The generosity of knitters

May 21, 2008 @ 3:43 am
posted by kris
Filed under: gifts

from Olivia

from fbz

from Sandy

from Jennie

I should’ve written this a long-ass time ago, but well, you saw that mountain of fiber I just got!!! I’m lame. And I’ve been sick – I have some kind of cold which turned into an infection of my throat. When I went to the doctor, she just prescribed me some ibuprofin – I thought it was going to be some antibiotics! But, it worked, I’m still sick, but at least my throat doesn’t feel like it has knives in it when I swallow.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to write a post about the recent gifts I’ve received – knitters really are the best! One of you, I met in person. One of you, I’ve seen many pictures of and feel like I met you. One of you, I’ve seen a picture, but nothing close up. And one of you, I have no idea what you look like. Amazing!

First, thanks to Olivia for a wonderful stash enhancement of Politically Incorrect fiber (1/2 of which is already spun up) and another wee tiny sock (she sent me one last year too!). And from the looks of things on flickr-land, she has been giving gifts to a lot of folks – what a sweetheart she is! She is also a very productive sock knitter and one of my favorite flickr people. She is almost done with her 365 pics – I hope she continues though, I enjoy seeing them. I think it’s kinda like her saying “hello” to me everyday.

Next, thanks to fbz, who has volunteered to spin up some Twisted Fiber Art roving for me into 2-ply fingering weight. It came out gorgeous! She also opened up an etsy store, so please check it out!! I can attest to her spinning quality – it is superb! Not only did she do that, she also sent me MORE FIBER!!! I think I am going to explode! ;) I told her that I would go visit her in Berlin, but I haven’t yet. What is my problem? I haven’t traveled around Germany hardly at all, and it would be a really cool place to explore! They have stuff open past 8pm! :) I will, fbz, I will, just gotta get off my ass!

Next, thanks to my SP11 downstream pal, Sandy. She sent me some gorgeous roving as well as some sock yarn for the other 2/3 of Knitters Uncensored. She did an amazing job and I’m twisting her arm to do more roving!!! :) Go check out her yarns…I keep eyeing “Strider” and “Stonehenge After Dark” – Delish!!! She lives in Omaha and goes to SNB with the Lime & Violet gang – I’m so jealous! Maybe one of these days I’ll hear about some juicy gossip from their knit nights! ;)

And finally, thanks to Jennie, who just out of the blue sent me a package of yarn, stitch markers and chocolate. But not just any yarn – Noro sock yarn in the most gorgeous colorway! And not just any chocolate – Green & Blacks!!! She is a very generous person – always giving away yarn and having lots of contests on her blog. Everytime I read her blog, I think of living in Austin – there was a place called “The Fiber Farm” in Georgetown (no longer in business) and it was my favorite place to be. I think the owner’s name was Nancy and since I worked nights, I would sometimes sneak off in the morning and visit and pet yarns. She sold the yarn out of her house (like a smaller scale Loopy Ewe) and I would always dream of one day having that kind of “stash”! Geez, I pretty much have it now! ;)

Thanks you guys for your kindness and generosity!

Comments (4)

I just got word…

April 29, 2008 @ 5:21 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: gifts,spinning


Bonkers merino/tencel

The finished BFL…delish!

Pigeonroof studios superwash merino in Lettuce

Green gifts from Ingrid!

…that my wheel has been shipped! :) YAY! I cannot wait! I don’t know if they mean it was direct shipped from Poland or shipped from Germany. I’m hoping it’s the latter, because that means I’ll get it tomorrow or the next day. The extras that I ordered will come later though, and that’s fine with me! This means I really need to get the podcast edited before it comes. But the fiber…it calls for me…it whispers my name in my sleep (or lack thereof).

Anyways, since there has been almost zero knitting done, I thought I should show you my latest spinning FO’s. I LOVED spinning merino/tencel, the shine to it was very nice (thanks Linnea)! But while I was setting the twist and whacking it, 2 strands BROKE!!! I was so sad … this skein is so lovely! But it’s ok, no biggie, that means that it is just like Noro (har har!). And the BFL, I think I already told you the trouble with spinning it up, but the finished product feels very very nice (thanks to fbz!). I can’t wait to knit these up but at the same time I want to produce more! Now that I have a pile of handspun, it makes me smile everytime I pass by it!

