Friday, March 30, 2007

FO Friday with Show and Tell....

Sweater Sampler!!!!

*Note: just realized that I forgot to put the knitted belt on it...whoops!*

I can't believe I havne't blogged the trip with Julie's group, Chicks with Sticks, yet! I think it was mostly because I...

1. Forgot to bring my camera, so had no pictures to show
2. And been working frantically to finish 3 projects I've been working on. Two are halfway done and the Sweater Sampler was finished today. (see above pic!)

The trip to Maine was FANTASTIC! Not only was the ride up with Melissa, Jackie and Lora fun and quick, but with each mile away from home, my horrible headache was slowly disappearing. Very lucky I was.

The shop, The Yarn Sellar, is adorably cute with lots of wonderful yarns. I think I was most impressed with the friendliness of the owners (Patti and her husband Roger) and the great spot in the back of the store with the long, wooden table for sitting and knitting at. It is an extremely homey and welcoming place.

Not only was I able to see lovely and funny-as-hell Julie again, but there was a local reporter who just "happened" by to interview Patti and Roger about the store. Lucky know why? She also interviewed Julie, Jackie and I for the article!!! Here is the link if you want to read's soooo cool!

Newspaper Article

We had chinese food for lunch (yummy!)...of course, I had green beans (Jackie did, too!) and then knit and LAUGHED for the next three or more hours. It was, I have to say, the BEST knitting get together I've ever been to....with the possible exception of our last Grand View trip. (another one coming up in the fall!!!))

Went out to dinner on the way home with Ericka, Chris, GiGi and was some BBQ joint (can't remember the name) and I have to say that I truly missed having a waitress like Famous April....the sweet potato french fries were yummy, though : )

So, a quick note on the Sweater Sampler.....this wonderful book is written by the talented, Jacqueline Fee and I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend it to every knitter who is thinking about making or designing a sweater. Not only was this sampler fun to make (can you believe that it's as big as a sweater sleeve???), but I was surprised at how much I learned. I thought I knew most of the techniques needed to make a sweater, but boy was I wrong! Here are just some of the techniques you learn while knitting this:

-Cable Cast on (very pretty), garter/stockinette, ribbing (3 kinds), and connecting yarn
-Stripes, short rows, chain selvedge, buttonholes, pockets (2 kinds), increases, decreases
-Two color knitting, swiss darning, icord, knitted belt, lace
-4 kinds of bind offs.....icord, lace, ribbing and hem with intials
-Grafting and knitted loops

WoWWW!!! Well worth the money! Find it HERE. (I used one skein of natural and one of pink in Patons Classic Merino with size 6 needles...16" circ and dpns.)

On to the Show and Tell! (short and sweet)

1. Sparkly Fiber (Easter Egg Hunt) and Sparkle itself from Yarn Punk. So pretty!

2. More sparkly fiber (Lavender Green Tea and Fairy Princess) from Loop. Awesome! (oh, I forgot to take pics of that! Darn!)

3. New soaps from Lilac and Mow the Lawn! MMM....

4. Yarn and patterns I bought from our trip to Maine and the Yarn Sellar...

5. Beautiful lotus flower necklace from Heather....she is SUCH a sweetie!...and also fabulous "Blinging Berries" sparkly fiber (merino, tussah silk, silk noil, angelina and bamboo) from the talented! Thank you so much, Heather!!!

Here is the fiber all spun up into yarn.....can't wait to knit something with it!

6. Tofutsies sock yarn (in pink!!!) from Ericka...what a sweetheart! Can you believe it has chiton in it?...made from shrimp and crab shells! (she also got me a Hello Kitty rolling stamper, but forgot to take a's SO cute!) Thank you, Ericka!!

7. Heather's newest merino/tencel yarn (400 yards!!!) in colorway, Pink Lemonade! So shiny and wondrous!

8. The current state of my spinning basket and everything I want to get spun up....oh, so much! Pretty, though, huh?

Hope you all have a relaxing and fun weekend....hoping to get a lot of knitting and/or spinning done and finish up the next podcast. Look for it on the night of April 1st or 2nd.

