Knitstant Gratification

The crafting adventures of a knitter, music lover, and hockey fan.

Archive for April, 2012

The Fiber Event

Posted by Andi on April 27, 2012

Last Saturday, Frances and I made the 3-hour drive down to Greencastle, Indiana for The Fiber Event. (Note that Frances wrote a 2-part blog post on this event, and her’s is much more interesting. Plus she spins, so you can see fiber on her blog, whereas I only have yarn here. See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

After getting a quick bite to eat after the drive, the first thing we did was stop and look at the cute alpacas. This one looks dark brown, but once he is sheared his fleece will be true black.

Look at that sweet face!

Frances, a seasoned fiber festival goer, gave me the excellent advice to buy any books I saw that I really wanted, because sometimes craft books go out of print quickly. When I saw these two books I knew I had to have them.

Knitted Fruit and Vegetables

Once I finish knitting the vegetables I already have patterns for I will start on some of these. I was just thinking, I think I should go through all of these fruit and vegetable patterns to see if there are enough that grow at various times of year for me to make my dining room table centerpiece seasonal. I will have to look into that.

There was a lot of beautiful yarn there, so to narrow my focus I looked primarily at yarns that were truly unique or that were natural colors. I’m a sucker for yarn that is the same color as the animal it came from (even though, until last week, I had only ever bought two skeins of such yarn, and one was a gift for someone else). The first yarn that really caught my eye was this lambswool and silk laceweight yarn from Mohair In Motion. It’s 1000 yards.

Mohair In Motion

Recently I had been lamenting (in my head, not really to anyone) that I have used a lot of my solid or semi-solid sock yarn for gifts, so I had no sock yarn for myself that would be appropriate for socks with intricate stitch patterns. Imagine my delight when I found this. It’s a natural animal color, fingering weight, and perfect for intricate stitch patterns. It is from Oak Meadow Alpaca Farm.

Oak Meadow Alpaca Farm

I thought that was going to be it as far as yarn goes, but then I made the (un)fortunate mistake to wander over to the Briar Rose Fibers booth while Frances was looking at the Fiber Optic booth across the aisle (which I had to extricate myself from immediately because I almost bought a bunch of Fiber Optic yarn). I think this is the first time I have ever seen Briar Rose Fibers yarns in person, and they are really beautiful. As soon as I saw this one I knew I had to have it. It’s fingering weight, and I think it would make a beautiful shawl to go with my new black dress.

Briar Rose Fibers Sea Pearl

I totally overshot my budget, but it had nothing to do with buying an extra skein of yarn or some books. It was because the most adorable woman, Gee Gee, was selling her amazing aprons. She used patterns from the 1920s-1950s, and makes them on her 1918 Singer. I bought two, both in the 1930s style. The first was a full apron with a bib, modeled beautifully by Tim. Of course I loved this one, it is mostly black!

1930s style apron

The second was a serving apron. I know what you are thinking… “I can’t believe she bought that! It’s bright pink!” For some reason I’m into bright pink stuff lately (such as this yarn), and I just had to have it.

1930s style serving apron

The apron lady was the highlight of the show for me. A close second was the flax demonstration put on by this cute couple who work at a pioneer village. They showed how to process the flax plant by hand and turn it into linen thread. The husband made most of the tools he was using by hand. It was really interesting.

Flax to linen demonstration

I think a close third was meeting Stephen Bowman from the Bedford College of Lace Making. He was demonstrating bobbin lace, which we both thought was really cool.

Bobbin lace making

He showed us how he makes the lace, and told us about the classes he teaches. I am bound and determined to learn how to do this.

Bobbin lace making

Watch this space for some lace, probably in the autumn.


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Road Trip – Cleveland

Posted by Andi on April 22, 2012

I had the week before last off work, so Tim and I took off to Cleveland for three days.

St. John's Cathedral
The view from our hotel room

We arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and spent the afternoon and evening wandering around downtown Cleveland. We ate at Flannery’s Pub for dinner, where we had these amazing stuffed mushrooms.

