Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Catching Up... Ornament Swap, 2012

One of my favorite things about every Christmas holiday season is the annual ornament swap that my knitting group does. I've participated since my first Christmas as a member String Thing, and over the years have amassed quite a collection of beautiful, handmade ornaments for our Christmas tree.

In our swap, we usually each make five ornaments, and we each receive five ornaments to take home. Since more than 5 people are swapping, you don't get every ornament, so I love to take photos of the display table so I can remember the ornaments that go home with others.

String Thing Ornament Swap, 2012 String Thing Ornament Swap, 2012 String Thing Ornament Swap, 2012 String Thing Ornament Swap, 2012 String Thing Ornament Swap, 2012

Mine are the string ornaments in the bottom photo. I used the instructions from this tutorial to make them, except no bells. Next year I have to remember to start on ornaments waaaay earlier. I always am unhappy with my first batch and then have to rush to do a second!

Many thanks to the ├╝ber-creative Cocoaeyesthestitcher for being our organizer and motivator. She also did a lovely round up of this years' ornaments with way awesome-r photos.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Catching Up... SAFF 2012

Last fall, I had my first SAFF experience. SAFF is held each fall at the WNC Agriculture Center in Fletcher, NC, not too far from Asheville. So fun! What better way to spend a weekend than a trip to the NC mountains for some fibery fun? I went along with some lovely friends from my knitting group, and we rented a mountain cabin for a couple of nights. We did a full day at SAFF, and had a bit of time to putt around Asheville for sights and supper.

My girls know how to shop! Here is our collective haul:
SAFF Haul 2012
Makes you want to dive right on in.

Its so interesting to see what everyone comes away with. Going with a group is fun, because other people are bound to zone in on things you might not have noticed. And it's easy to miss stuff when bombarded from all directions with all the fabulous colors and textures.

I did a good job staying in my budget, but this is because I had plans for my moolah once I got home (more on that later). Some lovely things did manage to make their way home with me, though:

SAFF Haul 2012
Bottom row: The braid is from Unwind, the burgundy and gray skeins are Dream in Color Smooshy, the batt is from Tangled Up in Wool. On the next row up, the pink skein is from Steam Valley Fiber, the blue is Miss Babs (oh the looove!), and above that is a spindle from the Woolery, where I also purchased the white rug warp. At the top is some goat milk fudge and soap. The things in the upper right corner belong to someone else.

I went to SAFF with a list, thinking that would help me keep on from impulse buys, but honestly, I don't think this is a great way to shop at this type of event. I quickly gave up on looking for anything specific (except, perhaps, some particular vendors I knew I wanted to buy from), and just let things speak to me. My practice is to wander around the floor, see what catches my eye, and if something sticks in my mind after I've left the booth, I go back for it later.
SAFF Haul 2012

After we laid out all of our things together, I made sure to make notes of things that I wanted to check out next year in my SAFF booklet. Next year I'll have my eyes out for a project bag from Fleruy Sheep and Wool, Buda Botanicals fennel soap, and lace yarn from Skaska!

Friday, January 11, 2013

First FO of 2013!

Still running behind, but I have a whole backlog of things I'd like to share!

This, however, was just finished last week. A quickie little baby cardigan, knit for a drive my knitting group is doing for Welcome Baby, a local organization that collects and distributes diapers and clothing to folks who can really use them.

Concentric Circles Baby Sweater

This is the second time I've knit this cardi. I really like the look of it, and I like that it's a quick knit for those last-minute baby gifts. The pattern calls to knit each sleeve flat as you come to it, and then crochet slip stitch the seam to bring the working yarn back up to the main body. The only thing I would change the next time I do it, is to hold the sleeve stitches on a scrap yarn to work after the rest of the sweater is finished.

Concentric Circles Baby Sweater

Designer: Melissa Mall
Yarn: Various Red Heart Eco Scraps, mostly

My Ravelry Project page is here.