Caught My Breath

Hello!

Well, I have finally caught my breath from DFW and a busy Easter and week after.  So let me tell you all about the Dallas Fort Worth FiberFest!  In installments.  There is so much to tell so I will go over it in 3 parts.  Today I will give you a summary. Part 2, the classes.  Part 3, the yarn

It was amazing!  A fantastic 4 days! I arrived on Friday just before noon and checked into my hotel from there I was a short shuttle ride away to the convention center.  Friday before my class was really my only day do shop in the Vendor Hall.  It was so quiet and less crowded than it was on Saturday and Sunday, so it was nice to just wander and look at the yarn and have to worry.  I bought a lot of yarn.  Of which I will tell you about in part 3.  All I can say is I bought some more on Saturday and on Sunday I went back to the Vendor Hall since it was the last day of the festival and said I was just going to look, (said no one ever) and of course bought more yarn. The good thing was I drove and packed light so I was able to pack my yarn in my suitcase and in the awesome bag I got when I signed up for classes.

The yarn and the classes were amazing but what I loved most about DFW was the people.  I think this was the most social Fiber Festival I have ever been too.  Probably because most of us were staying at the same hotel. And let me also tell you. Knitters are the nicest people!  I would go down to the lobby bar in the evenings and everyone would be there just eating, drinking, knitting and talking. I would smile at someone and they would invite me to sit down.  I met some great people that way.  It also happened at breakfast, Saturday morning, the hostess was seating me in the restaurant and some ladies I was chatting with in the elevator invited me to sit with them instead.  There were stitch marker swaps all over DFW and of course, I always forgot my stitch markers everywhere.  I also really don’t have that many but some ladies were swapping stitch markers on the shuttle and offered me some. I forgot my stitch markers in my room but they insisted I pick out a few anyway. Those stitch markers will always hold a special place in my heart.  Again, knitters are the nicest people.

Not only was this a fiber festival for me but it was a long awaited and much needed vacation. I was able to really just relax and do my own thing.  I think I officially reached vacation mode on Friday morning somewhere outside of OKC heading south on the I-35 and didn’t get back to the real world until I went back to work on Tuesday morning.  It was fantastic.  I slept in all days besides Saturday since I had a class. I had some quiet me time and even took myself to dinner on Saturday.  Vacations are good. Everyone needs vacations and to be able to re-charge, preferably doing something they love.  The hotel helped also. The Marriott Los Colinas is in kind of a business-y corporate area but it was quiet and on a man made lake so there were nice surroundings.  Also, its a Marriott, very nice accommodations and the staff was so friendly and helpful and the food was good too.

During my trip, I bought a vanilla sock to work on in class and while chatting. I am at the heel now and will probably finish it when I finish my Endearment Cardigan.  Its coming along but going slow.  It will get done eventually.

Well, that is all I have for now.  Stay tuned for next week on the classes of DFW FiberFest.

Happy Knitting.

-Alexis

Weekend Plans and Planting

Hello Everyone!

First of all I am super excited for next Friday.  I will be at the DFW Fiber Fest in Texas.  I will be taking classes by Clara Parks and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and wandering my way around the awesome market place.  Again, so excited and the countdown in on!

In knitting news, to be honest I haven’t really be doing much. I am still working on my Endearment Cardigan.  I am almost done with the body. With work and my boot camp workout by the time I get home I am so tired I’m lucky if I can knit for an hour before my energy just peters out and I go to bed.  Some nights I haven’t even worked on the sweater.  I have made a few hex-puffs and also worked on the Mindless TV blanket.  Because you know how it is. Sometimes you just really don’t want to think, even about lace repeats.

In other news.  With Spring being here, the past few weekends, we have been gardening and planting and yesterday, the hubs redid the island flowerbed in the front yard to a raised garden.  It looks amazing.  And if today wasn’t so cold and rainy I would have planted in it.  So maybe in a few weeks I will plant.  Today it would have just been digging in the mud.  I cannot wait until I can just wander the garden center at Home Depot and pick the plants I want in there. I still have no idea what I want.

Ok. Just a short post today. I will talk to you all later and let me know if I will see any of you at DFW next weekend.

Happy Knitting

-Alexis

Knitting and Hiking

Hello Everyone!

