Attention: Will work for YARN

 

Yes, it’s time.  It’s Vogue Knitting Live Weekend in New York City.

Sadly, I will not be there to enjoy all the fiber goodness.  Sigh.  Wah wah.  (Curses, Friday the 13th!)

Can I just tell you that I’m Wickedly Green with envy for all those lucky souls?  It’s a for sure that I don’t need any more things of any kind at all.  But, I do.  I really do.

I just want to go on notice to any vendors attending that hey, if they need help…get me there…I will work for YARN.  Promise!  I won’t get distracted at all.  I’m a great worker.  I won’t just shop all of your lovely items.  Pretty much anyway.

I can’t think of anything more fun than hanging with your knitty besties and perusing the vendor market.  This past summer I was able to go to Stitches Midwest.  The market was outstanding and my group even went to a Steven Be’s class.

img_2095-copy

We came away very inspired and still say Steven Be-isms regularly.

So, RUN.  Don’t walk.  Get to a fiber party of some kind.  Wear comfy shoes.  Wear your knitted or crocheted creations.  Stop and hydrate now and again.

Hey, could you talk to some folks and see if they need any workers at the booths who work for yarn?

Thanks, Friend.

Enjoy, people.  Enjoy.

Vogue Knitting Live-ly yours (even absently),

-Here’s my Pot O’ Gold-this moment-

Shana

My Most Excellent Adventure at Stitches Midwest 2016

This year’s Stitches Midwest was a blast…as was last year’s and the year before that and…well, it’s true.  Usually I just go to see the market but for a change I thought I’d try one of the Special Events.  It was nice to be able to pick just one for not a lot of money.  I’ve always steered clear of a lot of the classes because of cost.  I’ve got to save so I can buy swag.

Then I read that Steven Be was going to be presenting!  His presentation was called “Unlock your creative potential and embrace your color and fiber future”.  So Friday morning my little squad and I made our way to see Steven Be.  There were even fancy badges to wear.  It was a packed house.  Steven had light up shoes that changed colors.  Did you expect anything else?  img_2098-copy

We sat there and let Steven’s colorful everything flow over us, encompassing us, teaching us, challenging us to grow and giving us permission to yes throw in that crazy color for some pop in your next project.

That one hour went so fast!  I could have sat there all day.  I also want to throw random colors in every project I do because Steven said it’s ok.  You can do whatever you want.  There are no wrong answers.  Even if you run out of yarn and don’t use the same dye lot (gasp) or maybe you switch up your pattern you’re working on and toss in funky sleeves or a hood or something.  Isn’t that exciting?

But hey, the market beckoned.  It’s fun to see what items are most popular each year and it seemed that cowls, shawls, multi-colored and self-striping yarns wound in delicious cakes won in my eyes.

Here are a couple of favorite stops on my adventure:

 

Stunning String Studio:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/StunningStringStudio

img_2089-copy

KnitCircus Yarns:

http://knitcircus.com/

FullSizeRender(80)

(Look at those delicious cakes!)

 

Shirsty Cat Designs:

http://www.shirstycat.com/

img_2090-copy

 

Three Irish Girls (oh my goodness…I just love them):

http://threeirishgirls.com/

img_2093

and then here are some lovely lovelies:

 

Here’s my haul:

I know, right!!

I’m also going to make this tie -by James Cox Knits: http://jamescoxknits.com/

img_2135

Next year I’d like to explore more of the events hopefully.  Maybe one day I’ll venture into a class.  Have you taken any classes at a Stitches Event?

Stitches-ly yours,

-Here’s my Pot O’Gold-this moment-

Shana

Queen of Thorns

Every Sunday in April, May, and June I happily anticipate the newest episode of Game of Thrones.  Especially this year.  Last season was very emotionally trying and it sure seemed like it was time for some good things to happen to my favorite characters.  But you just never know.  I stumbled across a Mystery Knit-Along called Queen of Thorns from Jimmy Beans Wool:

https://www.jimmybeanswool.com/knitting/yarn/Kits/LornasLacesStringQuintetQueenofThornsShawl.asp

I don’t trust this show very much in regards to giving me good things to happen so I thought this would be the perfect idea!  I’ll have a project to work on while watching so whatever devastating things would be coming my way at least I will have a buffer.  Plus I can kind of look away at the very graphic things that always happen during the show.  So the idea was, every week a new clue would be sent to do with the project being completed in about a month.

