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It's Spinzilla Time!!!

Many spinners are gearing up for Spinzilla, a spinning event hosted by TNNA (The National Needlearts Association) that runs from October 1st through October 7th.  This global event is not only to challenge spinners to see who can spin the most yarn in a weeks time , but to challenge spinners of all levels to try new fibers, new spinning methods, new spinning tools (wheels and spindles), new techniques, and really just to bring awareness to the hand spinning community.  While this is truly a fun event, like Tour de Fleece it's quite competitive in some groups but the end result is the celebration and joy of spinning.   

Key Dates 
August 1 - 30: Team registration 
September 4 - 27: Spinner registration 
October 1 - 7: Spinning Week 
October 19: Yardage Results Posted
Speaking of competitive, Kate Larson's post on Spinzilla: Tips for Spinning Under Pressure is very good to read, especially if this is your first time joining Spinzilla.  I have always loved Kate's approach to spinning.  She shares the best tips and techniques!

Don’t forget to take breaks, stretch, and take a deep breath every once in a while. Release the Spinzilla stress! ~ Kate Larson

Anne Merrow also has written a great article, 5 Ways A Busy Spinner Can Rock Spinzilla. While I love Anne's approach, I have joined several Spinzilla events since it started and usually joined as a Rogue member.  I like to take my time and spin for the pure enjoyment of spinning and not to be rushed.  I have found that if you join certain teams you are trying to keep up with the teams spinning goals, making it not only challenging but exhausting, especially if you work.  

So just do it. Sign up for Spinzilla. Challenge yourself to find a group, and remind yourself of this: You deserve to be there just as much as anyone. ~ Anne Merrow

Be sure to check out the Spinzilla Ravelry Group too.  This is a great place to check out teams, tips, fiber sales and more.

Links to great articles from past years:

Due to so much going on in my life, I have opted to sit out this years Spinzilla but plan to cheer on all the spinners who are competing in this fun event.  Oh course the more I read online about Spinzilla, I may change my mind and join as a Rogue Spinner again.

Until next time ~ Be Creative !

My Love of Ink

As I mentioned at the beginning of my blog I am a well round crafter with many loves.  My main love has been wool, and pretty much anything that is fiber related.  I enjoy knitting, crocheting, spinning and weaving.  However, I also enjoy pen and ink. 

Today I'm sharing a few of my projects that I've been working on, as well as one that I have finished.

I am working on this floral piece in my small art journal that measures five by seven.  Like most of my projects I use a Sakura Micron pen .01 and .005.  

I am also working on a piece measuring  11" by 14" (drawn on Strathmore mixed media paper) that is the state of Arizona.  This will be a Zentangle Inspired Art piece with a few other fun bits thrown in to show off the essence of this beautiful state.    Please forgive the shadow in the bottom right of my photo, it was taken early in the morning and I had many shadow issues.

The piece I recently finished is a Zentangle Inspired drawing of the state of Kentucky.  Kentucky has always been home to me and I always hope some day to be able to return home.  The finished piece measures 18" by 24" and drawn on Strathmore mixed media paper.

I love art just about as much as I love the fiber arts and will periodically share what I'm drawing.

Until next time ~ by creative!

A Soon To Be New Project

I recently saw a post on Instagram from a knitter who was sharing a lovely start to her new project, a design called Cusp. 

When I first saw the photo I honestly thought it was by Norah Gaughan.  The reason I assumed it was by Norah was for the uniqueness, the construction and the cable work.  But after finding the pattern on Ravelry I was pleasantly surprised that this beautiful creation is bOlga Buraya-Kefelian, a very creative designer who also designed Apex, another sweater in her collection that I am head over heels in love with.  If you love Norah Gaughans creations, you will love Olga's as well and I encourage you to take a peek at her patterns online at Ravelry.

Courtesy of Brooklyn Tweed
Ravelry Designer Page:  A hexagonal bubble popover is cozy and easy to wear as well as boldly stylish. Knit in Shelter, this playful garment is worked from the center out, with spines of delicate cables delineating each segment and forming a criss-cross that makes Cusp surprisingly flattering. When the back and front are complete, the live stitches are united from the wrong side using the Joinery bind-off. The sleeve openings, collar, and hem are edged in double rib. The sample is shown in a tinted neutral — Postcard — but Cusp would be elegant at the ends of the spectrum in Cast Iron or Fossil, too.

Needless to say I promptly purchased this pattern and will be using my stash of Shelter in Hayloft that is full of fall color and undertones.  I'm excited not only to knit this gorgeous design but to finally knit with this beautiful yarn spun in the US from US farms.