Its a cloudy windy Sunday, it rained a bit last night, but it would be nice it rained a bit more. I just woke up from a nap and had a dream it was pouring.  I was a bit disappointed when I realized it didn’t rain at all.

It has been cloudy and windy all weekend but that didn’t stop my husband, my friend Danielle and myself from going on a hike to the Wichita Mountains yesterday.  It so crazy in the “flat” state of Oklahoma, just about 90 minutes south of OKC is this small little mountain range, complete with a wildlife refuge for buffalo, longhorn cattle, elk and prairie dogs. Yes you will be driving along there may be buffalo or longhorn just chilling by the road eating a snack.  

There are also tons of great hiking trails and a cute little mountain town to boot.  We had a great hike to the top of Elk Mountain and then broke my diet and had a Cheeseburger in Medicine Park.  The cute little mountain town.

Elk Mountain

Saturday night was spent binge watching Grey’s Anatomy and knitting on my Endearment Sweater.  It’s making slow progress.  I just started on the wait shaping.  Lately during the week I will come home from working out and just not have the bandwidth for pattern repeats, so on nights like those, I have been working on my Mindless blanket.  But I really do need to concentrate on the sweater so I can get more scrap yarn for the blanket and my other side project, the Beekeepers Quilt.  But the Sweater is coming along nicely and I am getting the pattern down so its taking a lot less energy, brainpower and concentration. Something I am severely lacking at 8:30 on a weeknight.

In other knitting news, in April I will be attending the DFW Fiberfest in Texas.  Its just a short 3 hour drive for me and for the first time I am taking classes.  Not just any classes. Classes by non other than Clara Parks and Stephanie Pearl McPhee!  I am soon excited!  Stay tuned for lots of stories as well as instant posts on social media.  I will be there all 3 days.

In cooking, from my Pinterest Board, tonight I am making Island Pork Tenderloin, Garlic Butter Cheesy Crescent Rolls, and for me Lemon Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts.  Ok, I better get cooking so I can work on my sweater tonight.

Talk to you all soon & happy knitting.

-Alexis

Hello Again

Hello Everyone!

I know, I know, time just gets away from you and when you resolve to blog on the weekends because your weeknights are crazy then you weekends also get away from you.  Its crazy that way.

In knitting updates, since we last spoke, I have of course been knitting.  A day without knitting just doesn’t seem right.  I even managed up until the week before Christmas to not do any gift knitting. Then I realized I was going to knit a hat for a friend.  She got in January, but she still appreciated it. Since then. Selfish knitting January has not been selfish.  I just completed the “Bambino Blanket” by Mary Lou Egan from Drop-Dead Easy Knits by Gale Zucker, Mary Lou Egan & Kirsten Kapur (whew) for a friend new baby and of course I had to put that project on pause for a bit knit a few Pussy Hats. I sent one to Washington for the March and as I wasn’t able to make to my local March in Oklahoma City, I let my friend borrow another one.  I know my friend and the awesome marcher in Washington wore them with pride and I feel happy and proud that I was able to participate in this in someway.

Now that the baby blanket is done I have some other projects in the pipeline that I am excited to start.  I have also been cooking a lot lately.  My husband was out of town on a boys weekend so I took that opportunity to try some new recipes.  I have just as many cookbooks as I do knitting books and my Pinterest account looks like my Ravelry favorites and queues except with food.  I am going to start working my way through these recipes.  Yep, my two favorite things, cooking and knitting.  So it has been a good weekend!  I also got a Blue Apron box yesterday, which I plan on cooking up this week.  Each box comes with food and recipes for 3 meals that each feed 2 people. Stay tuned to my Instagram to find out how they were.

I feel like I am rambling and if I named all the projects I have knit and recipes I have cooked just this weekend I will ramble more. So I promise, ok, I will try to check in more regularly with my knitting progress and cooking. I don’t think this will turn into a food blog.  It will stay a knitting blog but hey, I need eat so I can keep up the energy to knit.

Happy Superbowl Sunday, btw, I am making Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Taquitos from the Well Plated by Erin blog and Homemade Blue Cheese dressing from the I’d Rather Be a Chef blog to bring to a party.

I will talk to you all soon!