Oh, it's also the 6 month anniversary of my podcast this month, so I'm looking for new sponsors! If you, or anyone you know, would like some cheap advertising and it's semi-knitting or spinning related, email Hope to hear from you!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ooh, I FELT that!

Ta-da! It's done!!! I've only been working on it since October....! Thanks to the fantastic Jackie, I got remotivated to work on it and now, it's done!

Here is the picture BEFORE felting, where the measurements for the front/back were 20 inches by 20 inches. (Finished size....which felted in only ONE wash...fantastic! 12.5 inches by 12.5 inches):

My MOST favorite elements of this bag were:

- That is was VERY easy....all garter stitch with some decreases or increases here and there. Definitely a project you could take to a movie or knitting group.

- The final "quilted star look" is beautiful and I almost (I say, almost), want to make another one in another color.

- The icord bind off....excellent look when finished and kinda fun to do...a nice change from the normal bind off.

- It took only ONE wash on small load, hot water, cold rinse, heavy load setting to felt it...that's all! Love that Patons!

My LEAST favorite element of this bag were:

-The endless garter stitch gusset...ugh!

-And sewing up the gusset and icord, braided handles to the bag. Lots of "busy work".


Tote'M Bag designed by Suzanne Atkinson

Knitter's Magazine "Light and Shadow" Issue 2006 (unsure....can't find mag...)

Size 8 needles and dpns

2 colors (main color) ofPatons Classic Merino and one each for contrasting colors....(if you use your craft store 40% off coupons and buy them individually, you can make the bag for less than $15!!!

*see Jackie's Blog for her in-progress bag in gorgeous browns and blues. *

What do you think???

P.S. Next post....lots of new fibers, gifts and yarns...and our visit with the awesome Julie at the Yarn Sellar in York, ME. Wooo-hooo!

Friday, March 23, 2007

FO FRIDAY: In 100 words or less....

Sweater (with SEPARATING zipper) is DONE!

Mistakes I Made:

1. Gauge VERY off, resulting in sweater TOO small.

2. Added garter stitch center panel to offset size. HORRIBLE IDEA!

3. Ripped out panel and zipper (which was NOT separating...duh) and threw in garbage. Very angry.

4. Cried. Got good ideas from knitting group. None panned out well. Still does not fit. Bought new zipper...added in. Grandma will have a newly knitted sweater for birthday in April.


*Bought new yarn from Amy in Mandy colorway. With sock yarn to match....thanks to Julie. May the Yarn Goddess watch over my next attempt.*

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Radiance Lace Headbands!

I am SO excited to announce the release of my pattern, "Radiance Lace Headbands: Jacqueline and Amanda"!!!

This is the "Jacquelilne" headband: (named after the beautiful Jackie)

And this is the "Amanda" headband: (named after the wonderful Blogless Amanda)

Both have easy lace and patterned sections and have beads for the fringe. You can alter the headband length and even make a pretty belt out of it instead. Here is the detail of the fringe of each:

One Planet Yarn and Fiber has just put the pattern up on their website. They're also offering a kit with enough yarn for one headband and the pattern in booklet form. Here's the KIT and it's only $17.50! You can purchase the pattern from their website ($5.00) or from me (see right sidebar), also the same price (though I'd love for you to purchase from me!) Both are immediate .pdf no shipping fees, either.

If you decide to purchase the yarn for this pattern (both styles are included), you can find Yarn Botanika's Radiance yarn HERE in fingering weight or HERE in sport/dk weight.

This yarn is a 50% superwash merino and 50% tencel mix...has beautiful shine and softness.

If you buy the yarn from this lovely company, there is a discount code that I can send you to use when buying this yarn. Just email me at before purchasing : )

Heather of Sereknity will also be selling a handpainted 50%/50% Superwash Merino/Tencel (I just bought her Pink Lemonade (pinks, yellow, and whites) shade!) yarn that is perfect for this headband pattern. Other colors she had were: Lilacs in Bloom (gorgeous shades of purple), Martian (cool greens), and one in blues that I cannot remember the name of....darn it!