I am currently spinning up some Pigeonroof Studios superwash merino and my god, it is lovely! I want more more MORE! I basically want more of everything. The only downside to the Pigeonroof is that it has a lot of nepps. But I’ll put up with pretty much anything because it is so nice

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to spin with. It is the most spongey fiber I have spun with so far and I know it will fluff up whenever I set the twist. This roving also has a lot of white in it, so I’ll have to make something other than socks with it. I love the kettle-dyed roving though, so cool and random!!! It’s amazing how a bold little spot on the roving breaks up and turns into a light streak in a small section of the yarn.

I CANNOT get enough of spinning. I am so hooked on it and want to do so much all at once!

I also received a package from Ingrid, my upstream SP8. She is so sweet and has sent me a beautiful green (and oh-so-soft) skein of Posh Yarn Emily. It will be interesting to see how this one knits up as opposed to the Lucia. Both of them are beyond soft!!! She also sent me some green glass beads – what should I do with these? Any suggestions? Thanks so much Ingrid!!!

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Fiber fun filled birthday

April 24, 2008 @ 3:12 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: gifts,spinning


I think I am going to explode from all this!!!

Ostseegarn Eiderwolle

Little did I know that writing “I am out of multicolored roving” sends out an emergency alarm that only fiber enthusiasts can hear! My fiber angels Linnea and Fabienne sent me an “Emergency Fiber Re-Supply”, and OMG, they sent me some really amazing stuff with various content. I tend to stick to merino, so this was a really welcome surprise. I got some Bamboo which you would swear is silk, some merino/tencel (can’t wait to try!!!), some BFL (haven’t spun any yet), some mixed yarn – merino/llama, corriedale/alpaca, all of which I haven’t tried. Argh, the torture of choosing which one to spin up!!! They did an excellent job of re-supplying me with fiber – thank you SO much! Linnea also threw in some American goodies – pop tarts, shark bites and of course squishy wonderbread, which arrived in absolute perfect condition!

In addition to that, I got some birthday gifts – stitch markers from the husband (as well as the much bigger gift that isn’t coming for another 3 weeks – argh, the torture!), blue roving/beautiful red lace yarn/chocolate/coffee from tini, and a gift I got awhile back but was holding out until today to post – an amazing rich blue skein of madeline tosh sock yarn and Annie Modesit’s “Romantic Hand Knits” book, from the one and only Yarnissima!!! The patterns/models/photography in that book is very inspirational and indeed – romantic! You guys are the best and thank you again!

Tini’s roving arrived yesterday and I was extremely frustrated with spinning corriedale. I know they said that this is a good beginner wool, but dang, I found it freaking hard to keep a consistent single. I gave up and broke out her gift. I spent all day/night spinning and it came out great. The fiber is Eiderwolle, a domestic roving and was dyed by her. The fiber was a little bit sticky and hard to draft, but once you get going, it was soooo easy to spin thin and even. The finished product isn’t as soft as merino, but it feels really strong, almost like it has some linen in it. It’s also not as fuzzy as I thought it would be, and it has a nice smooth finish. I thought it came out great!

In addition to that, I also got a surprise gift from Roslyn. I was able to procure some Wollmeise laceweight for her at the Sauerlach market (which was a serious chumfest, btw) so she sent me some Eucalan, a cheery skein of Claudia Hand Painted yarn and a stitch marker. Thanks, Roslyn!

So now I will hole myself up with all this yarn/fiber. I feel like the Rumpelstiltskin lady. But without the evil gnome or whatever Rumpelstitskin was.

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Going a little hat crazy!

December 4, 2007 @ 11:39 am
posted by kris


I am a hat knitting machine!