-Alexis

Welcome Fall

Hello Everyone,

Well, I am home and fully recovered from my vacation.  I have been knitting but really not much.  It’s been a bit busy around here so when I get home from work, I don’t have a whole lot of energy to knit.  I am still knitting on the Laurel Socks that I was knitting on my vacation.  Maybe that is why.  It is an involved lace pattern.   I am almost done and if I push, I can finish this week.   I have had a few other projects going on since I returned from vacation though.  I have decided to sew my halloween costume.  Yes, for the first time in over 10 years I am sewing.  I used to sew a lot and I know how and was pretty good so I was nervous but sewing is like riding a bike.  You never forget.  I started on my costume last night and I am surprised, it all came back to me.  I am not done yet.  One more weekend I will have an awesome costume!  I will let you all know what I am going to be when it is finished.

Speaking of finished projects, I promised you I would show you a picture of my Rocky Coast Cardigan and here it is.  I am so proud of it and excited it is done and here.  It kept me warm on the beach by the fire in Mackinac if only it would cool down here so I could wear it again.

Rocky Coast Cardigan
Rocky Coast Cardigan

So, on my plate right now, knitting and sewing.  I do have a deadline the Halloween costume so I may put that first.  Ug, I want to finish that sock!  Wish me luck on both.

I will talk to you all soon.

Happy Knitting!

-Alexis

Vacation Mode

Hello everyone!

Well here I am on vacation in Michigan san the hubs.  I came up by myself to join my MIL, my SIL and my husband’s Aunt for a girls weekend on Macinak Island for the weekend.  I am spending a few extra days to hang out in Western Michigan with my lovely Mother-in-Law.  We had an amazing time on our road trip and on the island itself.  I love coming to Michigan, it is so green and so many trees and up north on the lake is beyond beautiful!  I can’t even describe.

We had a great road trip up to Macinak stopping in Frankenmuth, MI.  I very cute (and touristy) town with a German themed main street with all sorts of cute boutiques and a Cheese Haus!  And of course, how can I ever travel without finding a yarn store.  This great little boutique named Rapunzel’s Boutique.  They have great clothing, jewelry and gifts in the front but toward the back… YARN!!!  Madeline Tosh, Plymouth and my favorite Michigan yarn Stonehenge Fiber Mill.  The had a whole basket of mill ends so I bought 2 skeins. I think I already have 2 or 3 skeins at home.  Wondering what I will do with them…

Macinak Island itself is quite a tourist town but a very cute village set in a view that honestly, I would brave their winters to live on that island year around.  All of the houses and buildings are Victorian and all vividly painted like they were brand new and there is beautiful flowers and landscaping all over the island.  While my MIL and aunt took a trolly tour of the island my SIL and I had a great time exploring on our own.  We found a stair case that let right up the hill and then stumbled upon my other favorite place than a yarn store.  The Butterfly House!  Of course we had to go in.  So many butterflies the flitting around.  I got so many pictures of the island, our hotel on the beach of Lake Huron on the mainland and of the Butterfly House but alas, I left my USB cable for my camera at home in OKC so you will just have to do with my Instagram pictures for now, but I will post them below for your.

I love being on vacation and traveling.  It is true what they say.  Everyone needs vacations, to travel, to forget about their routine and relax and try new things. Get out of your comfort zone.   Quit watching the news and checking emails and your social media feeds and even just get into different scenery and be around different people. That is what is great about traveling and vacation.

So here are some pictures of Frankenmuth and Macinak for your viewing enjoyment and possibly a weekend getaway.

Talk to you all soon!

-Alexis

Cheesy tourist stop.

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Wow!

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If it not be yarn. It be butterflies

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Summer Adventures

Hello Everyone!

So far it has been one hot summer!  If it weren’t for the humidity it would be bearable but man, its just sticky and awful.

As hot and gross and it has been however, I have able to get myself out of the air conditioning and enjoy the summer.

First stop, Bob and I went to Eureka Springs, AR for 4th of July weekend, we had a great time!  Eureka Springs is a very neat town, nestled in the Ozark Mountains in northwest Arkansas. It is a tiny Victorian town set on winding hilly roads with lots of trees.  We got in about lunchtime on Saturday and ate a delicious lunch and walked around Main Street where all the shops are.

