Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Podcast 9: I Heart Knitting Group

Hey Sweet and Sassy Knitters!

Another belated episode from yours truly. Hope you enjoy it! I'm adding links and a handful pics. For the next podcast, my 10th!!!!, please help me to write a mini theme song for my podcast and email me: gina@YogaGardenNH.com. The top 5 entries get put in another drawing for a FANTASTIC prize or prizes!!! (If you have an item or items you want to donate, please email me as well. I'd appreciate it!! If you donate, I will add you to my Super Silver Donator List....will add your name and blog, if you have one, to the podcast.)

Theme Song: Can be funny, serious, rhymning or not...be creative... but should sum up the "essence" of my podcast. ( If you record it in .mp3 form, you can send it to me and I'll put it on the podcast no matter if you win or not. Please include the words if you record it.) Should be short....about a minute or two at most.

Thank you and hope you enjoy the podcast!!!

Happy Knitting and Many hugs, Gina aka Sleepy Eyes : )

SPONSOR LINKS: (see right)


Podshow Podsafe Musick Network

Love=Action with "Everyone's in this Together"

Mossback with "Annalisa"


1. My second handspun sock

2. Wearing both socks

3. Down to Hearth soap (my Creamsicle scent) handmade by Ericka. (This pic shows the old packaging...the pics of new soaps in the muslin bags will be posted as soon as I can...)

Unrelated-to-podcast PICS:

1. Ben wearing his snowshoes...

2. Tim wearing his snowshoes....

3. Tim and Ben snowshoeing around the pool....


ManchVegas Knitters

Spunky Ecletic...home of Amy King's gorgeous creations

Julie of Noolie Knits

Heather of Yarnophiliac

My NETA Spa Trip blog entry

Gauge Lesson Shell from Knit Picks using the Twist yarn.

(*Remember to click on the link at the right under "Podcast" to download the newest episode!*)


Friday, February 23, 2007

HandSpun-Ky Socks

Woo-hoo!!! My first EVER sock knit with my own handspun yarn!!!! And, I have to tell you, I am LOVING this first sock. I can't believe how soft this yarn is! I really owe it all to Amy of Spunky Eclectic. She has corrupted me...really she has....I absolutely adore her and her yarn and fiber. I am a total Spunky Eclectic groupie...oh, a blog button might be nice!....and I have to admit that I'm loving her yarn a tad more than Socks that Rock....(gasp!). Can it be true???

I'll show you step by step (kinda)...how I went from fiber to sock numero uno.

Wanna see?

First, bought "Swamp Monster" roving (after much drooling and babbling at Amy) at the NETA Spa.

1. Drafted roving...see here:

2. Spinning up the singles.....singles are laceweight....30 wpi.......on my Ashford Joy:

3. Finished one bobbin of each single.....2 oz on each bobbin. They look COMPLETELY different because I separated the roving horizontally instead of vertically...but it was cool because each half was fun with the unique colors....first one, more green, brown and white and the second one, more blues, yellows and pinks/reds (bobbins are reversed in pic):

4. Skeined each bobbin to set twist...finished singles yarns:

5. Balled each skein on my nostepinne:

6. Plied the two singles on my wheel to get this 2 ply: (at 16 wpi...which is sportweight or light dk)

7. Created my own pattern (which I may try to send to Spin Off magazine...not sure) using size 4 dpns (didn't have 2 circs, damn it!) and made this first sock!!!

(It took me from Saturday morning until Tuesday to draft, spin singles, set singles, ply singles, set 2 ply, and dry 2 ply. I knitted the first sock from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening. I started my second sock last night and I'm hoping to be done with it tonight or tomorrow morning. I am SOOO excited!)

Here's a close up of the yarn knitted up:

In other news, my own Spin to Knit pal (the one I was gifting), Cayli, sent me the roving I bought from her....a very soft merino fiber in her own, handpainted colorway, "Flowers in the Snow". Isn't it gorgeous? I can't wait to spin it up!

Not only did she send me a sweet note with the fiber, but also a skein of her own handspun!!!! I'm thinking, "She's not supposed to be sending to ME!"....but she had been spinning some merino and plying with a beaded silk yarn that she dyed herself and I'd said how beautiful it was. And also that I'd like to try that technique sometime. So, she was amazingly generous (and friggin awesome) and sent me over 100 yards of this gorgeous yarn with glass beads to inspire me. Look at this!

Here's a close up of the beads:

Cayli, thank you, thank you so much!!! Doing this Spin To Knit swap has been fantastic because of you! Many hugs your way!