Rowan with the new chullo cap

So the last couple of weeks has been full of knitting hats. 6 are done and I’m working on a 7th! I made 1 Amanda Hat and after it was done, I thought it would be too colorful for the german teachers. So then I made 4 Coronet hats out of different colors of shaded solid malabrigo. Man, do I love malabrigo! It’s cheap (even in Germany!), soft and sooooo pretty! Then Elijah lost his hat (my favorite hat) – it was a simple black hat that was made out of a recycled cashmere sweater. It was a square shape and it had little bells in the corners. The most simple but adorable hat ever! I didn’t make it myself, I bought it from a now defunct store called “Woolywooly” and I bought it before they were born.

So of course I had to make him a new one! I chose to make the “chulla cap” from Mission Falls Just Kidding book. I love Mags Kandis, she has a really great design style. It took about 1.5 days to knit and 1.5 days to do the finishing touches. Thank god our SnB group met while I was making this and a new girl, Kim, taught me how to do the crochet parts for the little shisha mirrors. I loved doing that part, way more than I thought I would. I also learned how to do French knots!!! I am a super terrible seamer though, the seam is the most ugliest part of the hat. And then I found out that I knitted the whole thing in 1 needle size too small (oops!).

I was so excited to show him his new hat and have him proudly wear it, only to get shut down. He didn’t want anything to do with it! So luckily my other son is not as afraid of new things as Elijah is, so he wore the new hat and Elijah wore Rowan’s. :( This morning I bribed Elijah to wear his new hat with some gummi bears. That worked. So hopefully now he will wear it regularly. I just love the shape and colors of the hat, it is so unusual and cute. Even though I hate multi colors and weaving in the ends, the end product was so pleasing that I’m looking forward to doing another one.

So now I’m knitting a hat for Michael, who has begged me for one. He wants one with ear flaps so I chose Swell from Knitty.com. I am done with the pattern part, and I’m on the decreases, so I should be done today. I think I will also add some edging because it looks so unfinished without it.

So now is the final stretch, to get everything we need to get done for our trip to the states. I am so excited to go to Texas because I will have one day to go on a yarn shopping extravaganza!!! Watch out! I’m also hoping to meet up with some other knitters, especially in Hawaii!

I also still need to take pictures of my stuff from Heli, my SP11. The light has been really bad lately, and I’m too lazy to pull out the lights. And the chocolate is all gone! :) But that is one of my goals for this week to get done. Sorry, Heli!!! I promise I will do it!

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Thanks to Loopy Lou

September 26, 2007 @ 1:24 am
posted by kris
Filed under: gifts

OK, I am so terrible! I received a package from Loopy Lou last week and I didn’t blog about it because I was busy with school starting and with the Benediktbeuern weekend. I would’ve taken a picture of what she sent, but, well, I tore into the chocolate and ripped open a tape measure already. And I was waiting to blog about it because I wanted to take a picture and it’s been too long now so I just said screw it – it’s better to blog with no picture than to not blog at all. She was so sweet – if you remember, she won my last contest and sent me some Green and Blacks almond chocolate (my absolute favorite) as well as another big bar of Galaxy chocolate and 2 tape measures with inches. I am supposed to share this with Elem and Cashyie, so I will give Cashyie a tape measure and Elem the chocolate, or vice versa. But the G&B is MINE and it’s already gone with the help of the husband. Yum, yum, yum! Thanks so much Lou and sorry I didn’t post earlier with pictures!

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Yarn overload and another surprise!

May 3, 2007 @ 10:47 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: gifts,yarn


What I ordered (left), What I got (right)

Surprise!

Hello Yarn Tough Sock in Lonesome Water colorway

Today I had two packages waiting for me (I know, this after receiving STR and my SP package). One was from Mystical Creations yarns. I bought it on ebay for $12 and figured it had to be OK, not the greatest, but good enough for $12. The pictures made it look really nice. Yeah, the PICTURES. I read on the L&V message boards about Mystical Creations and there were mixed reviews. Some people said it was ok, some people said it was way off. Well, I got mine and one of them was close, one of them was not so close and one of them was not even in the ball park. What I got was ok, and I’m sure if I complain about it, they will tell me to send it back. Well, that costs 8 euros, about what the yarn cost me. But I should say something, maybe they’ll give me this one for free and/or pay for the return shipping. I still have to contact them. Not motivated.