The Queen of Thorns character is a little feisty old lady who puts everyone in their place.  Seems admirable.  The colors were gorgeous, too.

With Mystery Knit-Alongs I always hesitate to jump in too quickly in case there are mistakes in the clues.  I love that there are groups on Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/queen-of-thorns-mkal-2016 to discuss any trouble or questions.  I waited a little bit to get started and just watched the first episode without the project in my hand.  Then I checked out the group discussion.  Not too bad!  There weren’t too many snags.   So I started after the first episode.  Also…SPOILER…but everyone’s heard by now…Jon Snow is ALIVE!!  Such happy news.  But we can never let our guard down as there are many opportunities for characters to get taken down.

I’ve taken my project along on a lot of car rides and scenic tours:

IMG_0978

(This was a fun day in Stevens Point, Wisconsin at the Schmeekle Nature Preserve…go visit there…it’s amazing!  Also check out their trail system):

 

I’m a little behind the month to finish but only have about 12 rows to go to finish.  I’ve hidden behind the shawl a few times while watching the show.  Thank goodness it was there.  Happily the character Queen of Thorns is still with us…for now.

This lady was watching me…I think she would like to start her own MKAL.

Where’s your favorite spot to work on projects?

Coming soon:  Some friends and I are tackling the Vitamin D Sweater:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vitamin-d

I did start it before I finished my mystery shawl…but is that really news to anyone??

IMG_1165

So much knitting and so little time-ily yours,

-Here’s my Pot O’Gold-this moment-

Shana

 

 

My Wednesday in Manitowoc

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting Manitowoc, Wisconsin for work.  It was snowing the whole drive to my work destination and kind of an all around yucko morning.  After finishing the job I thought, WHOA, I’ve got some extra time before my next appointment.  I’m going to check out a yarn shop I had seen on Facebook.

Loaded my Waze app with the address and it turned out I was just a couple of minutes away.  I’m not super familiar with Manitowoc so I was glad for the help from Waze to get me there no matter how short of a trip.

Downtown Manitowoc is so quaint and historic.  You should go.  You will like it.  I found the place, no problemo.  The building the shop is in is a cool historic looking gem.  The name of the shop is Lucky Rose Fibers.  When you walk in:

IMG_0204

BAM!

You are greeted with those most beautiful looking displays of color.  I was lucky because BritnyLe, the owner was able to chat with me for a bit.  I was overwhelmed a little with all of the goodies to look at.  Every inch of the place was carefully decorated and set up to show BritneyLe’s passion.  Job well done.  My Wednesday snowy, wet morning had just gotten better times 100.

IMG_0205

IMG_0208

IMG_0209

I had the feeling of being in a cool old timey soda fountain with the black and white flooring and the color of the walls and door.  I was digging it.

BritnyLe kindly shared stories of her shop and herself and made me feel like we were old friends.  You know how you meet a person and when they start talking you can just feel what they are saying?  You just get it?  She told me about how she features other artists in her shop, is the dealer for the coolest spinning wheels I’ve ever seen, uses products from the Midwest, finds and carries things that are unique and helpful, and how everything she does is really to make a difference in others’ lives.  She shared stories about her therapy dogs, kids and family, her rabbits, and talked of dreams she had for the shop.  The minutes flew by and I knew I had better find my treasures as I was running out of time.  It wasn’t hard to find just one.  I was drawn instantly to these:

IMG_0371

There were some yarns sitting on the counter that hadn’t been tagged yet that I just had to have:

You can see why.

It was pretty cool hanging out here.  Cool and colorful.

BritnyLe also have me a great bag for my treasures:

IMG_0375

She kindly posed for a couple of pictures for me.

You can see her spinning wheel…just the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.