And, a quick pick of the finished bikini panties (from the White Lies Designs Nichole Lingerie pattern) that I gave to Jackie for V-Day. They came out very pretty and soft...and, apparrently, nice smelling, since everyone at knitting on Wednesday was sniffing Jackie's panties (she hadn't tried them on yet.....). We kept saying, "Wanna smell Jackie's panties?"...just to get people to do a double take at the next table at Barnes and Noble! Hilarious!!! We are SO crazy!

Finally, a quick snack recipe that I find to be terribly yummy and "almost" healthy for you. The kids love it, too.

I call it, "Goldrush":

1 cup of whole grain Goldfish crackers
1 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup of unsalted peanuts or almond slivers (you can't see them in this pic for some reason...I think they sank to the bottom)

Mix all in a big bowl or ziploc bag and enjoy!

Happy Shnacking! (and Knitting...and Spinning!)

Monday, February 19, 2007

NETA Spa Weekend...Minute by Minute

To begin reading this post, you need to say the password. Password is: FrigginAwesome. Say it. Read on....


8:30 am Woke up with amazingly horrid migraine headache. Ian stayed home until 1 pm to watch Ben and I was able to join the land of the living. Felt better as the day went on. (MUST NOT MISS SPA!!!)

5:15 pm Melissa picks me up with her doggie, Rusty. We head to Portland, ME.

8:00 pm Arrive in at DoubleTree Hotel (we got somewhat lost...though I got a great tour of downtown...the online hotel directions SUCKED)

8:05 pm Eat giant, homemade chocolate chip cookie that I was given at sign in (oh, yes...everyone gets one....drool!)

8:20 pm Find room (wonderful!!!) and unpack a little

8:30 pm Eat at the hotel cafe (rosemary potatoes, pork loin with baked apples, chocolate/orange mousse, homemade french bread....yummy).

(sorry for the dark pic of the vendor area....)

8:45 pm Got name tag, entered in door prize contest, and did a tiny bit of shopping. Met the amazing Amy King of Spunky Eclectic and tried not to make a fool out of myself...gushing about how much I love her stuff. (I say, "tried"....not "did")

9:15 pm Get my first EVER manicure with Angela (she's like everyone's idea of a best friend...sweet, cute, friendly, outspoken and funny as hell) and it was fantastic!

9:45 pm Chris and Erikca found me as I finished with my manicure.

9:50 pm Won a door prize! Opal sock yarn in yellow, white and parts black. (anyone want to swap for this? Not sure if I like the colors...)

10:00 pm Met Julie and Carol in the hallway.....was so happy to see them and felt like we'd been friends forever.

10:05 pm We all went to the conference/gallery room (where everyone sat to knit and spin all weekend) to, surprise, surprise...knit and spin! I actually got 1 or 2 rows done on my Wavy scarf. Rest of the time...gabbing with everyone and having the BEST time! (Here are Julie and Carol being all funny...."Kiss me!")

11:30 pm Happily surprised when Heather arrived early to meet us. (I thought she wouldn't be at SPA until Saturday...woohoo!)

Midnight (approximately) Everyone goes to up to their rooms and chats a bit more (learned that, as Heather and I gabbed about bunnies and such, Julie and Carol were giggling like school girls up stairs all night).


7:30 am Got an amazing, hour massage from Betsy and almost died and went to heaven. My feet, back and hands were in love with Betsy.

8:30 am Had a truly yummy (though HUGELY costly) room service breakfast with Heather before heading down to spin.

8:45 am- 1 pm Alternately spun my new Spunky Fiber in the "Swamp Monster" colorway, talked, and shopped. (Amy and her mother laughed every time I went back to the Spunky booth, saying "She's back!",...may have been 5 or more times...so about every hour)

Noonish? Melissa drops by with her handsome brother, Vicki (my Spinning Godmother) sat and knit with us for an hour or two, and Julie's friend, Brenda, joined us....very friendly and fun. After I did a mini spindle demonstration (I'm not a very good teacher), Brenda and Julie both did some spindle spinning...and, boy, they caught on quickly. Much more quickly than I did!

1:00 pm (or was it 2:00?) Had lunch with everyone at the cafe (delicious macaroni & cheese with keilbasa, big salad, cookies and lots of water)

Somehow, the rest of the day was a blur....of spinning and chatting...

6:15 pm Chocolate Pedicure (with all chocolate scented products....legs rubbed with salts, slathered in a mask and rubbed with lotions...and then on to the pedicure with Princess-tastic (or some similar name) sparkly pink polish for my toesies...see above) with Heather and Ericka...that's her feet that Angela is holding.

