Stuff Is Happening — Aaaaaaahck!

So much to do, guys, so much to do! It bodes ill that the night before we leave for the beginning of our honeymoon I am only just now getting a chance to sit down to eat dinner at 9:30 p.m. I can tell it is going to be one of those nights after which waking up at 4 a.m. is going to be less than pleasant (but is that ever pleasant, really?).

Things I’ve learned today:

  • Get your travel immunizations done WEEKS before you leave the country, not days * ahem *.
  • Especially since some of those suckers HURT (my arm feels like its been hit with a baseball bat).
  • Get a paper copy of the prescription for the antibiotics that the doc convinced you it would be super great to have with you while traveling because…
  • The doctor will never, ever, ever, call in the prescription correctly, and then the office will close for the weekend, and all pharmacies everywhere will refuse to give you the meds without a new prescription.
  • The above series of events will make the FiascoHubs lose his trademark cool a little bit, and it will be both stressful and kind of adorable to watch.

Can you tell we’re new at this whole international travel thing? Here’s hoping we don’t catch typhoid fever…

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Time for a swap-happy sale!

In happier news, there’s a Summer of Love Indie Swap going on in the Indie Untangled group on Ravelry! Sign ups are open until today (the 18th), but if you’re quick I bet you could still get your questionnaire in on time! The swap has a limit in the $40 – $50 range and the only requirement is that you send at least one item from an Indie Untangled artisan (like yours truly)! I’m offering a sale for swap participants on all lip balms, lotion bars, and sample-sized gift sets at Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe. You can find more details about the sale in this post.

And with that, I’m off! I’ll be in Costa Rica for the next 2 weeks and completely failed to prepare posts ahead of time so this is ta-ta for now, my lovely readers. However, if you’d like to keep up with my while I’m gone, I’ll hopefully be posting photos of my adventures over on Instagram. Volcanos, monkeys, and Caribbean sunsets — here we come!

So Long, And Thanks for All the Yarn

One of my favorite indie dyers, Sarah Eyre of Cephalopod Yarns, announced today that she needs to close down her business for the sake of her health. (See here for the shop announcement, and here for an eloquently-written post about it on her personal blog.)

Bugga in Blue Ringed Octopus and Box Jellyfish. Click for project page.

I’ve decided that the best way I can mourn the loss of her gorgeous yarn, is to celebrate the beautiful skeins that have graced my knitting needles. My Beautiful Briny Sea shawl is one of my absolute favorite knits — the colors embody everything I love and I wear it all of the time.

Bugga in Fig Eater and Dog Days Cicada. Click for project page.

Sarah’s colorways always manage to look subtle and cohesive from a distance, but up close they are gorgeously variegated and complex.

Bugga in Blue Lobster. Click for project page.

The above photo does zero justice for the yarn, but Blue Lobster has got to be one of the best blues of all time (and I am a great admirer of blues). It is rich, electric, and tinged with just enough green to appeal to my teal-loving tendencies. I have worn these mitts every fall and winter since 2011 and I love them just as fiercely as I did when I first finished them.

Bugga in Starry Night Cracker. Click for project page.

These socks were one of the earliest pairs I’ve ever knit, from one of my first skeins of Bugga back in the Sanguine Gryphon days. The Starry Night Cracker colorway is a perfect, gentle dusky blue tinged with tannish undertones. It will be missed.

Skinny Bugga in Horseshoe Crab. Click for project page.

I have not yet finished this shawl (started in * mumble mumble 2010 cough *) due to early-lace-knitting-incompetence but it was meant to commemorate my time in grad school studying horseshoe crabs. Perhaps I will dust off this old WIP now, fix my mistakes and finish it once and for all, for the sake of nostalgia.

Bugga fiber, handspun, in the colorway Yubaba. Click for project page.

One of my first decent skeins of handspun yarn was made with CY Bugga fiber. I love this skein so much, and was thrilled to knit it up for a pattern that will be published in the Afghans for Afghans charity e-book that should be out in the near-ish future.

Traveller in San Francisco Bay. Click for project page.

CY’s Traveller yarn has clothed countless babies and children, I imagine. The sweet little hat above was destined for a good friend’s baby, who wore it well beyond the age when I thought it would still fit.

Traveller in Aokigahara. Click for project page.