Here’s the website for the shop:

http://www.luckyrosefibers.com/

BritnyLe has a lot of awesome plans for fun events like Saturday Knitting (maybe outside!), featuring more artists’ work, expanding the shop, and more.  I definitely want to visit again soon.

Thanks so much for the hospitality, BritnyLe!

Yours in Manitowoc on a Wednesday,

-Here’s my Pot O’ Gold-this moment-

Shana

 

Hopping to Steven Be’s like an electric peacock

(Part 3 of my Minnesota Yarn Shop Hop)

Ah, it was time!  I was able to take Dave to see Steven Be.  I know he was so excited.  I don’t think he could hardly sleep the night before.  He was practically bouncing in his seat.

Er.

Wait.

That was me.  Dave (my Gaffer with respects to Elizabeth Zimmermann) was kindly my driver for the Yarn Shop Hop in Minnesota this year.  Last year I only made it to four stores.  This year I wanted to double that.  Who knows what will happen next year.  Goals, people, goals.

Anyway, there we had just finished visiting five stores and I thought maybe we had two more that we could see.

We pulled up and saw:

IMG_0055

So, this is a sign to STOP at Steven Be’s.  Doin’ it.  I don’t need a bag of hammers to fall on my head.

If you’ve never been to Steven Be’s, it will melt your face off.  In a good way.  The shop is an old fire station that Steven has turned into THE yarn shop of the world.  Well, I haven’t been every where yet so…

He doesn’t forget any part of the decor to show off his creativity.

IMG_0056

IMG_0057

I was so wondering if there would be any Shop Hop Yarn left.  The shop’s theme was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!  GADZOOKS!  Perfect.

(Here’s a quick peek at Steven’s chandelier):

IMG_0061

Here’s the yarn I got from the special Shop Hop batch and it completely knocked my socks off.  It is named “Snozzberry”.  Come on!

Steven offered two pattern choices and I picked this one (but it was so hard to pick):

FullSizeRender-6

(Another choice was the Howler by Steven that you can look at here:

http://stevenbe.com/patterns/howl-pattern.html

(Is it a hat??  Is it a cowl??)

On a side note, for this trip I had set three goals:  find some yarn by Three Irish Girls, find things that are unique and not sold everywhere, and obtain Shop Hop yarn and patterns.

I had heard that YOTH (Yarn on the House) yarns was at the shop on Wednesday before the Shop Hop but wasn’t expecting them to be right in front of me on that Saturday.

IMG_0059

I first heard about YOTH yarns on Marlybird’s podcast:

http://www.marlybird.com/veronika-and-danny-from-yoth/

So there I was standing there telling Dave what I knew about YOTH such as Veronika and Danny were siblings that started their own yarn company, they had yarns named Big Sister, Little Brother, Mother, Father, and then a kindly gal who worked at the shop, who was wearing an amazing cowl by the way, told us that Veronika just happened to be there and we could meet her.  Have you ever felt that weird Fandom thing in your gut when you feel celebrity sighting joy?  I thought instantly, oh, that’s okay I don’t want to bother her or anything.  WHAT??  I do that sometimes.  Happily she came over and talked with us and showed us her patterns and was just so kind.  I’m pretty sure I scared her with my weird star-struck-ness.  I’m not a weirdo.  Really.

IMG_0062

Then I picked out some beautiful yarn:

yoth

It’s so soft and I couldn’t put the pom pom down.  My precious.

(http://yothyarns.com/  Check out Yarn on the House Yarns)

I think my knees were wobbly as I’m a dork that way and I thought that was just about the greatest moment and then our shop friend told us to go upstairs because Jen Geigley, author of Weekend (http://www.jengeigley.com/shop/book) was there.  Are you kidding me??  I also didn’t know that we could go upstairs!  There was more!

So to get upstairs you do feel like you might be in the Chocolate Factory and maybe there’s some fizzy soda that will make you float or a crazy boat ride you will jump on or maybe an Oompah Loompah.  There’s no way of knowing.  Well, there is.  Get up those stairs.

