Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: The Year That Was...

2017: The Year That Was...

1) The start of a new tradition: knitting journals.

Gifted from a fellow knitter, I have spent the year chronicling every project I worked on and cannot wait to do it again in 2018.  I just wish I didn't have to retire this really nice journal.

2) An (almost) successful attempt at keeping my feet forever warm.

You can see all my projects here!

I am happy to report that I finished 11.25 pairs of socks.  The December pair is still on sock one, as I just cannot speed up those cables.  But I plan to finish them by the end of January, which was when I declared the goal to begin with, so that counts, right? 

3) A major inspiration in my painting world.

With these beauties being my most successful to date (although I am kinda sick of looking at them), I feel like my art is going in a new direction and cannot wait to see how 2018 goes!
(Also, I recently sold the Originals!)

4) The start of many new and exciting things.

I cannot believe I only started this dye journey in March! It feels like I have been doing it for so much longer.  But I guess when you find something you love, time seems to fly.  I have truly enjoyed this new endeavor and cannot wait to introduce my new colors (last 2 on right) and new ideas in 2018!

I have two shows coming up already! One in March and one in June.  I cannot wait, but that means more work for me...


What else can I say? I went through and re-read all of my posts from this year and am very impressed with myself on how consistent I was and my ability to share what was happening.  Thank you to everyone who read and commented this year, it always means so much to know someone is listening.

I'm leaving you all with this song, which is from a movie I saw last week.  The lyrics are stuck in my head and are very inspirational for me as an artist.

Bring on 2018!


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We all know what time it is? Christmas....BREAK! Ok maybe I'm a little excited, but the knowledge of having the next two weeks off from school is a pretty nice feeling.  Even though I will be traveling home for part of it, it's still nice to have a little bit of time for myself before I go.

I have had a good amount of time lately to tackle some projects, and I wanted to do a quick post about all of them.  Many of them were started yesterday, my official day off for the holidays, but some have been ongoing.

The December socks are on the needles and taking their sweet time.  The pattern is Lowry Crossing by one of my LYS owners, Petra, and the yarn is from Kimerie's Knit Knacks that I purchased last month.  I love the way these look, but the cables are really tedious and thus slowing me down.  

This will be pair 12 for me and I gotta say, it's been a trip.  I'll do a recap at the end of this pair of each one I've done this year.  Safe to say, I'm worn out and definitely need a sock sabbatical. 

Handmade gifts are also happening again this year, in the form of these cute woven coasters.  I have been spinning mini-skeins on my drop spindle from a grab bag of fiber and then weaving those minis on my small wood loom to make the awesome coasters.  It's been really fun seeing the random stripes and designs my handspun is making!

With my day off yesterday I was able to start on a bunch of things, including a new colorway in my yarn.  Based off the painting "Early Snow Flowers", the colors on this are very warm, considering the name.  Why did I name that painting the way I did? Lol.  But seriously, this is a nice change for me, although the red dye is a little potent. 

On the subject of starts, I also managed to begin the 3rd painting in my triptych.  While I can't get all three in a row on my easel, I am able to at least get the two.  The one on the right - the new one - will be very pink.  I like that I could hang them all separate if I wanted, but that they are also a continuous work. Merging from red to pink, this has been a fun challenge. 

Playing with pink, I also have this "spa cloth" started yesterday that I am going to gift to my future sister-in-law for Christmas.  I'm planning to make two of these, each with Cascade Ultra Pima. I've had a couple of cloths made in pima cotton for a few years now and they hold up so well.  I highly recommend it!  For this gift I am planning to also gift her a bar of soap from my favorite soap maker - RAH soap. She does some amazing scents and varieties and I always have a very positive experience buying from here. 

And finally I decided to do some playing with my dyes.  I had a bunch of end pieces from winding skeins to sell and made some 10g minis.  I laid them all out, grabbed the squirt bottles that already had dye in them and just went to town.  While I'm not selling these (they're for something else), I am thinking of doing this again with larger skeins and calling it "paint water" - as in whatever dye is left in my bottles after a dye session.  Always changing and always fun.