Traveller makes great adult hats, too, and I appear to especially love to use it in my Beribboned designs. So many beribboned things.

Skinny Bugga in Nude, San Francisco Bay, and Ghost Moth. Click for project page.

Sarah, your talent, artistry, and eye for color will be sorely missed in the yarn world. I refuse to say that you as a person will be missed, because I am determine to believed that you will remain involved as much as you can in the beautiful, creative community that’s grown up around the beautiful, creative work that you’ve done. Slow down, rest up, and care for yourself. Be proud of everything you’ve made. Remember that much love is heading your way during this difficult transition. And thanks (ever, ever so much) for all the yarn.

IS #77: Seafoam Inspired

My sweet and wonderful FiascoHubs (do we like the new nickname? he will forever be a Fiasco… but now that he’s a husband rather than a fiance I’m wondering if it needs the ‘Hubs’ addition?) surprised me with ‘souvenir yarn’ over our wedding weekend.

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He apparently went into the local yarn store and said something along the lines of “she likes crazy fiber, wild stuff like ox and quiviut, and she loves blues and seafoam greens” and he left with three skeins of that gorgeousness above. The yarn is a laceweight 50/50 yak/silk blend and it is divine. My fella did very well, but now what to make?

Copyright LachesisandCo. Click for pattern page.

The first thing that jumped to mind was The Mermaid’s Gift shawl designed by Tori Gurbisz. I’ve had this one queued for quite a while and I think the whole look and feel of this pattern would be perfect with the seafoam color of the yarn. My only reservation is that it would only use up a mere 400 yards while I have over 1200 yards of the yarn, but it would certainly be a great use of a single skein of luxurious laceweight you might have hanging around.

Copyright knitlab. Click for pattern page.

The next beauty that jumped to mind was the Seascape Stole designed by Kieran Foley. I’ve long admired the sinuous shifting lines of this stole, and it’s a free pattern on Knitty so that’s always a plus. My big reservation with this one is that the charts are rather large and unwieldy and I had hoped to take this project along on our honeymoon as travel knitting, so it might not be the best choice.

Copyright Kieran Foley. Click for pattern page.

Interestingly, the same designer has another sea-inspired stole that I greatly admire: High Seas. It sounds like this one has wrong side patterning and it on the trickier side, so it also might not make great travel knitting (though it is lovely).

Copyright joelle. Click for pattern page.

Moving on from the sea theme, we have the Echo Flower Shawl by Jenny Johnson Johnen which is based on the Laminaria shawl designed by Elizabeth Freeman. This shawl is chock full of complex Estonian stitches but it is really, truly gorgeous. I imagine in my silky seafoam yarn it would be pretty incredible.

Copyright stebo79. Click for pattern page.

Even though the sample for Morgain by Stefanie Bolf is all ‘dark and moody’ I can’t help but picture it in my yarn and think it would be glorious. I love the way the lace patterning grows in length and width as it cascades across the shawl.

Copyright Strokkur. Click for pattern page.

This is a gorgeous variation (drapier yarn, larger needles, beads instead of nupps) of the Shallow Waters shawl designed by Mia Rinde. I imagine my version would look much like this one. The more I look at photos of this shawl, the higher it is creeping up my list! It incorporates the undulating lines I like so much with the almost gothic, peaked edging that I find very pretty on triangular shawls.

What would you knit with up to 1200 yards of yak/silk lusciousness? Do you have a favorite sea-inspired pattern? Please share in the comments below!

IS

FOFri #30: The Things We Do For Friends

I had the hardest time figuring out what to make for gifts for my bridesmaids. My initial thought was shawls, but, well, there were 6 of them and even though I got engaged waaaaaay back in 2011 and therefore theoretically could have knit 6 shawls in that timeframe, I didn’t know how long our engagement was going to be but I did know that my fortitude for non-selfish gift knitting tends to be limited, so it was not likely to happen.

Copyright Eskimimi. Click for pattern page.

Then I saw this cute little coin purse and thought oooh! I could make this bigger, get a fancier purse frame, and make little clutches! The thought of all that linen stitch was a little daunting, so I figured I could perhaps make squares on my Zoom Loom and make patchwork bags. Then I hurt my wrist back in March and using the loom was a little too painful.

Copyright kateclysm. Click for pattern page.

