Happy New Year! This is the time when all of us bloggers and social media folks get together to blast our resolutions all over the interwebs. I’ve been excited about this because I know once I put it out there…. I will have to be held accountable.
So here are my NYResolutions….

Resolution 1- 14 in 2014.
You may have heard about this, but I’m combining it. Originally, the goal is to spin 14 pounds of fiber in 2014. I don’t own 14 pounds of fiber and since I’m trying to not buy things (see Resolution 2) I’ve decided to combine spinning with knitting (but will not double count what I spin then knit). So I will spin and or knit 14 pounds of fiber in 2014.

Resolution 2 – Yarn Diet-ish
I wont be buying yarn (with the exclusion of my HH Fibres Club) until June. I really do need to knit from stash.

Resolution 3 – At Least 1 Pair a Month
I am participating in the Stockinette Zombies SS KAL again, and also Great Lakes Hand Dyes’ year of socks KAL. I will knit at least 1 pair of socks a month and try to use a new dyer every month.

Resolution 4 – Finish Business Plan
While I feel like I’m at a crux of business vrs. house, I am going to push forward with the business plan because I believe my idea is solid. I also believe that if I ran a kickstarter or indiegogo I’d stand a good chance of having it partially funded.

Resolution 5 – Be happier.
This is something I do every year, and it is something (for the most part) I accomplish. I’ve lost a lot of friends to untimely deaths and this is the time of the year I really reflect on how I need to honor their memories by living life. I try to do something every day that puts a smile on my face…..knitting, spinning, VKNing, listening to Green Day, or even just reading some Emily D poems. I strongly urge you to consider adding this to your resolutions, or maybe just having this be your only one. Find happiness in small things and watch your life improve!

If you’re wondering how the book is coming…. it’s coming. I have all but 1 photo finished (Thanks to the super awesome Niki) and am now re-formatting patterns to create an e-book.

Things are going well for me and I hope they are going well for you!
Oh, I almost forgot…. I was talked into joining instagram. You can find me on there as 716knit.

Happy New Year and may your yarns keep you warm!

Back in June I decided to move forward with designing. In July, I decided to do a book. Well, I am in the final test knitting stages and cannot express how exciting (and overwhelming) it is. I am hoping to have my amazing friend, Niki, help me with the photography of the finished pieces. I am just pumped.

I have been dyeing like a fiend, which is difficult when you work a full time job. The weather has also not been too cooperative. We are going to have an early fall and it doesn’t bother me one bit. Fall is my favorite time of the year. My yarn doesn’t dry as fast, but there is just something in the air that makes line dried yarn smell even better.

I have a new base in the line-up and it will be making its grand appearance at Emory Park (The WNY Fiber Arts Festival). 716glitz. It’s a luxurious blend of superwash merino, silk, nylon, and sparkly poly fiber. It’s also a generous 420 yards which could make a wonderful shawl or lush pair of socks! Here is a little sample….

716glitz in "The Girl Makes Godot Look Punctual"

716glitz in “The Girl Makes Godot Look Punctual”

I am also taking park of the the 2013 Stephen West Mystery Knit-a-long. I have no idea where it is going, but I’m committing. I’m using MadTosh Feather, which may be my new favorite MadTosh base EVER, and a skein of 716solo. Like every MKAL I do with WestKnits, you’ll be able to see this shawl from space with how bright it is.

Color Craving Color Choices

Color Craving Color Choices

Recently went to Pittsburgh to help out with the Knit The Bridge Project. Unfortunately I was limited to what I was able to do…which means nothing….so I yarn bombed a near by tree with some “Role Playing Rejects” sock yarn. 716 representing in the Burgh. I had a blast and went to Natural Stitches and KnitOne. At Natural Stitches I was able to try out the new Addi Sock Rockets. Now, I have mixed feelings on Addi’s. I loved my first pair, but I also cut the crap out of my fingers whenever I use them. The Sock Rockets are sharp, but not Lace-Turbo sharp. They are perfect. I have yet to cut myself and have made 3 pairs of socks. I’m in love. I highly recommend the Addi Sock Rockets if you enjoy Magic Loop.

Sock Rockets

Sock Rockets

Finally, I will leave you with a photo of Mack modeling one of my new designs.
It should make your day a bit brighter.

Mack.  The Reluctant Model.

