Fiber Hooligan Podcast

Today at 11 A.M. central time you can check out my chat with Benjamin on the Fiber Hooligan podcast!
You can find it here or it will also be available on iTunes. Benjamin is such a great guy and had so much fun chatting with him! We talked about everything from my upcoming teaching at Vogue Knitting Live this weekend, the new book and my love affair with my crock pot. :)

I've been listening to the Fiber Hooligan podcast since the beginning and I think it's a great one for learning more about the fiber arts industry. Hope you enjoy it!


Friday Favorites: Sock Edition

The weather has definitely turned very fall-ish here in Chicagoland, and has left me needing to bust out the hand-knit socks. Now that I am working from home, I like to open the window in my office a bit to get a little breeze (and it gets really warm in here from the sun beating directly in the window for several hours in the morning), and my feet get so cold. I might be sitting in the computer in a tank top or t-shirt, but the feet? They need the wool. This week, I busted out one of my favorite pairs:
I made these way back in 2008. Back when I was into making all the socks. (I just checked my Ravelry project page....I've only made one pair of socks in the last year, so sad, but I digress).
I love these socks because they are so warm -- knit out of worsted weight yarn. They were my favorite while field sampling in the winter when I was still working at the lab. Kept my feet nice and toasty even when I was knee deep in snow!

These socks are made out of Louet Gems Worsted. They've been washed in the washing machine tons (but never put in the dryer) and they are holding up great! There is the smallest amount of pilling, but with the number of times they have been washed or gotten wet in my work boots, I am quite impressed with their durability. Most of my socks from the great sock knitting obsession of 2007-2009 are long gone, but not these babies. I will be wearing them for years to come!

Do you have a favorite pair of socks? Tell me about them!


(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Went to the yarn store for a  just knitting needle....


Button Obsession

In a few days my third book will be off to the publisher, where they will do all the magical things to turn it into an actual book. I'm so excited for this one. It was definitely a fun challenge for me and I look forward to sharing more about it with you in the coming months!

One of the projects in this book needed buttons. Pretty buttons. I hit Twitter to get some recommendations. Jennifer Raymond recommended I check out My Garage Art. They are parents of a friend of hers and the buttons they make are beautiful!

The buttons are ceramic and I love that they are not identical. I think it's adding the perfect touch to this project:

I'm kinda sad that I have to mail this project to the publisher. I would like to keep it for myself and wear it all fall and winter and spring long. On the plus side, I ordered extra buttons, so I can knit one for myself (I'm a planner like that). :)

Do you have a favorite place to get buttons? Let me know! This project has got me thinking about more designs involving buttons!



I've said it before and I'll say it a million times more, I love me some FreshStitches patterns. I have all these wee nieces and all my friends have all the babies, and Stacey's patterns are perfect gifts (and fun for me to make). I keep telling people that I never thought I would be into making toys/plushies/amigurumi, but here I am, buying safety eyes by the bag full:

Stacey is now selling safety eyes! I got the 50 pack of 12mm eyes. Now I'll be ready to make a zoo full of the FreshStitches' collection.

Next up in the queue of cuties is Sammy the Starfish, Jonathan the Bumble Bee, and Nelson the Owl. There is also my latest kit from the kit club, but I don't want to spoil the surprise for the few who haven't received theirs yet!

Please, if there is a support group I can join for being addicted to a crochet designer's patterns, let me know. :)


3 years.

It was three years ago today, but it seems like yesterday that Alex and I were walking down the aisle.

This last year has been pretty awesome.

Here we are on my last day working in the lab. I feel so lucky to have a husband that supports me so much and was behind my decision to leave a good, stable job to do the thing I really love.
I love that I have a husband that while in the city he will go to textile related exhibits at the Art Institute.
And I love that when I need cheering up, he will try to knit. Because there is little more hilarious than watching Alex awkwardly try to knit.