So then, I was thinking I’d maybe make these cute little bangle bags, which would still require sewing a lining onto the back of knitted fabric (which worried me) but at least wouldn’t involve sewing into a purse frame. But still, I wasn’t totally thrilled by the idea and didn’t really know where to get the bangles.

Copyright Lion Brand Yarn. Click for pattern page.

I finally stumbled across this quilted lattice jewlery frame, and knew this would be perfect! Since I had already ordered purse frames I went back and forth debating for a while. It was a difficult debate since most of the people I usually consult for knitting advice were in the bridal party! I had to rely on my friend Jeremie, who was not particularly interested in either purses or jewelry frames. I kept coming back to the frames, though, and decided to go for them.

IMG_6701I finally started knitting them at the end of May, and finished them up in the first week of July. So, I had to knit one of these each week. I used my swatch to determine how many to cast on to fit in an 8×10 frame. It’s a good idea to underestimate how many stitches you need as your yarn will likely stretch and you want the fabric to be taught. I used a totally luscious yarn for this: BMFA Marine Silk Sport, colorway Oceana.

IMG_6702The frame requires a little work before you attach the knitting. We (I say we, since the FiascoHubs helped) used the matting from the frame as a base, then cut out quilt batting to the same size and plain fabric about an inch larger. Then you make a little batting sandwich and use double-sided tape to fold the fabric over and secure it to the back of the matting.

IMG_6703Finally, you do the utterly unthinkable and take a stapler to your silky, luxurious knitted fabric. You carefully staple all around the edges of the piece to secure the knitted fabric to the fabric backing. Not gonna lie, this part was painful.

IMG_6709But the results were so worth it! I love how these little frames turned out and I know at least one of my friends is already using hers. I didn’t want to just give these frames, however, so I also made some earrings to go with it (no, I don’t know what came over me).

IMG_6694These things came out better than I had expected and were surprisingly easy to make! Here is the super helpful tutorial I followed. I was so encouraged by my success with these earrings that I decided to make my own wedding jewelry.

I looked at a few wire jewelry photos for inspiration but basically just winged these designs and am really thrilled with how they came out. I love the little pop of color they added to my wedding ensemble, too. That’s the last of my crazy wedding crafting! I’m making one more frame for myself right now but then it’s back to knitting whatever-the-heck I want! Have you ever surprised yourself with your own crafting abilities or been suddenly struck by the desire to make something that you couldn’t quite explain?

Check out more FOs at Tamis Amis.

WIPWed #60: Post-Wedding WIPs

I am ever-so-slowly easing my way back into a normal routine after the whirlwind of the past weekend. Things are definitely a bit off-kilter as I’ve been in bed by 10 pm each night (that’s about 3 hours earlier than normal!) and still wicked tired during the day… methinks my body has some serious catching up to do! The Fiasco-Hubs and I have been slowly putting the house in order (mostly him, since I’ve been at work) and are gearing up for our honeymoon in a couple of weeks. Crafting has been creeping back into my daily life, similarly slowly but surely.

Secret Swatches:

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BMFA Marine Silk Sport, colorway Oceana. Click for project page.

Since the wedding is over, this project doesn’t need to remain a secret anymore. I’ll give you all the details on Friday but for now I’ll just say that after making six of these babies for my bridesmaids, I couldn’t resist making one more for myself. Thankfully, the knitting is fairly quick and I expect to finish it before I’m totally sick of it.

Simply Royal:

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BMFA Superwash BFL Fingering, colorway Royal. Click for project page.

These are the simple stockinette socks I started for my sanity just before the wedding. I plan to hold off knitting these a bit so I can take them on our honeymoon trip. The bright colors and easy knitting should make for perfect travel knitting. I just love how this colorway is knitting up, I’m somehow getting both stripes AND flashing/pooling! It’s a neat effect.

 

If you’re in the BMFA Rockin’ Whorl Club and don’t wish to have the June shipment spoiled, look away!

 

 

Now!

 

Metallic Yak/Silk:

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BMFA RWC Yak/Silk (50%/50%), colorway Metalocalypse.

I was delighted by the recent shipment of the Rockin’ Whorl Club. The 50% yak/50% silk fiber is freaking amazing. No joke, it is a soft, silky dream to touch. I decided I needed to start spinning it immediately. However, I didn’t love the reds and indigos, it felt too primary with all that gold, so I split the 8 oz braid into color sections. All the reds and dark blues and some of the golds were separated out and I was left with 4.7 oz of just the golds, greens, and aquas to spin right now.