I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday.  Whether traveling or staying home, make sure you give yourself time for yourself and your craft, as well as family.  Self care in today's world is really important, and sometimes we miss out on that during the holidays.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 4, 2017

Spinning Stories

If you have followed my blog over the years, you'll know that, on top of everything else, I am also a spinner. I have a decent, handmade spinning wheel that was gifted to me a couple years back and when the the feeling is right I find myself sitting down at her to spin a yarn or two.

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I finally sat down to finish a skein that had been waiting since the summer.  It's hard to have motivation when you have to reattach the treddle or put a new string on your tension.

Spun at about a DK weight, this yarn is 1 ply BFL dyed by The Fleece Artist, and 1 ply SW Merino solid lavender violet.  It comes in at just about 300 yards, which seems to be my norm with wheel spun yarn lately.  It's so luscious that I just had to name it "Cotton Candy Anyone?"

Finishing this skein is making me want to find a pattern to utilize all of my handspun yarn. I really do have a decent amount of 300yd+ skeins ever since I acquired the wheel.  

Violet Sparkle for example is a nice yarn that is 1 ply dyed alpaca, 1 ply SW merino held with sparkle. The pops of glitter really make me smile and would shine in a hat or scarf.

Springy Rainbows is another, being my first chain plyed yarn as to keep the rainbow color of the BFL.  I like the result, but it's a little too springy.  Maybe it'll become something fun someday.

Of finally, a very special yarn.  Friendship wool was spun on my spindle and has a story.  I bought two ball of roving and sent one to my friend.  She spun one ply, and I spun the other.  We then sent half our plys back to each other and plyed them together.  So we have a nice collaborative yarn :) <3 p="">

This year was 12 pairs of socks, maybe next year will be only Handspun,   Seems doable, but doubtful given the size of my stash.  But it may become a goal to use more of my handspun.... 

If anyone cares to peek, all of my handspun yarn is stashed over on Ravelry


Do you spin? Have you thought about it? Or even just bought a skein of handspun yarn?  Any pattern ideas would always be loved <3 p="">

Have a great week!


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

East Texas Fiber Festival

It's been too quiet lately, and for that I apologize.  Life just kinda hit me like a ton of bricks, with multiple milestones all happening at once.

The first, and most important for blogging sake, was the East Texas Fiber Festival that I attended as a vendor last weekend.

A small festival in Lindale, TX, in it's third year, I enjoyed myself.  The venue was semi-outdoors, which wasn't ideal, but wasn't awful.  I went with the mindset that this was my first outting and that I really just wanted to feel the waters.

As you can see, taking photos without some sort of glare was a challenge, but I was able to snap a few good ones.  My setup was pretty basic, with yarn and paintings in the back, art prints on one side and shoe samples on another.

The highlight was supposed to be the shoes, but sadly I didn't take any orders as planned.  Several people seemed interested, so maybe this week?

My top seller was actually art prints! Maybe because it was unique among all the yarn vendors, or maybe because people want art for their craft rooms.  I just know that at my next show I will be highlighting those a bit more.


Somehow I managed to walk away with only a couple purchases.  A project bag as a gift (not shown), a skein of yarn, and some beads to match my own yarn.

I made lots of new fiber friends as well!  The yarn above is from Kimarie's Knit Knacks and the beads are from Gilding Lillies (who specializes in matching beads to yarn).  Other new friends included The Ewe Hues (a co-op of several friends who all dye), Four Hens Fibers, McKnittey and DJ's Alpacas.  All gave me great feedback and advice for my future in the industry. 


And in other, life important news, and likely to affect my art/knitting time, I wanted to share that I recently got offered a promotion at my school.  Previously I was only teaching the secondary classes for art on a part time gig.  Well the elementary teacher decided to leave and they offered me her job as well.  Starting next week I am officially the ONLY art teacher for the entire school of St. Joseph's and I could not be more thrilled!  All my hard work is finally paying off!

