Squam Teacher Feature

I mentioned before how excited I am to head out to New Hampshire this summer to take part in the legend known as Squam.   If you really knew how excited I was, you would know that I visit the Squam blog almost daily, stalk the Squam Ravelry group page, and get a little giddy when a new post from Squam Art Workshops pops up in my Facebook feed.

Now that you have all learned that I can get a little obsessed inspired by upcoming events, it is safe to share why I am excited about today.  Over at the Squam blog, guess who holds the Teacher Feature for February 15th 2012?!  That's right, yours truly.  Make sure you hop on over to say hi and learn a little more about me from my Squam interview.

On another (albeit related) note, have you had the chance to check out the Squam store?    There is always a new handmade offering, available for a limited time.  In the past weeks I have seen the most beautiful hand thrown cups and tumblers, gratitude journals, and now something specifically catered to us knitters.  A kit featuring a fingerless mitts pattern and yarn inspired by the beauty of Squam Lake.

The pattern comes in three sizes, two length options, and two cuff options- making it versatile for a range of knitting skill levels.  The designer of the pattern, Natalie Selles, and the dyer of the yarn, Jill Draper,  will both be teaching at the Spring Squam session (have I mentioned how excited I am to be included in such a talented group of teachers?).  Didn't make it into Squam before it filled up (and it happened so quick!)?   Ordering this knitting kit may be exactly what you need to tide you over until next January when the Squam 2013 session opens up!

Kits are available in your choice of one of the two colors shown above.  It is $30 for the kit (you'll receive the pdf pattern immediately upon ordering, your yarn will arrive in a couple weeks), but you can also buy either the yarn or pattern separately.   Find more details over at the Squam Store- and make sure you keep your eyes open in the coming months for other creative handmade offerings!

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Fiber Finds

As promised, here are the details of what I walked away with at STITCHES Midwest and the Michigan Fiber Festival:

With a new pattern soon to be released (that happens to utilize just one skein of Malabrigo Worsted), I couldn't pass up these lovely colors.  They are not all for me though.  One will go to my friend Melissa, one to my sister, Amanda, and I'll keep one for myself.  It never hurts to knit up a new pattern a few extra times!
I also acquired 4 free skeins of Malbrigo Worsted in what seems to be the new Garden Gate colorway.  Saturday night at the student fashion show, they ended the night by bringing out a big bag of yarn for each table.  Everyone left with a little something, and this was mine- I couldn't be happier. 

The three skeins above come from one of my favorite local yarn shops, Woven Art. Woven Art is located in East Lansing, MI and you can always count on finding a great source of hand-dyed yarn.  The owner, Nancy, has a variety of yarn she dyes herself, and I love her colorways!  Above is two skeins of superwash merino, along with an 8 ounce skein of merino.  I figure I have a boy color and a girl color, and will save these for after the baby comes.

And speaking of baby, I purchased a hard copy of the above pattern, Little Boy Blue by Heirloom Stitches.  I found it at the In The Making booth with a sample done up with a light blue yarn with bright red buttons.  I love the idea of heirloom knits for babies. 

These three skeins I picked up at the Michigan Fiber Festival from a company I am not familiar with out of Eaton Rapids, MI. It is Davidson's Old Mill yarn- anyone heard of them?  They had a beautiful fair isle sweater knit up out of their fingering weight Domy Heather- how could I resist?

This final purchase is obviously not fiber, but I figured I'd throw it in (and look, I even propped it up against fiber!).  This little guy is made in Cedar Falls, Iowa for Crazy Girl Yarn Shop.  There is a bathroom in our newly finished basement, and since it is my new knitting studio, I thought this sheep soap would be the perfect addition. 

And because I know many are wondering and have been asking, yes, the basement is coming along.  Right now I am working on furnishing and decorating, which in reality will probably happen over a long period of time. I promise an update in the near future.  


The past few weeks have seriously felt like a whirlwind.  Vacation, followed by crammed-in hoouse projects, a baby shower, my sister and family in town, and this past weekend I went away to Chicago for Stitches Midwest.   I am now welcomed home by a more than crazy work week and cannot wait until Friday evening.  I actually think I may have some time to start designing again- what fun!

As I assumed it would be, Stitches was a blast.  Most of this was due to the awesome people I got to share the experience with. From left to right: Erica Owens of Kollage Yarns, Me (and little baby Bernardi), Jill (Knitterella), and Allegra of Petite Purls.

I also had the pleasure to meet and get to know Carrie of Irishgirlieknits.  She was there with Kollage yarns signing her new pattern Bellingrath (which I did walk away with a copy of!).

We had so much fun attending the market and fashion shows.  I unfortunately missed the Ravelry Pajama Party, and I kind of regret it.  It was Friday night after dinner/fashion show, and Jill and I were anxious to get to bed after the drive into town and a long week of work. I wish I knew more about it- I probably would've fought the fatigue!

On our way back home on Sunday, Jill and I decided to stop by the Michigan Fiber Festival because it was (kind of) on the way home.

I'm sure that you, being the yarny-type you are, are interested in what purchases I walked away with from both Stitches and the Fiber Festival. Well, we must save some fun for tomorrow (and I still need to take pictures!).  Until then...

Yarn on the House

Have you heard about Yarn on the House? If you haven't, you should! It's a new blog whose purpose is to give away free yarn...EVERY WEEK!