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Tour de Fleece spinning, woo!

This project will be my Tour de Fleece spinning, although I have very low expectations about actually finishing anything this month. However, I do plan to take my little Jenkins Aegean with me to Costa Rica and am looking forward to spinning this delicious fiber on a Caribbean beach, so you never know! My goal is just to finish spinning the 4.7 oz of this fiber into singles. Since it’s spinning up quite thinly, I doubt I’ll actually finish, but nobody can say I didn’t try!

What are you working on this week? Check out more WIPs at Tamis Amis.

Wedding Whirlwind

Thank you so much for all of your well wishes! Our wedding weekend was absolutely fantastic. It was certainly busy and a little bit stressful at times (so much to keep track of!) but we had a ton of help from our incredible families and friends and everything worked out even more wonderfully than I had hoped.

Our (amazing!) photographer won’t get most of our photos back until next month but she sent a little preview to tide us over and I thought you all would appreciate this one, especially:

alicia+rich_preview_07Oh yeah, that’s a bride knitting a sock. I just couldn’t resist. Even though nothing very ‘big’ was DIY (we didn’t cater the thing ourselves, for example) crafting still played an important role in the day.

alicia+rich_preview_12Here’s where we sealed the deal with a kiss! Note, if you will, the crocheted doily under the unity candle (thanks, Mom!) and the presence of the previously-featured, handmade, hula hoop ribbon thing.

alicia+rich_preview_16Here you can kinda see the jewelry I made for myself: necklace, earrings, and bracelet. I decided to make jewelry for myself since I made a bunch of earrings as part of my bridesmaids’ gifts, but I’ll talk more about those later this week on FO Friday since they also involved some knitting!

IMG_6764We kept our table decorations simple with basic table runners, some color-coordinated votive candles, and beribboned mason jars full of glass gems and flowers. The Fiasco (or should I say, my new husband!) wrote, printed, and hand-cut Mad Libs for each table, as well!

IMG_6753 I did not actually make anything on this table, but other people did! One of my best and oldest friends crocheted amazing bride and groom horseshoe crabs as a shower gift, which obviously had to make a wedding appearance. (The Fiasco and I met when I hired him as an assistant for my horseshoe crab research.) Our adorable little horseshoe crab cake toppers and the polka-dot paper garland were handmade and came from shops on Etsy.

IMG_6735Our biggest DIY project was putting together all of the flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces. I ordered wholesale flowers from Blooms By The Box and then we trimmed, hydrated, and arranged them under the guidance of my aunt (who fortuitously had taken a flower-arranging class at some point in her past), and with the help of my cousin (both pictured above) and the rest of my bridesmaids. Even though the arrangements were fairly straightforward (blue hydrangeas, mini green hydrangeas, white roses, green carnations, ferns, baby’s breath) it was no small task to put everything together. However, the flowers came out absolutely beautifully and I loved them a stupid amount.

I’m sure you’ll hear lots more about the wedding than you will ever want to know, but I think for now I’ll leave off with one of my absolute favorite preview shots that makes the entire day feel like a fairy tale (and makes us look like we can actually dance):

alicia+rich_preview_14Squeeeeeee!

 

 

IS #76: This Guy

On this day — our wedding day — my inspiration can really only come from one source: my Fiasco.

yarn 075If there’s a sweeter, kinder, more giving man out there — I haven’t met him.

renfaire 005He’s inappropriate and hilarious and consistently keeps me on my toes.

He’s great with kids and amazing with my entire family.

yarn 062He loves to cook and clean (thank goodness!) and really does the lion’s share of the work around the house.

IMG_5641He’s creative, brilliant, and enthusiastic about everything he does.

2009_June 047And he’s equally enthusiastic about everything I do — from horseshoe crab surveys to fiber festivals and Sweet Sheep vending shows — he supports me in anything and everything I dream up.

IMG_6368I am incredibly lucky to have met this man and am proud to make him my husband!

(P.S. If you’re the type that likes to peek at wedding photos, feel free to search the #morandi2014 hashtag on Instagram or check out our Wedding Party app site where people can upload photos as the day progresses.)