And that, my friends, is an excuse to party hard and eat harder on Thanksgiving.  I hope you all have a wonderful one (for those who celebrate).


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Socks, Socks, Socks

Happy Halloween friends! What a month it has been. Full of knitting, dying, selling, painting, and making! I have loved every minute of it.  

Tonight it's all about socks, as I finished my October pair last night, just in time for Halloween, and have the next pair pretty much planned out.

"Lacey Pumpkin Socks" are toe up, short-row heel and toe done in a fun orange and black colorway.  The yarn is 'panda' - Merino/nylon/bamboo - that was handdyed by my LYS.  I have been saving it for this month for pretty obvious reasons. 

Because... well... because :)

Next up on my list will be a simple pair made in my own dyed yarn on the new "sock" base.  I haven't had a chance to knit any samples in this 75 merino/ 25 nylon and need something for my upcoming Fiber Fest (in 2.5 So what better time than to make some socks! Hopefully at least one will be done in time to use as a demo.

I'm sure it's the nylon content, but it does seem interesting that the sock base tends to dye up more pastel than the 100% merino.  Oh the things you learn when you start to really play with dying!

Now I just can't decide what socks to make.  I probably should just do some vanilla socks, as this yarn is highly variegated and I don't know how it will pool, but what fun is that? Maybe I'll try Flowers and Sunshine, a pattern I found via Instabgram.

Image (C) Dana Gervais

Or there's always the standbys - Vanilla Latte, Hermoine's Everyday Socks, and Jeck


Do you have a stand-by for your sock knitting? Any suggestions for patterns with highly variegated? Shout out below!
I hope you have a safe and wonderful Halloween (if you celebrate).  Until next time!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

My First Yarn Show

I had truly meant to post this last week, but somehow time escaped me again and now here we are a week later.

I also hope that all of you out there are not sick of me talking about my yarn dying adventures! I promise soon I'll post something completely unrelated.

Just over a week ago I had the privilege of spending my weekend in Wimberley, TX, hanging out at a cute little yarn shop - Ply! Yarn, Art and Handwovens.  It's a small, quaint little destination in a small, quaint little town.  A friend and I drove up for the weekend and had the luxury of spending our down time in the beautiful guest house of another friend who happened to live in the hills.  Check out that view!


The town itself is a hidden gem, with a very cute downtown square made up of boutiques, specialty shops, art galleries and cute restaurants.  Ply is located towards the back, hidden away a bit, but still fits right in with the town.

The owner, Kathy, has been very gracious in offering me a chance to sell my yarn during the annual Yarn Crawl, and I made sure I utilized the opportunity well.  Setting up a little space on an end table, I had the chance to meet many knitters as they walked in the door, telling them my story from art to yarn and selling a few along the way.

People really responded to my inspirations and colorways, as well as the base yarns that I have chosen.  I feel as though I made a new friend with each skein I sold!  Speaking of friends - the ladies working at the shop were all super sweet and so much fun to get to know during my two days.  I will be returning soon!

Tip for dyers: Always have samples! Having several samples of my yarn knitted up helped me sell at least 5-6 skeins.

At the end of the weekend we added everything up and did some math before heading back home.  I won't go into money, but I am proud to say that I sold 19 of my 27 skeins of yarn! That feels like a success right?


Oh and I almost forgot! She had lots of other indie dyers to show off as well.  Here's the list and a few photos to tempt you all. :)

Noti Yarns

Open Skies Yarn


Have a fabulous week everyone!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Knitting Road Trip

I'm not really sure what happened to updating on Monday or Tuesday, but somehow I got off. Either way, I wanted to update today while this post was fresh in my mind.  I will get back to the regular schedule soon.

Yesterday I didn't have to teach due to state testing, so another teacher friend of mine offered up a quick road trip to a couple of the Yarn Crawl shops.  As much as I wanted to resist, it was just too hard and so off we went.

The first stop on our trip was Yarnorama, a cute little shop in the very tiny town of Paige, TX.  I really enjoy this ship every time I visit, as she has a huge selection of great brands as well as her own line of hand dyed - Fiber Obsessions.  It's always an adventure to explore her cute little shop.