Mack.
The Reluctant Model.

I am the worst blogger. I apologize.

Here is a quick recap of life, business, and knitting!

I finally got a full time job! Yea! Now, I know what you’re thinking and don’t worry… I will keep 716knit around. I am hoping within the next month or two to get a solid dye schedule down so I will regular updates.

I recently came back from Rochester, MN where I vended and attended the Stockinette Zombie’s Knitpocalypse. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I met amazing people face-to-face and felt like a rock star! I did well and fell in love with a collage from a local artist. Yep….collage….not yarn. So I spent more money on original art work than yarn and fiber! If you know me, you are more than likely laughing right now. I had a blast. I really can’t put into words how special that experience was. I only hope I have the opportunity to go again next year!

The Zombies!

On the crafting front I am continuing to design for what I hope will be a future pattern book. It is Tour de Fleece right now, so I am a spinning fiend. I never considered my spinning good. I’m self taught on the wheel and I figured my yarn was sloppy and inconsistent. I realized handspun yarn will never have the same properties as commercial yarn. My handspun is actually pretty well done. I’ve gained new confidence with my wheel. Since the start, I have spun 3 bumps of fiber. Falkland, SW Merino, and Shetland. All from 3 different dyers. I just ordered a bunch of stuff too. Silk hankies, and a few blends I haven’t tried. My VKN (virtual knit night) friends encouraged me to join. They explained that it was not as involved as I thought it was. I can set a goal and just try to meet it. I can do that! My goal is to spin 15 minutes every other day (and I’ve done every day except yesterday so I’m on track!) and spin something different every time, for as long as my stash can support it. Next up will be Punta top from Pigeonroof Studios. I can’t wait!

Pigeonroof Studios SW Merino in Passionfruit

Pigeonroof Studios SW Merino in Passionfruit

JulieSpins Falkland Top

JulieSpins Falkland Top

Shetland from Friday's Studio

Shetland from Friday’s Studio

I currently designing a sock in honor of my Frammie. I’m liking it a lot so far. Every now and then, while I’m knitting, I think about how proud she would be of my crafting and I pause to just dwell on it. I’m not sad, granted I miss her, but I feel a little robbed of an opportunity. However, I know I am blessed to have  many wonderful years and memories with her, and I am so fortunate for that.

I am off to finishing dyeing the final club installment for the 716knit Serenity Sock Club…. it should be epic!!!

Knit on!

 

Unfortunately I am not a Ryan Gosling fan. I’m indifferent. However I do swoon over the “Hey Girl” memes the knitting community has thrown him in and this recent article does make him sort of cool in my book now. 

Things have been a little crazy in my world. Lots of knitting stuff going on, which is never a bad thing. Mom is doing much better, which is great.  The first Firefly Sock club shipment went out and I think it was very well received. I was so nervous doing a club. I love what I love and I know not everyone loves what I love. The first colorway was really special to me, so I am thrilled people loved it. I am so moved by colors sometimes and I forget that other people can be like me and have these connections.

I am currently working a new pattern with the yarn. For this month’s club knitting challenge, you need to make something with leaves or a leaf in it. The sock I’m working on will have a leaf panel. It’s coming along very nicely. Here are some toes…

 

Yea… I just started, but they are going to rock.  The yarn seems to warm my hands as I am working and the colorway is coming out so wonderful. It is not as dark as the photo, but it does have this odd garden quality to the colorway that I was not expecting. I saw “dusty overalls” while I was dyeing…but now it’s transforming into something else that is amazing…

I have this idea for a pattern book… I think it’s solid…. but shhhhh, it’s still in the works.

I did a presentation at the Blo Knitting Guild recently…. a crash course on Ravelry. The Guild’s Rav group has increased by at least 30 new people, so I consider that an epic success!

So aside from dyeing, clubbing, and designing, I am working on expanding my vending empire. I will be at the Stockinette Zombies Knitpocalypse Knitting Retreat in June. COLOR ME SUPER PUMPED!!!! I need to seriously yarn on for this. If you aren’t familiar with the SZ’s podcast, check them out. They are two awesome chicas from Rochester, Minnesota.

And now for the reason I was planning on blogging….. silly Goose article got me all a’ fluttered this morning.