We even stumbled upon a yarn store, I really did not think there would be one in town, but my wonderful husband found it online and lead me right to it. It is called Red Scottie Fibers and shares a space with Hardcastle Folk Art.  It is a really neat shop with yarn, fiber, art, fabric and everything else.  I found some Mirasol Pima Splash some yarn by a local dyer called Show Me Yarn. It a Merino, Cashmere, Nylon blend hand dyed in the Ozarks.  Sh

Eureka Springs, AR
Eureka Springs, AR

e has a shop on Etsy, but as of this post it is closed as she is preparing for a show.  So check back soon.  She also has a website where you can find out all about her products, where to find them and upcoming events.  Showmeyarn.com

Bob and I love to explore new places and towns and have new adventures together, and I must say Eureka Spring is my new favorite place.  I love it more because it is so artsy and a little hippy town.  And it is so close for a quick weekend getaway.  We really just spent one night in town and came home on Sunday but I can’t wait to go again and explore the town more.

As for knitting, I finally took a picture of the Picabeau, and am currently working on the Sunnyside Market Tote, a kit I got from Knitpicks.com years ago. It is knit using their Cotlin yarn which is been of Cotton and Linen, perfect to knit with in the summer.  I really do think that cotton yarn or any plant fiber feels cooler to knit with then wool or any animal fiber.  The tote is coming along nicely and I love the color pops. I will be fun to use when it is done.

Pica beau
Pica beau

That is all I have for now, I hope you are all enjoying your summer’s and having your own adventures.

-Alexis

Lots Done

Hello Everyone!

What a busy Sunday!  It was supposed to rain all day so I had some organization and cleaning projects planned for today and they are all done!  I am very proud of myself.  In addition to these projects, I had the usual laundry and making lunches for the week. I am trying to eat healthy so I make healthy lunches on Sunday for the week.  That is the busy part, I was in the kitchen for an hour and half making lunches.  I found some mason jar lunches on Pinterest that look yummy so I spent my relaxing Sunday afternoon roasting sweet potatoes, making quinoa, chicken and a cilantro dressing.  At least I am done now, 4 lunches are sitting in the fridge ready for the week (I treat myself on Fridays and go out to lunch).  Now in the morning I can just grab and go.  I think I like cooking almost as much as I like knitting.

Last week I put buttons on my Summer Dawn cardigan and it looks amazing.  I think I knit it just a little big, but I like larger sized sweaters, I just feel more comfortable and able to move, but I am really happy with how it turned out.  I will defiantly be wearing this a lot this summer, the sleeves are perfect length for cool summer nights or lots of A/C.

Summer Dawn cardigan front
Summer Dawn cardigan front
Summer Dawn cardigan back
Summer Dawn cardigan back

I also finished the Ripple Hat by Melissa Wehrle in Weekend Knits by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre.  It looks very cute.  The ripples on the hat are put on after the hat is finished and blocked, you just go back and sew the two ridges together.  That little step took me about an hour yesterday morning over a cup of coffee and was well worth it. I just randomly sewed the ridges together.

Ripple Hat
Ripple Hat

I also just last night finished the Adirondack shawl by Sarah Punderson.  I started it about 2 weeks ago. The yarn is called Kona Superwash, and that is all that is on the label other than the yardage and fiber content.  I is 100% super wash Merino and I purchased it at Woven Art in East Lansing, Michigan.  Hubs is a Michigan State Alum, so every year we visit his family and go to the campus, he wanders around campus and I go to Woven Art.  A good time is had by all.  The scarf is blocking now and while I was laying out to block I noticed something I need to fix so I will have pictures for you next time.  I really liked this pattern, its almost all garter stitch with stockinette stitch wedges.  It has some short rows so the shawl naturally curves.  Its like the shawl fans out.  The yarn is super soft and light and so is the pattern so I think this may also get some wear this summer on cool summer nights or lots of A/C.

Do you have any summer knitting projects that you can’t wait to wear this season?

Well that is all I have for tonight, now its time to cook again. Skillet nachos! YUM!

I will talk to you all soon and happy knitting!

-Alexis

My Own Private LYS & A Finished Cardigan

Hello Everyone!