8:00 pm Went out to dinner with said group to some beer-ish pub where I knit a bit on my Wavy scarf and had Terayki chicken breasts with mashed potatoes. Heather and I shared the chocolate peanut butter cup pie and the key lime pie. I liked the Key Lime better...very tangy!

10:00 pm - 11:30 pm More spinnning and knitting and chatting...Chris and Ericka came to our room for more spinning. I helped Ericka get her newly spun yarn (on her new, lovely Louet, double treadle wheel) wound on the niddy noddy and she soaked and hung it overnight. Came out wonderful...good job to her!

11:30 pm Sleep


8:30 pm Breakfast arrives (less costly this time)...but I wake up with ANOTHER migraine (ughhhh!!!) and couldn't eat any of it.

8:30-11 pm Heather takes care of me (such a loving, wonderful friend) and goes out to do some yarn shop-shopping and so I can have some quiet and rest.

11:10 pm Manage to s-l-o-w-l-y come downstairs to checkout (pay the bill, etc and order cookies for the kiddies to take home) and was able to say goodbye to Julie and Carol....oh, I wanted to stay and talk to them more!!! (Did I tell you how Julie is even more friendly, sweet and funny as she is in her blog?) Went back upstairs to sleep.

12:00 pm-2:30 pm I sat with the last spinning ladies left at the hotel (and then later with Chris, Ericka and Heather)....spun more of my "Swamp Monster" fiber...coming out so cool!....and was able to be almost human again.

Here is Heather spinning her beautiful red pygora fiber...

2:30-4:00 pm Chris, Ericka, Heather and I go to a Mexican restaurant for lunch (the blueberry empanadas (sp?) with vanilla ice cream were GREAT!) and then Heather and I headed over to Portsmouth for my argyle sock class with Jackie.

5:15-6:30 pm During class, I knit maybe 2 rows. Everyone really liked my first finished sock and that made me happy. The other socks were looking really wonderful, too. Such great colors!

6:30-7:30 pm Jackie and I headed home, talked, laughed and vented on the way. I had missed her a lot over the weekend (she was planning to go with me and then had so many plans at the last minute that she couldn't come...poor Jackie....but she's totally going next year!) and she really liked the yarn I'd picked out for her from Amy's booth....it's called Neopolitan with very light pink, cream and pale brown colors.

Rest of the night: Kept hugging the kiddies (I'd missed them so much!) while Ian took a much needed break and put Ben to bed.

Overall, with migraines aside, I had the BEST weekend away I've ever had and I can't wait until next year. If I can manage to go on Thursday night, I will...not sure if that's possible, though...have to beg Ian.

Here are some pics of other things I may have missed talking about:

1. The finished handspun yarn (fiber from Yarn Botanika in the "Fresh Berries" colorway) I made for my pal, Cayli. I did a 3 ply navajo with it and it came out to be a sportweight yarn....about 207 yards....and it is very shiny and soft. I think she liked it! (See her blog for more pics of the goodies I sent her...including a photo scrapbook of the steps I took to spin her yarns!)

2. The needle felted doll created by the woman of Grafton Fibers...it's a mermaid...and she is holding another, smaller doll in her hand. Amazing!

3. My new spindle...a blue tiger's-eye type....for laceweight yarn spinning...it's gorgeous!

4. Heather getting her massage...

5. My bag, my Spunky yarn to make a sweater (Amy's own pattern), two Spunky fibers for me (Midnight Runner and Shark) and one for Cayli (Berry Pickin').

6. Chris, being very philosophical....

7. Ericka at her new wheel....

8. Heather examining Ericka's spinning...approvingly....

9. More of Amy's Spunky Eclectic yarn and fiber....booth, yarn and fiber...

drool over the yarn...

squeeze those fibers...

10. A little gift for lovely Amanda (whose birthday is this Wed!!!)...

I also got a "Bag o' Bunny"....angora/silk fiber mix in a beautiful colorway, but the photo just did not come out well...it's in soft toffee, pumpkin and gold colors...something I don't normally pic, but thought would be beautiful spun up. I'll show it in a later post.

Though I'm happy to be home, I had such a wonderful time and met such sensational people that I wish I were there again now...but, I guess I'd be completely alone...since everyone is gone. But, next year....I'm SOO there! Maybe you will, too!

Next post will be showing you my handspun "Swamp Monster" singles yarn that I'll be knitting into my own sock pattern...I can't wait!!! Until next time!