the time to think about them and put lots of love into what I’ve made for them. And when they like something that is so full of love, it makes my heart swell.
That being said, I don’t often receive hand made gifts.
It’s a strange phenomenon, right? I’ve got a passion for things that are made from scratch. I know how to appreciate a good handmade gift! Well, my wonderful and talented Aunt Sherry made me an awesome handmade present for my birthday!
Isn’t he adorable!? She made this little guy after taking a class at an AENJ conference. (She’s always got the coolest crafts! And I’m still fascinated by the swag she brings me!) He’s made of alpaca from Back to Back Alpaca where you can also find a kit! I just want to cuddle him! It’s so exciting to get something so fun and so full of love from someone so close to me. (Love you, know you’re always reading!)
I was so excited to give him a spot on the shelf above my sewing machine. He looks very proud! Link is keeping him company.
I really don’t know anything about needle felting but it’s a craft so I’m obviously curious to learn more! (This book looks adorable!) Maybe my next present can be a lesson from my Auntie?
Do you know how to needle felt? What’s the skinny? Do you receive any handmade gifts?
My dad always talks about a scene in the movie Moscow on the Hudson. I’ve never seen the whole movie but it stars Robin Williams as a Cold War Russian who defects and lives in New York City. In this scene, he goes to the grocery store to pick up some things for the family he is staying with. He asks the cashier where the line is for coffee, expecting to wait as he did in his homeland, and he’s directed to the coffee aisle. Seeing such a bountiful variety of coffee available in the American supermarket, he starts screaming “Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!” and has a bit of a nervous breakdown.
Walking into the Marketplace at Vogue Knitting Live was kind of the same experience for me.
I wanted time to browse the booths to I arrived about an hour and a half before my first lecture. The first thirty minutes there, I didn’t stop at any of the booths. I just walked around and saw yarn everywhere I turned. Wow. After the initial shock wore off, I actually managed to make it to the Soak booth where I got a temporary tattoo and bought one of those amazing Lorna’s Laces Maven and Heel gift sets I’d been seeing on instagram. I also bought a set of temporary tattoos (about which our friend Andrew said “Knitting-themed temporary tattoos? That’s quite a niche they’ve cornered”). I’m not sure why I bought them since I don’t rock temporary tattoos regularly but I had to.
I made a stop at Mochimochi Land and picked up a tiny hamburger kit! I told Anna all about why a tiny hamburger is the perfect thing to make Jon, about the movie, and the hamburger art I’ve been collecting for him.
I also checked out Stitchuary. I was really looking for unique yarns and spinners, less interested in LYSs. The ladies at Stitchuary were really lovely and their yarns are fantastic. All from local farms which I love. And they almost talked me into buying 2000 yards of this gorgeous undyed grey and brown alpaca for an aran sweater (as if it’s difficult to almost talk me into buying yarn). But I was good. I’m going to wait on that one but I will absolutely be buying from them in the future.
Long Island Livestock Company was one of my favorite booths. Their yarns are delicious but I couldn’t pass up this gorgeous skein. I love the idea that all of the alpacas and sheep are owned and sheared by the same woman. It’s a very traditional feeling. I’m also a sucker for small-batch undyed yarn. I’m not sure if it’s because neutrals are my favorite colors or if it is that I love the animals and I want to show off their natural beauty but I really love undyed yarn!
Each skein has a tag with a photo of the alpaca whos fleece was used in it. I think it’s brilliant. It really shows you how much they care about their animals and how much care goes into the yarns’ production. And, besides, how could I not buy yarn with these adorable little furry faces! And they’re kissing! Take my money, please.
I went to three lectures and one class. (I really went all-in since it was my first VK Live.) Two lectures were about business. One left me feeling discouraged. The other was pretty dry and very technical. I also heard Debbie Bliss speak about designing for babies. I think she’s just adorable and British and she calls diapers nappies. I really enjoyed the Perfect Fit class. Carla Scott of Knit Simple made garment fitting super easy and I actually had a lot of fun drawing little scale drawings of my measurements.
Overall, it was a bit overwhelming but what fun. It was really fun to see so many other knitters and to hear more and more similarities between us. I was sad that I didn’t meet more people. I chatted it up with a few people and a bunch of vendors but I would’ve really liked to meet up with some other knitters. Hopefully soon I can do that, though, and next year I’ll be cruising VK Live with some of you! What did you think? Did you have fun?
Oh, and, this is me:
Tags: alpaca, Anna Hrachovec, Carla Scott, hand dyed yarn, Knit Simple, local yarn store, Long Island Livestock Company, Lorna's Laces, Maven, Mochimochi Land, Moscow on the Hudson, natural yarn, Soak Wash, Stitchuary, temporary tattoo, undyed yarn, VK Live, Vogue Knitting Live, yarn, yarnaholic