I am finally finished with the Summer Dawn Cardigan, it is now blocking on the floor in my office and waiting for buttons.  I promise to have pictures up as soon as the buttons are on.  I am so happy with how it turned  out.  That lace pattern while seemingly simple is still just a little bit complicated.  More in the way that you really have to make sure you are not going to drop any stitches, as it is a very visible lace pattern.  Any mistakes are flubs cannot be covered up or made to look intentional, so there was some pressure there.

When I began knitting this cardigan, I had the intention of making it long sleeves and I had enough yarn but when it came time to put sleeves on I had this much yarn left.   So I made them elbow length,  I even made them shorter than the pattern intended.  That was my design, the pattern called for 35 rows of rib stitch at the end of the sleeves, I only knit 10 rows.  The sleeves go to just my elbows, if I had knit all 35 rows, it would be mid elbow when I bent my arm and I really don’t like how that feels.  I’m weird, but I like my elbows all covered up or bare.  Well, I still have yarn left, but I didn’t want to push it and play yarn chicken so I didn’t and I’m happy with the sweater and the length of the sleeves.

When I started the Summer Dawn Cardigan, I decided to de-stash and clean out my yarn drawers to make room for the bags of yarn sitting in the corner of my closet.  Yarn I had purchased MDSW and Rhinebeck and other places between and since.  I just have no room for it.  So I decided, I got the yarn for the Summer Dawn from the bottom drawer of one of my yarn drawers.  I have a filing cabinet and one of those plastic 3 drawer things and a basket for my yarn.  Since I got this yarn on the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet, I would get the yarn for my next project from the top drawer and so on.  So, yesterday, I went stash diving in the top drawer of the filing cabinet and came out with 3 skeins of Classic Elite Inca Alpaca in this pretty orange.  The 3 skeins equaled 327 yards, I decided to make the Ripple Hat by Melissa Wehrle as featured in Weekend Hats by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre.  This hat went so quick, I am actually almost done. I may even finish tonight!  So I just went stash diving in the bottom drawer of the plastic drawers. I’m not sure what I am going to make but this de-stashing is fun.  I am finding yarn I do not remember buying and forgot I had.  Its like my own private LYS in my house.

Well, that is about it for me.  I am enjoying this beautiful spring day, I went for a run this morning and it is supposed to be nice all week.  But it is April in Oklahoma so as much as I want to start my spring planting, I think we still have a few freezes and tornados before its safe to do so.

I will talk to you all soon and happy knitting!

-Alexis

First Day of Spring

Hello Everyone,

Today is the first day of Spring, although it really does not feel like it, there is a brisk cool breeze.  After almost 3 weeks of 70 and 80 degree weather the high for the last 3 days has been in the 50’s.  Good thing I am knitting a sweater, I might actually even get to wear it this year.  Although I kind of hope not.  As much as I love that sweater, I am really starting to look forward to warm weather, light flawy clothes and gardening.

Speaking of sweater, I am still working on the Summer Dawn cardigan.  That little blurp that I had that I mentioned last time, turned into a full scale surgery.  I took a second then third look at the lace pattern and saw that the pattern itself was completely off horribly wonky.  I ended up taking the sweater out past the blurp and now its fabulous.  I am working my way to the hem of the cardigan and I must say, I do love the way it is turning out.  From the fiery orange look of the yarn while it was still a skein, I was actually afraid the color would be much to bright, but really, it is not.  The color of the fabric is this beautiful sunset orange, yellow, pink and red.  It really does remind me more of a sunset than a dawn.

While I sill may be knitting the Summer Dawn cardigan, I just finished reading Clara Parkes new book Knitlandia.  I LOVED this book.  I have been a fan of Clara Parkes KnittersReview.com since I began reading it in 2009 and I own all of her other books.  Her attention to deal and illustrative descriptions of yarn and wool are nothing short of compelling.  Knitlandia is her tales of traveling the world with the rest of the knitting community to Knitting conventions and retreats as well as wool festivals.  Some of these festivals I already have been to myself, the others I felt like I was there just from her descriptions.   So if you haven’t read this book yet, you must! Immediately!

Ok, It almost time for dinner so I am leaving you now. I will talk to you all soon.

Happy first day of Spring.

-Alexis