Veronika (of Yarn on the House) has already given away skeins of the new Malabrigo Twist, Cascade 220, Cascade Eco Alpaca, and Malabrigo Worsted. If you're wondering what the giveaway is for this week, take a look below:

Yarn on the House is giving away 3 French Press Felted Slipper Patterns- and two of them will come with Paton's Wool as well. So, make sure you stop by, look around the site, and leave your comments. Veronika (Ve) also came up with some interview questions so her readers could get to know me a little better. Hop on over- you'll probably learn something new about me as well!

Chicago Yarn Crawl

As some may recall, a few weeks ago I was in Chicago for work. I extended my business trip into a personal trip for the weekend. The picture below was posted on my return to prove that it was a very successful personal 'business' trip:

Well, a few days ago a member of the Windy City Fiber Folks group on Ravelry requested that I unveil my finds and share them with the world! Since my 'Yarn Crawl' routing was based on the recommendations offered to me from the lovely Chicagoans in said group, the least I can do is honor their requests :)

1. The first stop of our Chicago Yarn Crawl was at Loopy Yarns. It seemed to be the place everyone suggested visiting. It is in a great location, and very easy to get to. There is parking right behind the building, which was nice for us since we were driving. The place is a great one-stop shop, it has it all. Yarn is arranged by weight, making it very easy to find what you need. There is also a whole room filled with books (a better variety from what you will find at the big box stores).

I ended up leaving with a Knit Kit (which I have been looking for), a new measuring tape (it was cute... you can never have enough!) and two skeins of Malabrigo lace weight. Since I signed up to be on their contact list, I also received a Loopy Yarns canvas tote bag- a knitter can never have too many project bags! What can I say? Great variety, great service- great yarn shop!

2. Next up we headed to My Sister's Knits in Beverly Hills. Nestled in a very quaint downtown area, this shop is very easy to get to from the city. A shop's slogan has never rang so true: "Come for Yarn, Leave with a Friend". After sitting and talking to Carol (the owner) for...oh, 2 hours (?!) I was confident that I was indeed leaving with a new friend. The shop is so cozy- a place that is great to sit, knit, and chat. Although it is not the largest yarn shop, the variety of yarns is wonderful, and Carol has superb taste when it comes to quality yarns. Everywhere I looked in her shop I saw something I loved. This was also one of the few shops which carries Madelinetosh. Also, she is now stocking my French Press Felted Slipper Pattern. If you are looking for a place to grab it, My Sister's Knits is the venue.

After this stop my bag was filled with a skein of Jitterbug (which was new to me but I am now in love with!) and 4 skeins of Malabrigo lace weight (surprisingly enough, I found more colors of Malabrigo here than at Loopy Yarns, and the prices were a bit more affordable). UPDATE: Carol just contacted me to let me know they have an upcoming French Press Felted Slipper Class. Find out more here!

3. The next day we started at Knitche in Downer's Grove. This was a perfect starting point as they have an in-shop cafe. I was able to grab a cappuccino and scone while browsing their selection. The store is beautiful- the owner has a wonderful design sense. I left with a back issue of Interweave Knits (I love finding discounted back issues of magazines in yarn shops) and my first pair of Addi Needles for my Girasole blanket.

4. Next on the list was String Theory Yarn Co in Glen Ellyn. This was another warm, cozy and very inviting shop in a charming downtown area. Although by this point I resolved that I didn't have to buy yarn at every store I visited, there was much that I would have liked to have left with. It was enough fun just to browse through the selection of Buffalo Gold. This gorgeous yarn is something I would love to knit with, I just need to find a project that's worthy of it!

Also, if you are looking for a French Press Felted Slippers Class in the Chicago area, look no further! You can find details on their classes page.

5. We then headed to Geneva to visit Wool and Company, where Joe decided he wanted a set of Addi 0000 double pointed needles. He says he is going to make a hat... we'll see! This store is large but divided up nice so that it is still intimate and inviting. There was a large group of ladies that were knitting in the center of the store, perhaps a Friday meet-up group? Either way, they seemed to be having a ball!

Joe was not alone in purchasing goods here; I grabbed one skein of Trabojos Del Peru by Plymouth Yarns.

6. From Geneva we decided to make the trek out to Marengo to visit The Fold. It was quite a drive, but I was prepared (with car knitting of course). I had read such wonderful reviews that I didn't want to miss out. This shop was so much fun to visit. It truly was a treat to inspect the many bags of fibers for spinning. Even if you are not looking to spin for yourself, this is a great place to become familiar with different fibers- an educational experience. And because they are spinners here, the yarn selection is quality.

I did walk away with a couple skeins of yarn that were entirely new to me. My Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select and Gypsy Girl Creations Casual Day lace weight were both toted away in my new 'Fold' canvas Bag.

7. Our last stop was at Nina in Chicago's Wicker Park. Talk about a swanky and stylish yarn shop! A wonderful selection of yarn presented in an upscale boutique atmosphere. Again, I happened to leave with (more!?) Malabrigo- 2 skeins of worsted, 1 skein of lace weight. I unfortunately did not get the chance to meet Nina because she was out of town. I have heard nothing but nice things about her and was hoping for the opportunity.

So there you have it, folks- the recap of our little yarn jaunt around Chicago. This city has so much to offer a knitter. If you live in, or are ever visiting the area, I hope this list provides you with a little insight.