This year has brought so many exciting things, and I think has been the best year yet! I can't wait to see what's next!


Sweater Yarn

When in the final days to finish up a book (as I am right now), sometimes it's nice to take a break and shop for your "post book" project. Jenni and I were chatting and we decided that we needed to make this. So, as I do, I headed over to The Loopy Ewe to do a little online yarn shopping. Here is what I picked out for my Lithia Park:

It's Spud & Chloe Sweater. It's 55% Superwash Wool/45% Organic Cotton. The color is Pine Needle, which is a lovely forest green. I can't wait until my book is done at the end of the month and I can start on this sweater (and probably a million other things...I have been fighting wanting to start all the things pretty hard these days. Procrastination - I'm a champion!).

Have any sweaters you plan to knit this fall/winter? I want to hear about them! (I also have plans to make a Pumpkin Ale and something/everything from Everyday Lace).


FO Friday: Ashton Pup

It's possible that when I am in the middle of a book deadline I will procrastinate with any other project. I really have been finishing things up here lately! Haha.

So of course I have something else to show off. It's Ashton, from Stacey's Ashton Mystery CAL!
This guy was so fun to make. Easy too! I love the shape! I hope Stacey designs more animals with this shape.
He took just a couple of days, stitching in between manuscript writing. The perfect, fun break!


Alpaca Days

I was so excited for Alpaca Days this year! I was tweeting and Facebooking up a storm about it. It had been 5 years since Alex and I made it out for this event, and we weren't going to miss it this year.

We headed out pretty early and checked out Safehouse Farm, which is less than 10 minutes from our house in Barrington, IL. It was our favorite stop of the day.
We got to pet some alpacas while at Safehouse, which made me so so happy (and Alex like it too)!
Of course I had to browse the yarn selection (but no yarn came home with me this year).
After that we headed out to Andean Vista Ranch in Crystal Lake. It was lovely there too. We met the owner and she told us all about her herd and how she got into the alpaca farming business. It was so interesting. Kinda made me want an alpaca farm for myself.
Finally we headed out to J4 Alpacas in Bull Valley. It's just as lovely as when we visited 5 years ago. Here's the maternity ward (the babies were born in the spring and are in here with their mommas): 
These guys seemed more interested in eating than letting us pet them. :)
Overall, it was a great day. I hope it's not another 5 years before we go out for this annual event!

Did you check out any alpaca farms over the weekend? If so, where did you go?


What I'm Reading/Watching: September 2014

I've been reading Tara's blog for awhile and I love her monthly posts about what she is reading. She reads way more than I do, but I thought it would be fun to post what I have been reading (and watching) during the month too. There's lots of knitting time being spent around here these days with book projects and an upcoming shawl collection, and I spend all that knitting time watching the Netflix and listening to audiobooks. I also read at night a couple times a week when I don't have needles in my hand!

So onto the good stuff, what I've been reading:

Outlander. I am super behind the times and have just started reading the first book. I've been switching between reading it on my Kindle and listening to the audiobook. I'm about a third of a way through. So far, so good.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. I've been listening to the audiobook and I've been loving it! I will probably finish it up in the next few days. Great story and great narration!
What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey. I find most people love or hate Oprah. I love her so I couldn't resist the new book. :)
As for what I've been watching....
  • Biggest Loser, Season 11 - My favorite season of the show, with my favorite contestants. Alex and I are currently in a weight loss challenge with my sister and brother-in-law, so I find watching this so motivating! 
  • The Office - When I am not watching The Office?? It's the perfect background show when I am working on something tricky....'cause I have seen them all so many times.
  • That 70s Show - Alex and I spent the summer watching this on Netflix. We never watched it when it was on originally, and it seemed like the perfect thing to watch over the summer when everything is in reruns. 
What have you been reading or watching? I am always looking for something new. I swear sometimes I'm on Pinterest and Goodreads looking for things to read more than I am actually reading!