IMG_0064

This was on the landing of the stairs as they turned to go up another level.  WOWWWW!

IMG_0065

Dave was pretty into this.

As you go enter the upstairs you can feel the creative spinning-ness as you are greeted by gorgeous artisan yarns of amazing colors.  Big balls of roving stacked everywhere and skeins galore!

And then there was Jen!  She kindly posed for a picture with us and shared lots of fun stories and was just the coolest.

IMG_0069

She also demonstrated how to arm knit (and you can find an arm knit scarf in her book).  She told me my scarf was awesome.  (wobble knees!)  Then we just kind of looked at all of the skeins of things together and you could really feel that she truly loved her chosen field.  Oh, and did I tell you that she signed my book that I bought from her??

Goodness!  If you haven’t checked out her book, what?  What were you thinking?  These projects are so great.  They are simple, useful, cool, functional, and pretty quick to make.  One of our shop friends who was working this day was wearing the cowl that is pictured on the front.  He was also dressed like Mike TeeVee.  Double win.

Then I remembered I had to keep going and maybe see if we could get a picture with Steven.

I couldn’t walk by these without snagging them in my basket.  Look at “Electric Peacock” on the left and hooray…Three Irish Girls on the right.  There was a hat sample knit with the yarn on the right which is mostly white and has this amazing smack of color in the middle.  Can’t wait to do that.

Then we were able to catch Steven before we left.  He was so kind and warm to us.  He also liked using his cane as a pointer to everything as he showed us great projects that I should knit.  I adore him.  Dave does, too.  Our smiles almost busted our faces.

IMG_0072

It was time to go and catch another shop.  Oh, what a good time we had here.

On to our next logistical stop:  Linden Yarn & Textiles:

IMG_0075

When you walk in to this shop you are greeted with pristine samples.  I mean whoa.  They were just so noticeably perfect!

I quickly asked the kind lady at the door if there was any more of the Shop Hop Yarn left and she said, “Oh, just one skein.”

Good lord.

IMG_0368.JPG

So I swept it up into my hot little hands.  The theme was “The Great Gatsby”.  The shop owner had on the best timely flapper dress and gloves.  I loved that some stores embraced their themes so completely.  The pattern was the Gatsby Band.

Here’s the shop’s website:  http://lindenyarn.com/

I fell in love with this:

IMG_0369

Then this little beauty caught my eye:

IMG_0370

Honestly.  How is it that there are so many yarns that I like?

We were a little bit exhausted at this point and decided to crash for a while before supper and then we thought we’d stretch our legs at the Mall of America.  You really can’t go to Minneapolis/St. Paul without saying you at least stopped in for a teeny look, right.

That was our day.  I thought we did a pretty good job squeezing in all of those stores.  There were 15 total stores and we saw 7.  Nice.  I fell asleep in a deep haze of hand dyed goodness.  Our adventure was complete.

Er no?

When I woke up on Sunday morning I thought, hey maybe we can sneak one more shop in to make it over half.  Just one more.  I had glanced at Instagram and saw pictures of an intriguing looking shop called Lakeside Yarn that was just so tempting.  They had posted their pattern from last year’s hop which was so cool I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

(Here’s a link to the pattern-it’s really, really great!  I bought it.)

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/art-by-the-lake-the-scream-cowl

Dave took me to church then.

Then kindly he agreed to one more shop.  Just one more, okay?

If you walk up to the shop along the alley way you see the beautiful mural above.

We got there just a little before they opened.

I was THAT customer, watching the Open sign:

IMG_0117

Then let the angels sing:

IMG_0118

Luckily for our last stop, the shop hop yarn was still available and these lovelies let me take their picture.  I was also able to photobomb a little.

The theme here was “A Streetcar named Desire” and here’s the yarn and pattern:

We also learned that the shop owner had been in this play in high school.  That’s a cool tidbit.

Take a look at the shop:

and then I fell in love with this:

IMG_0123

So great!  This was a scarf adapted from a pattern called:

FullSizeRender-12

You can visit the shop at their website:

http://lakesideyarn.com/

I kinda wish I lived near here so I could hang out at all of these awesome shops I was able to visit.