You'll notice that I also have my Haiku Flower Socks pattern up for sale as well. You can find the utterly gorgeous sport/dk 100% Black Pearl Cashmere yarn HERE. It's wonderful!!! And, of course, my pattern for these socks are also available at One Planet Yarn and Fiber, too.

Both of these patterns, Radiance Lace Headbands and the Haiku Flower Socks, only take 1 skein of yarn. You can't beat that!

KPixie also sells the Yarn Botanika Radiance yarn, the Black Pearl Cashmere and both my patterns as well, if you'd like to check them out there.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about the patterns, okay?

I'll be starting a GALLERY for all of the finished headbands and, if you make one, send me a pic and I'll be putting your name in for PRIZES!!! (and there are three more Down to Hearth Soaps in this giveaway, too!....Berrywine, Lavender/Eucalyptus and Soft Rose PLUS handdyed yarn or fiber from ME!! and other goodies) So, my patterns and START KNITTING!!!

What do you think???

(more about my sweater disaster tomorrow or when my brain in back in my head...ugh)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Podcast 10: SpiKnit

Another podcast up and running! Whew...didn't think I'd get that done! Spent most of the snowy day yesterday recording, editing and trying to work up my courage to sing the theme song...ugh!

Hope you like!!

Gina aka Sleepy Eyes : )


(see right sidebar)


-Clare Dowling with "Spinning Wheel"
-Citizen Six with "Transmission Two"
-Casey Desmond with "To Myself"



Peculiar Ambitions
Friday Night Knitting Club Website
EveryDay Chunky Cardi yarn by Spunky Eclectic


1. The angora/cashmere/alpaca/merino awesomeness...

2. Sweater Arms and Body...

3. Kate Jacobs reading and the set up of the store...

4. An outrageous pic of Jackie with two skeins of KP yarn in her shirt! Hilarious! This was after the book signing with Kate and we were all giddy in the parking lot...

5. A belated pic of the kids when we went to the cute, aren't they?...

Congrats to Carol of RI for winning the Sleepy Eyes Knits Theme Song Contest!

Happy Knitting and Spinning to all...and to all a good night....

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sweet Potato Pie

Presenting the Bag O'Bunny fiber that I got from SPA in yarn form!


Fiber: The Woolen Rabbit's "Bag O'Bunny", hand-dyed merino/silk/angora blend

Spun worsted style

Singles: (1 ply) laceweight 31 wpi
Plied: (2 ply) sportweight 15 wpi

2 oz. of "Bag O'Bunny" made 185 yards of 2 ply sportweight and 29 yards of 3 ply total. Pretty awesome!

The yarn is incredibly soft, silky and oh-so-nice!

Have no idea what I'll do with it yet, but it'll have to be something special.

I've decided to call it, "Sweet Potato Pie". Yummy!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Dirty Business

No, this won't be an x-rated post (although it very well COULD be....if I wasn't so tired).

It's the dirty business of going from sheep to yarn.

I had 1 pound of Coopworth fleece, which I bought from Heather and which has been haunting me since I brought it home. I've heard the washing fleece is a stinky, stinky affair, so I was waiting for the spring.

Luckily, spring-ish weather came this weekend (50s!!!), so I got out the big, metal pans and thought I'd soak. I wish I'd taken pics of the original fiber before cleaning....god, it was HORRIBLE! It was crinkly and lanolin rich (very nice for the hands), but STINKTASTIC and the brownish parts made me slightly gag.

But, I resisted being a little weiner about it and dove right in....well, my hands anyway.

I think my first problem was that I used TOO much detergent. I've heard that spinners sometimes don't use enough, so I tried to compensate for that. Overly, I think. I used 3 tablespoons of Dawn dishwashing liquid, but later realized that it wasn't regular Dawn, but Dawn concentrate. OOPS!