Then, the other package was from flickr friend Obliviate. I mentioned somewhere on flickr that I wanted to try some Hello yarns but they are damn hard to get (the good colors). So what did she do? She sent me a skein of Tough Sock and some other goodies for my birthday. This is someone I never met, and just out of the blue sent me something. Geez, I am so lucky! Thanks so much!!! Look at the colors! And the little sock (made out of fat sock). And the lollies! And the cute postcard! And the magnet (did you see it? I cleverly hid it). Now I gotta think about what to make with it… I’m thinking of just the sock pattern they sent. I think it was a basic stockinette with a picot edge.

I just put in my order at blue moon. I used up my 10% discount as well as my sister’s gift certificate. And then some. I’m exploding with yarn here people!

After blog stalking some people (heh!), I got invited to Ravelry!!! It is awesome. When it goes live it will be so very cool.

I haven’t been able to get much knitting done because I’m too busy blogging and internet surfing. I am so terrible. I am almost done with the Grasshopper, probably another day or so. Then who knows…I am having such a hard time choosing projects these days.

Comments (9)

Vacation and packages

May 2, 2007 @ 1:26 am
posted by kris
Filed under: gifts,secret pal,yarn


What can these be?

Ooohhh, lucky me!!!

My Natural Dye Studio yarn

Kitty clips!

A Monsoon is coming!

We went on a family vacation this past weekend so I haven’t been able to post until today. I got a lot of knitting done – finished the Monkeys and almost finished with my STR kit. I just realized that if I finish it soon, I’ll have to wait another month and a half for the next kit! Well, in the meantime, I got my February kit (go figure!) today and I’m still debating whether or not to do the pattern that they sent. So many people complained about the stretch on the cuff, that I may just do a plain sock for Michael. We’ll see.

Now on to good stuff. I had waiting for me today another package from my secret pal!! woo hoo! The outside of the envelope said it was from the Natural Dye Studio (YES!!!!) but then when I opened it, everything was wrapped and it had a letter from her….hmmm…

The Natural Dye Studio yarn, of course, is just gorgeous, she couldn’t have picked a better color! Such beautiful shades of green! And when I saw it I thought of Kew. I’ve been wanting to make that pattern and I thought it was very fitting – the yarn is BFL shorn from British sheep, the dyeing was done in the UK and my pal is in the UK, so don’t you think that is perfect??

Also, there was some chocolates – Green & Black’s (my absolute favorite!) Dark and also another one called Divine. They were both gone. In a second. seriously. There are the little rabbit chocolates too that I will use to bribe my kids into cleaning up after themselves.

Then there were these cute little wooden clothespins with little kitty faces on them. It is just adorable and it reminds me of when we had cats. I miss them!!!

Thanks for the wonderful package SP!!! I can’t wait to cast on my first BFL socks!!!

I also got some knitting books that I ordered about a month ago (English books takes forever!). I got Knitting Vintage Socks and Socks socks socks. YES! I finally have a “collection” of sock books!

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My first Monkeys

April 30, 2007 @ 12:52 am
posted by kris


My first Monkeys!

I realized that I knit this one so quick that I didn’t even post a WIP picture. This weekend

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I finished my first Monkey socks! This is going to a friend that I grew up with. Her birthday is on the 30th (ack!) and I finished these exactly on her birthday so they will be in the mail soon. I love, love, love the brightness of these socks and I’m hoping that it will help her get through the rainy days in Seattle. I made them a little short because I don’t think she’s a person to wear very high socks. We both have “ample” (ahem!) calves so things just don’t stay up very well. I like them so much that I think I may knit another pair (even shorter) for myself with the leftover yarn. I think I will change the heel to be a slipped stitch heel since I don’t like the way the stockinette heel looks so plain. Pattern: Monkey by CookieA (knitty.com) Yarn: Wollmeise sock yarn Sonne colorway Started: April 24, 2007 Completed: April 30, 2007 Size/Needles: One size (64 sts), US2 Pattern notes: I did 4 pattern repeats for the cuff, instead of the 6. This is for a friend’s birthday. I really, really love the extremely bright colors. It is so bright that my camera can’t quite capture it!