That was really the end.  We saw, we conquered our list, we got a hug from Steven Be, and what a bag of treasures to behold.  I had better get those needles humming.

Next year’s goal:  visit ALL the shops starting on Thursday!

Thankful for all the great things we saw on this weekend-ly yours,

-Here’s my Pot O’Gold-this moment-

Shana

 

 

Minnesota Shop Hop-Still Hoppin’

Stop Number TWO!

I had read about Lila and Claudine’s Yarn & Gifts online and was super excited to see them outside the shop:

IMG_0033

They are awesome.  What beauties.  My Gaffer fancied them:

IMG_0031

Every inch of this place is interesting.  Just quaint.  Awesome.  Did I say it is really cool here?

(This shop is owned by sisters Kirsten and Polly who named it after their two grandmas.  That is the best story!)

We walked downstairs to see the special yarn for the hop because, remember, I was in a hurry to not miss out on another one as I did my first stop.

Behold:

IMG_0037

There was a lot left.  Our kind host and shop owner (who happens to be wearing the shawl featured in the pattern) said they could easily dye more themselves so they knew they wouldn’t run out.  HOORAY!

L&C based their yarn and pattern on the book “Love in Every Stitch” by Lee Grant.  Such beautiful yarn and the pattern features a lace pattern that has the Braille spelling of LOVE in it.  Hence…love in every stitch.  Wow.  Just Wow!

We also met Ginger who was chillin’ in the hammock:

As we were down in the basement I couldn’t get over how this shop just had everything covered as far as decor.  The brick pillars were slightly angled and had little shelves on them for placing adorable knit or gift items.  Samples galore!  Hanging from the ceiling, the walls, placed here and there.  Nothing was overlooked.  There was a group gathering to hang out as we browsed.  An amazing lady was busy spinning.  Yes, I just stared and stared and was lulled into peacefulness.  (You do that too, right?)  On our way up the stairs, our host said to make sure to look at the walls because her sister likes to stick sh*t on everything.  Yes, that would be me rolling on the floor now.

IMG_0040

She did a pretty good job.

The top floor had neat little rooms of treasures:

I could barely walk out of there.  It was amazing!  But we had a schedule to keep and so on we went.

(Here’s their website by the way:)

http://www.lilaandclaudines.com/

 

Next stop was the Sheepy Yarn Shoppe.

We couldn’t find a parking spot here so I had to run in and see what I could see very quickly.  This shop had made special t-shirts for the event featuring their theme that were so cool.  I wasn’t able to take any pics but I was lucky enough to receive their theme pattern.  The yarn had all sold out sadly so that really lit a fire under me to try for the next stop.  Their theme was “Puss in Boots” and featured really cool boot toppers.

FullSizeRender-4

(Here’s their website and they’re also on Facebook with lots of pictures:)

http://www.sheepyyarnmn.com/index.html

Their display was very cool with boots set up and toppers tucked cozily in them.  I started to flash to Shrek a little.  AND a little Antonio Banderas voice/cute little kitty eyes.  But I digress.  On to the next stop.  Need to get the Shop Hop Yarn.

Off we went to The Yarnery:

IMG_0047

Well, we couldn’t get a spot here to park so I jumped out once more while the Gaffer said he’d suffer by waiting and watching The Masters updates in the car…and hey, text him when I’m done.

That’s a bit of pressure.

I found this:

FullSizeRender-7.jpg

This was their pattern for the Shop Hop.  Oh, how I wanted this yarn.  Happily they told me that the yarn would be restocked soon.  Signed up for their newsletter…check!  The theme at the Yarnery was “To Kill A Mockingbird” featuring five different covers of the book.

(Here’s their shop link:)

http://shop.yarnery.com/patterns/

The yarn for the project was a gradient kit that was THE BEST looking yarn ever.  Or at least at this moment.  I will keep checking their Facebook page to see when the kits come back in again.