After I soaked the fiber in at least 4 hot, increasingly less-soapy baths (being careful not to felt it), I finally started the rinsing process. Thank goodness I was able to throw the dirty water outside. UGh. It was awful. (shiver)

1. Here it is soaking...

2. Here we have the newly rinsed fiber drying next to the woodstove on a sweater rack (after a quick spin the washer spin cycle)....

3. One of the dry "locks" (I use the term loosely here) ready to be flick carded....

4. Half of the lock carded...

5. Other half done....

6. Using comb to clean the flick carder (aka dog brush)...

7. Big bag of clean, white fiber ready to spin...

8. Spinning the fiber....

9. Close up of the fiber into yarn...nice, huh?...

I have other things I've been working on, Tote'M bag (the 408 rows of garter stitch to do) and I also spun up the 2 oz. of Bag O'Bunny that I got from Spa. Came out very pretty and super soft, but I'll blog that next time.

I'm a bit under the weather today....when I went to teach yoga yesterday, two of the older ladies were sick and one had pneumonia...yikes! Trying to stay healthy and rest...when I'm not spinning, that is. Also working on the secret project as well. That's a lot of fun and easy to do when I'm in bed.

Off to lay down......

Friday, March 09, 2007

Packages On Parade

Whoa...yesterday was the Package Parade! I got all but one of the packages I was waiting for. Woo-hoo!

I know it's Friday, and I do have an FO, so I'll give pics and be quick....

1. The Knit Picks order that our group made....lots of GREAT stuff!

(this is minus my own yarn, which is being used for secret things...)

2. The awesome, luxury fiber from Peculiar Ambitions, which is a blend of angora, cashmere, alpaca, and merino.....(droool) can you get anything better than that? Wonderful Cayli recommended this fiber store to me. Thanks, Cayli!

3. Finally used the gc that Ian got me for Valentine's Day and got this yarn for my Wicked Sweater from Dream Weaver Yarns. It's Berroco's Soft Twist and I got it on sale for only $3.96 a skein!!! I wanted the gray color only (but they only had 2 more of those and I can't possibly cover my bosom with 2 skeins of yarn), but I had to get the's still pretty nice.

4. I had some money left over from the sweater yarn, so I got these two balls of Berroco Boho, which was also on sale. (I got 11 skeins of yarn total for $50! Pretty sweet!) This yarn is a mixture of ribbon and tubular yarns that stripe, so it should be cool. Not sure what I'll do with it yet, though.

5. This didn't actually come in the mail, but I got these two delicious smelling bars of "Brownie Batter" soap (the newest scents) from Ericka of Armed with Pointy Sticks and her Down to Hearth line of soaps. One is for ME and the other for my sis, Kim. Yummy!

6. On Wednesday night knitting group, a new lady and her friend showed up. The lady, Faye, was actually trying to GIVE AWAY her spinning fiber for FREEE! (Ericka and I looked at each other and were like, "I WANT IT!". Chris went out to Faye's car to get the bag o' fiber for us to fight over...luckily, everything was nice, so it wasn't hard to share. We even saved the third ball of fiber for Heather, though if she hadn't come, I think there might have been a wresting match over it....LOL...only joking....I have SO much fiber that I could build my own house of it and Ericka just started, so I was more than happy to give her first choice. I love the one I got, though....a pale gray Border Leicester wool. It'll be scratchy, but I might make some heavy duty mittens with them or ply them with something softer. Thanks, Faye!!!

7. This is the progress I've made on two of my OTN projects. One, the Tote'M bag:

and, two, the Sweater Sampler:

(Did you see the side placket with button? Very cool and fun to make!)

8. The new book by Barbera Albright, called "The Natural Knitter". Not only does this book have GREAT information on picking and knitting with natural fibers, but there is also some information on spinning, carding, and dyeing yarn. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous and I can't stop looking at this book. It's worth every penny!

(like the sheets on my bed?)

9. Finally, a very small sneak peek of the FO OPYF design pattern that I finished and took pics of today. I don't want to show too much or anything, but here is a hint....

Will be working on the new podcast this weekend and hope to get it out next week. Hope you all have a super weekend with lots of knitting and FUN!

G : )