I hope to cast this project on very soon and be able to wear it this winter here in Phoenix or on road trips my hubby and I plan to take.

Until next time ~ be creative!

Best Laid Plans Gone Awry

In my last post I talked about my new cast on, Rhapsody Cables by Joji Locatelli, using my beautiful stash of Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in the color Translation.  I love this pattern but after re-calculating the yardage needed I found out I would be short two skeins of yarn.  How I managed not to see this at the beginning is beyond me other than the pure excitement of casting on such a beautiful design.  I will knit this design, just not at this time.


I have casted on Irish Coffee by Thea Colman (aka Babycocktails).  I have just the right about of yardage for this project and I have wanted to knit this sweater since Thea published it.

Courtesy of Thea Colman

I truly believe this color of yarn will compliment this design nicely and so far I'm loving how it is looking!  I've been reading several Ravelry project pages with slight modifications and tips. I haven't quite decided how deep my "v" will be in the front but since I'm large busted, it might be a bit deeper so it looks more proportioned.

Has this ever happened to you ... start a project or consider a project only to find out you really don't have enough yarn in your stash to complete it?

Until next time ~ Be Creative!

A Rhapsody in Blue

For quite some time I have been in love with Joji Locatelli's designs, especially those that involve cables.  I've had Lemongrass in my queue for ages and thought this would be wonderful to knit next but then I added Rhapsody in Cables.  It was a very hard decision on which one to cast on next, but Rhapsody in Cables won!

Courtesy of Joji Locatelli

For this project I will be using Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in the colorway Translation, a gorgeous blend of denim blues. The tones in this yarn will be perfect to show off the cables and lace that Joji used in her gorgeous design. 

I'm very excited about this sweater and believe it will be a wonderful addition to my hand knits collection.  For a bit of nostalgia, I hope you enjoy this Rhapsody in Blue!

Until next time ~ be creative!

It's finished!!!!

I have finished my short sleeve raglan sweater and I absolutely love it!!!  This will be perfect for wearing in the office this fall over a turtleneck shell or a long sleeve tee.

I did a slight modification for the sleeves and you can find the details on my Ravelry project page here.  I did not make a buttonhole for this sweater, instead I sewed the button directly onto the sweater bands.  This means I will be pulling the sweater over my head to wear but it will help preserve the integrity of the knitted fabric (buttonholes can become loose).

I can't say enough about the Tahki Yarns Vermont I used for this project.  This yarn is wonderful to knit with, keeps it's shape (even after blocking) and has a very light and airy feel to the finished fabric.  This is a lovely blend of 50% Merino Wool and 50% Superfine Alpaca.

I used 8.5 skeins of this yarn, which is 790.5 yards or 722.8 meters, and a US size 8 (5mm) circular needle in a 24" length.  For binding off the ribbing I used a US size 9 on one tip and the US size 8 on the working tip.  This gave a nice bind off without being too tight.

This is the fourth cardigan I've made this year and now it's time for a pullover!!!

Until next time ~ be creative!

Seeing Stars

I often find myself searching for fun projects to use up left over yarn and came across a new pattern by Hunter Hammersen (a favorite designer of mine) called Scintillation.  

First of all, this pattern is simply adorable and yes, I had to buy it.  Second of all, it's so perfect for using up leftover bits of yarn.  Like many knitters out there I always end up with several yards of fingering weight yarn after making socks, or a few yards of DK and worsted weight after sweater, hats and shawl projects.  I simply cannot bare to part with these bits of leftovers but really don't know what I might want to do with them. Hunter's pattern is perfect for this dilemma and I can't wait to cast on a "star".

Courtesy of Hunter Hammersen
Scintilation noun
- a flash or sparkle of light

You know those bits of gorgeous yarn left over from your favorite projects? The ones you just can’t bear to throw away? Well why not turn them into a pile of adorable little stars!
There are no seams to work when you’re done, no stitches to pick up, and only two ends to weave in! Each one takes only a few yards of yarn (these took between 10 & 30 yards each) and about two hours to knit. That’s about as close to instant gratification as knitting gets!
As for what you’ll do with them? Well that’s limited only by your imagination!

If you're interested in joining other knitters in making these delightful stars, Hunter has started a KAL (knit along) in her Pantsville Press Ravelry Group  and per Hunter's post in this KAL, "If you want to post about it on instagram, you can use the tag #scintillationkal to help everyone find your pictures!" 

I'm off to see what bits of yarn I might have left over in my "can't get rid of these pieces" stash.  I know that I have a few solid color sock yarns and maybe a couple of varigated colors too that might work.  If all else fails, I'll dip into my stash of Jamison's Shetland or my Elemental Effects Shetland .

Until next time ~ be creative!