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Gothic Spires completed

April 25, 2007 @ 8:20 pm
posted by kris


I’m done, done, done!!!

Don’t you just love the color?

View of the heel

Finished these for my secret pal! Woo hoo! It was very tedious to complete, not because the pattern was hard, but because it just took a long time to knit! But I’m glad I did it and I hope that it fits my SP. Keep your fingers crossed! Since the socks don’t fit me, I had to get my neighbor to model them for me.

On the second sock, I was able to do the yarn wraps without a cable needle by accident. I was at stitch n bitch and forgot my cable needle and no one else had one. So I just slipped the stitches back and forth between needles. It was slow at first but after awhile I got the hang of it and it may have been faster than using a cable needle.

I don’t think I will be doing this one again anytime soon. I love everything about it but I was really needing some quick knits in between. And since I am a one or two project gal, it was really taking a LONG time and I was fantasizing about all these other projects I could be knitting.

Pattern: Gothic Spire by CookieA
Yarn: Wollmeise sock yarn in Gewitterhimmel
Needles: Knit Picks circs US2 (magic loop)
Started: March 30, 2007
Completed: April 24, 2007

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Knitterly letter swap and other things

April 12, 2007 @ 1:09 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: gifts

OK, since I’ve been pretty bad about blogging, here is what’s on the needles:
1. Gothic Spire socks for my SP10 – one side done, still have one to go. This is going to sit for awhile so that I can recharge with some quick knits
2. Thuja socks for Michael – these are probably going to be done today.
3. Felted Mittens for Michael – cast on the orange ones last night and just got the lanolin yarn today.

Now on to better things! I participated in Domesticat’s Knitterly Letter Swap and I received my 1st letter on the same day that I sent mine out! It’s from Carin in New York. I must say, it was nice to get something unexpected in the mail, especially since our mailbox is almost always empty!!! It’s great also to get introduced to blogs that you might not have found! Carin is an amazing knitter and she has done so many different and beautiful projects. She also has some really cool shots from her recent trips to China. Thanks for the letter Carin, you’ll be hearing from me shortly!

I was assigned to write to Jenn in Arkansas and I procrastinated so much because I thought I needed REALLY COOL stationery. But when I looked around, all I saw was colored paper (I’m sure I wasn’t at the right store) and figured I can just knit a wee sock and attach it to some fancy brown paper I have. So that’s what I did. I knitted this tiny sock at 3am in order to get it done. I also thought I would have a hard time writing something to say but once I got started, I just wrote and wrote. I hope it doesn’t bore her too much… And then when I went to the post office, the envelope was 5mm too big (I would’ve had to pay 4 euros) but then the guy just folded it back and I paid my 1,70. Isn’t that weird??? Good to know though.

Surprise from Bärbel

Also, out of the blue, Bärbel sent me an Easter package (I’m assuming it’s for the boys). I have never met her, but she is on the same German yahoo sock list and visited my website. She wanted my Knit Picks yarn that I didn’t like, so I sent it off and she reimbursed me for the shipping. I thought that was the end of the transaction, but today, I got a nice surprise in the mail. She was so sweet and sent me 2 bunny rabits, some candy (already gone), and a ceramic cat! Geez, she is so sweet and it was so unexpected! Thanks Bärbel!!!

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What does bockstark mean (pronounced bok-shtark)? My crazy German friend, Matthias, made that word up to mean "really cool" and says that it is catching on in Garmisch. So I am helping him popularize the word! I thought if I ever opened a yarn store, I would call it "Bockstark Yarns". This blog is all about my projects, yarns and crazy ideas related to knitting and other crafts. Contact me at bockstark.knits(at)gmail(dot)com.