Go Browns

Wednesday we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

We spent five hours there, and could have spent longer if the rotating exhibit wasn’t closed. The Grateful Dead exhibit was scheduled to open the following day. But, really, I could have spent much longer. I didn’t read every description of every artifact. There was plenty of video footage we could have watched in its entirety. Really, I could have spent the whole day there. If I ever end up living in Cleveland I will become a member. I would go numerous times a year, each time only focusing on one part of the museum and really look at and read everything. Yes, I am that lame.

After that we went to Great Lakes Science Center, where the highlight was seeing the Skylab 3 Apollo Command Module. Then we went upstairs and acted like children while playing with all of the displays that taught various science principles.


We spent most of the evening on 4th Street, having dinner and, after going back to the hotel to change our clothes, drinks.

4th Street

The whole point of our trip was to eat at Lola Bistro, as we are both big fans of Michael Symon. It did not disappoint. The food was great and I really liked the atmosphere. If it were in Chicago I would eat at this place all the time (but I would go for lunch, as that is what my bank account would allow). We had what was possibly the best dessert ever: the 6 A.M. Special, which included french toast and maple bacon ice cream. Yum!

Lola Bistro

After that we had a drink and watched Game 1 of the Pittsburgh Penguins/Philadelphia Flyers series at The Corner Alley. Even though we didn’t bowl, I loved that they had giant screen TVs above the bowling alleys. If I had been bowling I still would have been able to watch hockey! I know there are places in Chicago like this, and going to this place made me want to check them out.

Between the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Lola Bistro, I didn’t think I could top that day. But Thursday was amazing, because we went to the Christmas Story house.

House and mailbox

I feared we would be the only idiots there, but there were 15 other people on our tour with us. It was nice to see that this film is so beloved that people came from all over the Midwest (okay, most of the people on our tour were from Detroit) to see this house. There is also a museum and gift shop. Although I wanted to buy everything in the shop, we bought a t-shirt for Tim, a pair of pajamas for me, and some Ralphie wrapping paper.

Tim and I and the major award
There is glare, but that is the Major Award in the window.

Our last stop before driving back to Chicago was Melt Bar and Grilled for lunch. This is another place I would go to all the time if it were nearby. Their specialty is grilled cheese sandwhiches, but they also have some other sandwiches. They have an amazing craft pop selection, and also some interesting beers. The decor was fun and eclectic.

Awesome decor

All of the grilled cheese sandwiches sounded interesting, and after much debate I chose the Parmageddon simply because it had pierogi in it. That’s right, pierogi in a grilled cheese sandwich. It was a comfort food explosion!!!

The Parmageddon

One the way to Cleveland we took the toll roads, but on the way home we took smaller highways and drove through some smaller towns. We got to see more scenery that way. And I got home in time to watch the hockey game!

See more photos from our trip here.

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Hexipuffing Month 8, and other progress

Posted by Andi on April 15, 2012

I made 12 new hexipuffs this month, bringing the grand total to 97.

Hexipuffing Month 8

Once the two baby sweaters were done this became my TV project. My goal was to finish my mittens and scarf, and since they both involve colorwork, I decided to just keep hexipuffs as my easy project. I contemplated starting something else to do in front of the TV, but I didn’t want another larger project to take over time I should be using for the mittens and scarf, meaning knitting said new project more than just in front of the TV. So hexipuffing at home, and for now, the Gerta Scarf at knit group.

I spent a good chunk of last Monday morning winding yarn. I wound some yarn a member of our knit group gave Mimi and I to make hexipuffs with. The rest of the time I spent winding yarn for myself.

Generally I don’t like winding yarn into cakes if I’m not going to use it immediately. However, I have the yarn to make two sweaters, and have put off even swatching and making final decisions on projects because it wasn’t wound. So I wound all of that yarn, and it’s ready for swatching (another appropriate TV project). I think I chose sweaters for both yarns, but we’ll see if I change my mind after swatching. One will be a Ravelympics project. The other might be done sooner. Or later. More to come when I actually start something.