The shop also had their own yarn featured over their cool fireplace:

IMG_0046

Doesn’t that look cool?  Such cool signs and names.  Their shop was set up by weights of yarn so as you traveled the weights changed.  Pretty cool! (Imagine if this were a drinking game and you had to take a drink every time I had said “cool”.)

Ah!  I think my time was up at this shop and onward!  Texted the Gaffer and tore him away from The Masters.

The next stop was at 3 Kittens Needle Arts Shop.

IMG_0050

What a cute place!  They even had cookies!

This shop had the special shop hop yarn!  Yesss!

Their theme was “Lake Wobegon Days” featuring 2 hat patterns:

IMG_0257

and GORGEOUS yarn:

3kittensyarn

(Here’s their website:)
http://www.3kittensneedlearts.com/

I’ve never seen such beautiful samples of needle art than here.  Oh, they also had shirts made for the Hop which featured the state of Minnesota covered in Knit Stitches.  The creativity just abounded every turn we took.

The next scheduled stop would be StevenBe and I was giddy with excitement for this shop ever since we left Wisconsin.  Last year we visited here and I was star struck.

But I must leave that for another day as I may pass out from the thrill.  Maybe stop by again and let me tell you about that?

Happily hugging my new yarn,

-Here’s my Pot o’Gold-this moment-

Shana

 

 

Hopping around Minnesota

Last week was the Minnesota Yarn Shop Hop!  (It ran April 7 – 10, 2016 in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.)  My Gaffer and I set out on our adventure.  For some reason I had the story of Elizabeth Zimmermann and her husband, THE Gaffer, riding along on their motorcycle.  EZ was knitting on the back of course.  Hey, I was knitting along the ride, too.  Just in a car.  I stuck my head out of the window once.  (Not really because as we left our snowy Wisconsin home the air was just too icy.)

IMG_0015

As we worked our way west, the weather just kept getting nicer.

IMG_0016

We were so happy.  I spent a lot of moments planning out our strategy on how to see as many stores as we could in our short window of time.  (Last year I traveled to Minneapolis for Spring Break and coincidentally the Shop Hop was going on.  My travel friends and I were lucky that we hit on the first day of the Hop.  This year we couldn’t quite get there for the first day so Saturday it was.)  One of the coolest things about this Shop Hop was that all of the stores combined together to collect food and money for the food shelters in the area.  Worthy cause/lots of beautiful fiber.  Win, Win.

Every mile west brought warmer temperatures.  Our layers of coats started to fall off.

Then we arrived quite timely at our first stop:

Darn. Knit. Anyway.

IMG_0025

(You can see us in the window kind of!)

What a great location.  Such a quaint area.

IMG_0030

We loved this tree outside:

IMG_0027

But it was time to get inside and see what treasures we could find!

IMG_0026

As this was my first stop I was able to get all of my necessary items for the entire Hop and donate to the cause.

I also was able to get this cool bag!

FullSizeRender

With donations you could get pins for each stop to add to your bag.  (I heard some people were coloring their bags.  AWESOME idea!  I actually used my bag for navigation quite a few times.)

So with the Literature theme for the hop, this shop created their own graphic novel called:

FullSizeRender-10

Sadly I couldn’t snag any of the special yarn as it had sold out after Thursday and Friday (I really hope I can do the Hop next year on Thursday…crossing fingers).

The shop had the pattern from last year available which I gladly put in my hot little hand.  Never, ever turning down a free pattern.

FullSizeRender-9

Here’s a link to the store’s website:

http://www.darnknitanyway.com/

(You can go on their blog and get some tips for getting their patterns as well as great helpful advice on projects.)

The shop also had a photo booth with cool conversation bubbles to be held up.  I don’t know why we missed this but I think it was because I was so giddy to keep going to try and snag more of the special yarns at each store before they were out.  So out the door I ran.  Oh, but I had to grab the Gaffer who was exploring the building.  (I exaggerate.)

One quick look across the street before we headed to stop #2:

IMG_0028

I’m in love with Minnesota.

Stay tuned for Stop #2.

Giddily searching for the Hop Yarns yours,

Here’s my Pot o’ Gold-this moment:

Shana