Friday, August 1, 2014

alpaca silk lace

I had to take a moment from my blogging 'hiatus' to share this new yarn with you guys. Back in May, I worked with Hampden Hills Alpacas to put together a truly fantastic Yarnbox shipment, using their Alpaca Silk base, which is a dk weight, ultra-luxurious alpaca and silk blend -- the members loved it! She asked if I would also like to review her newest yarn, Alpaca Silk Lace. It's almost identical to the original Alpaca Silk base, except that you get 875 yards of lace weight luxury! The skein is massive, seriously.

She sent me a hank of this beautiful new base, which launched yesterday, in her solid collection colorway, Charcoal. It has so much depth! I almost felt guilty breaking into the pretty skein without having the perfect project lined up, but I found one pretty quickly.

I decided that Aise would be absolutely beautiful in this yarn. I am all about simple, wearable pieces this winter, and have been working on a variety of accessories in neutral colors. What I love about the Charcoal color is that it's the perfect neutral with a bit of depth. It's got a bluish tint that reminds me of mixing Payne's Grey for painting classes in college.

Knitting wise, it reminds me a bit in structure of Madelinetosh Lace (the one that is two-ply) but with a super soft, slightly-haloed texture. The fabric that I knit initially on size 7 needles turned out a bit large, so I am scaling down onto 5's to get a more solid scarf fabric (I am probably going to make some modifications.) It has a wonderful hand as a finished fabric, and I am sure it will bloom slightly in the blocking process (that was my experience with the heavier Alpaca Lace.) 

Definitely check out Erica's amazing company, Hampden Hills Alpacas, at their website or follow them on Facebook. The yarn line is called Artisan Yarns. I really enjoy it when people I have built relationships with ask me to help announce the release of a new product! Thank you Erica! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Do you ever feel ambivalent about something you used to feel was so essential?

For the past few months, I have struggled with things to go into this space. I think when I created the blog, I intended it to be a personal journal, and then somewhere in the middle, I wanted to become a 'professional' blog presence -- and now I am not blogging much at all, because I am so busy doing. I am a strong believer in the phrase do what you love, and good will follow. At the moment, I am doing a lot of what I love, and I hope that more blog posts and thoughts will follow into this space.

Perhaps part of my struggle with blogging relates to who I am as a person. I am an intensely private person in many ways, especially with my inner thoughts. A blog is a sort of opposing force in that regard -- a place to put down your thoughts, a sort of public journal.

I would like to write more here about what I am thinking, what is happening, but I feel that mostly what I put down ends up being a very clinical and distant representation of what I am doing and who I am. I find it easier, actually, to write within the constructs of another brands' blog.

I think the 'cure' for this (if there is such a thing) is perhaps just to become more comfortable with who I am, and what I am doing, so I am going to take a little pressure off myself and come back to blogging as I feel like it. I want this space to really reflect who I am, and I think in order for it to do that, I need to know more about myself.

Many of you are older and wiser bloggers than myself -- and I would be very open to hearing your thoughts or feedback, through the comments or via email, if you like.

Friday, July 11, 2014

july holiday

Some of the members in the Yarnbox Ravelry group decided to set up a Christmas in July swap, of which I was happy to be a participant! I love swaps and worked really hard to send out something lovely to my partner (she should be getting it today, and then I can share details.) My partner, Nicole, sent me a bunch of amazing goodies, too! Check them out:

Gummies are a major weakness for me, so that gummy kabob vanished pretty quickly. I'd like to say that the watermelon gummies lasted longer, but I'd be a liar! At least the yarn (1 skein of Claudia, which I have never tried, 1 skein of Mimi mink yarn from Lotus, and a hank of Bertie Botts from Gnome Acres) will last a lot longer.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

stitch dsm

One of the things I love most about running a yarn store (or at least, helping to run one,) is the connection that you make with other crafters in your area -- including those who run awesome stores of their own. Stitch, a Des Moines yarn store, is about an hour away from us, so I haven't been able to stop by until now to see their cute quilt and yarn combination store.

Of course, being that I have access to so many yarns, I didn't buy yarn, but fabric, while at Stitch -- and they have a great selection of some of my favorite designers and collections. I picked up a stack of fat quarters for zippy pouches and a sheer voile, linen, and Kona cotton for a top I'd like to make this week.

Monday, July 7, 2014


I've been getting back into quilting and sewing a bit on these zippy notions pouches. After making a few my mom and I decided that in fall we'll be offering them in our yarn store, which is exciting! I spent a couple of evenings last week hunting down the best deals on bright colored zippers, wool felt and pendant beads for the pulls.

Here are a few prototypes -- I stopped by a fabric store in Des Moines and picked up even more prints in bright colors, and a few extra fabrics for another project. I have some sewing to do. I took some time to put together my little sewing space as well (with newly renovated sewing cabinet that still needs a bit of work.)

Monday, June 16, 2014

lilly brush winners!

I know it's a little later than expected, but I have finally had a chance to draw winners for the Lilly Save our Sweaters brush and the Lilly Be Forever Furless brushes! I did notice that there were some duplicate comments, so for the purpose of this drawing, any multiples are counted just as a single number entry.

The winner of the Save our Sweaters brush is #29, Alex!

And the winner of the Be Forever Furless brush is #3, Devin!

Congratulations, both of you! Send me a message via email or Ravelry to claim you prize. And a big thanks to Lilly Brush, Co., who sent these awesome prizes to give away!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

style saturday

The shop is really one of the only places where I consistently dress up during the week. Most days, you'll find me at home, glued to my desk, armed with a cool drink (or hot tea) and filtering through a jumble of emails, Ravelry posts, and scheduled projects. Usually I'll be wearing yoga pants, although lately a pair of silky, casual harem pants has been part of my uniform.

Every Saturday, I make it down to the shop and take the time to dress up that morning -- put on something I'm excited to wear. It just makes me look that much more forward to a day full of yarn, people, and knitting!