Once the baby sweaters were finished I had no sock yarn projects on the needles (except for hexipuffs). Since I’m going to be traveling a lot in the coming weeks I decided it’s time to start a new pair of socks. This time I decided I wanted to make a new pair of socks for Tim. I showed him all of my available sock yarns, and he chose Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in WD Ebenholz, which I also wound on Monday.

Wollmeise 80/20 Twin

We then went through a bunch of sock patterns, and he decided upon Spider Socks by Terri Knight. I told him the yarn might be too dark to see the spiders from far away, but Tim was okay with that. I will be casting on these socks today.

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Apparently I like pink now

Posted by Andi on April 14, 2012

I went to Windy Knitty yesterday to buy yarn for my Puck This! playoff pool prize offering. I purposely went there to get Fleur de Fiber yarn, which I know they sell there. Fleur de Fiber is dyed in Chicago, and I thought it would be nice to offer up something local as a prize, something other members of the group might not be able to easily get.

The plan was for me to go in, get the prize yarn, and leave without shopping for myself. I even told the folks I went to breakfast with yesterday morning that I was to only buy prize yarn. Then, of course, someone had to say, “Go ahead and buy yarn for yourself, you’re on vacation!” (Note: I was off this week, and went to Cleveland. More on that in a future post). And I thought, you know what, I am on vacation. And I’m going to buy myself some yarn.

I saw this skein of Fleur de Fiber Arden sitting on the shelf. It was screaming my name.

Fleur de Fiber Arden

Okay. I am so not a pink person. Anyone who knows me knows that. But I think a few people have noticed that for some reason I’ve been drawn to pink yarn lately. I don’t know why. So here it is. I bought myself some hot pink yarn. All I could think of was how this hot pink yarn would look so awesome with my black high top Chuck Taylor’s, peeking out from under my jeans. This yarn will definitely turn into socks. Plus it has cashmere!

Oh, and I bought the prize yarn too. Also Fleur de Fiber Arden. I hope some prize winner will love it!

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FO: Heritage Baby Sweater

Posted by Andi on April 9, 2012

Heritage Baby Sweater
Pattern: Heritage Baby Sweater by Liz Nields from the book Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders
Yarn: Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in WD Feldmaus
Needles: US 1
Date started: February 4, 2012
Date completed: April 2, 2012

Here is the second Wollmeise baby sweater. The button is actually pink, but I couldn’t get the lighting right when I took the photo. This one is smaller, but took longer because it was knit on size 1 needles, as opposed to the other sweater that was knit on 6’s. I chose this yarn on purpose hoping it would have a bit of an antique-y look. I think it does.

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FO: “Sock” It To Me

Posted by Andi on April 7, 2012

"Sock" It To Me
Pattern: “Sock” It To Me (For Girls) by Vicki K. Byram from the book Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders
Yarn: Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in WD Sanguinella, .83 skieins
Needles: US 6
Date started: March 9, 2012
Date completed: April 2, 2012

This was the second of two baby sweaters I recently made, both out of Wollmeise, but it was the first one finished. This one used bigger needles. I love the color, and sometimes I think it’s nice to make baby clothes that aren’t in traditional baby colors. I had a difficult time picking out buttons, so I hope these look okay.

"Sock" It To Me

This sweater was supposed to have three buttons, but I forgot to make the third button hole. So it has two buttons. It’s a design element, right???

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Best mocha ever

Posted by Andi on April 2, 2012

Dark chocolate mocha
Dark chocolate mocha, the best mocha I have ever had, ever. Seriously.
Infusion Coffeehouse
Berwyn, IL

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A new kind of finished object

Posted by Andi on April 1, 2012

The bowl I made (with major help) has been fired and is now in my possession.

Finished bowl

It turned out really well, I think, given it was the first time I have ever thrown pottery. Yeah, I had help, but I still did much of it myself.

Right now I’m trying to decide what to do with it. I’ve thought about taking it to work and using it as a candy dish in my office, but that would mean always having candy in my office all the time. Not good. I might put it on my coffee table with some yarn in it as a decoration. I don’t know. I’m open to suggestions!! The only thing I won’t do is give it as a gift. I want to keep this one!

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