The second shop on our little trip was The Quilted Skein in LaGrange, TX.  This is always a favorite stop for me, because of the amount of color and light that fills the space.  Their yarn selection goes all the way to the ceiling and yet it's still not too crowded.  They carry some really great yarn brands as well. One of my favorites is The Knitted Wit, which is so squishy.  I also discovered a couple of new brands here - Jitterbug and Leon Alexander Yarns

A quick lunch and we were back on the road, headed for Rohan Meadery, which is a supporter of the crawl and even carries yarn! The tasting room manager is also a yarn dyer and has some AMAZING things! Check them out for yourself - Blue Mule Fiber.  It was hard not to resist buying a few things.

The final stop on our trip was a little town called Roundtop, which is centered around the antique business.  A few times a year they hold HUGE antique festivals that draw thousands to the area.  Luckily we missed that this year, but were still able to stop and check out some of the cute little shops, including Copper Shade Tree.  This shop features lots of local Texas artists, including new favorites Joan Bohn and David Vollmer.  Check out that Wire Knitting, holy cow!

Image (c) David Vollmer

My budget wasn't as high as I would have liked, but I managed to stay within it, which makes me feel good.  I walked away with some Fiber Obsessions roving and some Blue Mule yarn.  Both are gorgeous colors and I cannot wait to get working with them.

Finally, I discovered a few new patterns that are now in my Ravelry favorites.  Hopefully at least one will get knitted soon?


Been on any knitting road trips lately? They sure are fun, especially when you can play hooky from work for the day to do it!

Have a fabulous week!


Sunday, October 1, 2017


Well this is an early post for this week (or a late one for last week?).  Either way, I'm here and ready to share more yarnie things.

Somehow every other post seems to be about my dying adventures, but it also seems that dying is the only changing thing for me to post about lately.  I'll have more knitting WIPs next week, I promise!
This coming weekend into next (Oct 6-14th) is the Hill Country Yarn Crawl in TX, which is a huge deal down here, with 20+ shops opening their doors to crawlers from all over Texas.  Free patterns, specials and indie dyers await at each spot.  

I'm super excited I get to be one of those Indie Dyers this year, participating in my first ever truck show at a little shop called Ply! in the gorgeous town of Wimberley, TX.  While I will only be physically there for the second weekend, the shop asked me to provide product for the whole crawl and needed it by the beginning of October.  Well you can guess what I have spent the last two weeks doing (besides art show things, which was it's own level of stress). 

Making sure I had a decent inventory was priority number one of course, and so it began.  I played around with my color  recipes a bit and was able to finally find satisfaction with all three of my main colorways.  

Sadly, I wasn't able to acquire the large amount of my original base - 100% sw merino, light fingering - and therefore had to improvise.  But improvising ended well, as I was able to introduce a new base - 75/25 merino/nylon, perfect for socks!  Once the crawl is over I will be stocking it in my Etsy as well. 

On the left we have the sock base, on the right we have the sw merino base.  You can definitely see a difference in the yarn type! As for color, I'm pretty proud of myself for getting them to match so well when they were dyed on different days! 

I'm also sending off a batch of my 50g tonals to pair with the merino.  The colors came out a bit bolder than I hoped but they are really pretty regardless if you wish for them to match the paintings.

The other task at hand was making sure I had samples! I was able to get my Morning Garden Stream pattern finalized and have the Fallen Moon Drops one typed up, so I am sending those two, along with something in my new version of Fallen Moon Drops (that a friend graciously knitted for me) and a cowl knitted with Mushroom Petal Bloom that I overly stressed over to get done in time.

I'm sad I had to send the cowl off so fast - I LOVE the drape and how it looks in my yarn.  I will definitely be making more!

Well, fingers crossed the sale goes well, I could really use the sales to help justify that what I'm doing isn't crazy.

Interested in my yarn? I have a few left in my Etsy, and will be updating it again after the crawl!