When you knit your hands get dry. You need to moisturize!  As of Christmas I have come to the realization that outside of a LYS, LUSH  should be a knitter’s favorite store. I’ve purchased a few kits and received some LUSH gifts and they directly impact my yarning in a positive way! I wanted to share some of the products I am so in love with, in hopes that they will also help you out and find a spot in your knitting bag.  *Please note, I am not getting paid or receiving kick backs for this stuff…. I’m just a huge LUSH groupie, and with good reason for how awesome their products are.*

HANDS!!It is so important to keep these nice and moisturized. You don’t want tough hands that could snag delicate yarn and I find the drier my hands are, the easier it is to impale my fingers with my Sig stiletto points.

Tiny Hands: This solid lotion bar is amazing. You can purchase a metal carrying tin for it to slip into your bag.

Rub it between your hands and them massage in. It is not greasy or slick, just perfectly refreshing. I keep this in my room so if I am typing, knitting, reading, or do anything else, it’s within arms reach. It’s great because you don’t need to worry about unscrewing on a lid, then re-screwing it back on while you still have product on your hands.

Lemony Flutter cuticle cream….. it is not just for your cuticles. My right index finger, at the first knuckle, is always dry. Why? It’s where my yarn rests and moves when I knit. It is constantly experiencing friction. This cream is thick and heavenly….bonus, it smells like a scrumptious lemon bar. I carry a small sample sized jar in my knitting bag with me. This is by far my favorite hand product from Lush.

 

Handy Gurugu: This is HEAVY. When using this, I recommend you really rub your hands together before picking up the needles, because they may slip right out of your hands. If you have serious problems during the winter months with your hands, this is the hand cream for you. Heavy. Duty.

 

Karma Kream – while mainly known for being a body lotion, this was one of the first Lush products I ever owned. It’s awesome. It is thick, rich, and leaves your skin feeling supple and soft. It comes in a large jar, but you can scoop out little portions and put into sample jars for your knitting bags. Handy!

And a bonus product I just have to mention……

T for Toes: As an avid sock knitter, I know that wool socks + hours of wear can equally smelly feet and shoes. But I still wanna wear my socks!!! T for Toes is fabulous. I bought it upon recommendation from a sales clerk, trying to get my Mary Janes to smell a bit fresher. Sprinkle this on your feet, inside your socks before you put them on, and or sprinkle it into your shoes and it smells amazing!!! It blows my mind how well this worked. Within 4 or 5 days my shoes smelled like zesty limes not…well…. icky stuff. And this is a natural product, so it wont eat away at the fibers in your sock or do any damage to the dye.

 

 

There you have it…. essential LUSH products I think every knitter should invest it.

I am off to finish working on the cowl pattern I created for the Guild’s February Stash Busting Classes (There is still room in my class… if you’d like to sign up please contact me)

Here is a sneak peak…… I’m currently working on the medium sample size…. the large may not happen because I don’t have enough scrap yarn….yikes!

Well, let me tell you…. yarn is involved 95% of the time. Ask my friends and family…. my knitting is always with me.

Recently my bestie, his lovely lady, and some other friends wanted to go to the Corning Museums open house holiday weekend event. Of course I wanted to get in on this. So last weekend I drove out to good ol’ Rochacha, picked the kiddos up, then trekked out to Corning. We had a blast. I really wanted to make a snowman. And by really wanted, I mean I was prepared to throw down with small children to secure a snowman spot. It didn’t happen. It wasn’t even an ornament option. I was a little heart broken but then we decided to do glass fusion if we couldn’t blow glass. I made my snowman….and what a snowman he is…

My snowman with a green scarf!

After the museum, which was tons of fun, we ventured into Corning. The small town just happened to be having a holiday street festival that night. It was great!!! There were alpacas and just really fun, festive, family things to do.

 

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I got a ton of great store front ideas from this little street. (Not that I currently have a store front to decorate, but future planning.) I loved this one and figured incorporating yarn would be so easy!

In other exciting news, I am keeping up with WestKnits ChoreoKAL and maintaining respectful Xmas knitting speed. Mack is modeling my latest KAL project, “In Defense of Tights.”

Mack was really excited about this. Yep, that was sarcasm. He prefers to model shawls instead of wrist warmers.

Also if you may recall, an I may have deleted this post, I participated in the Albright Knox’s 150 year art installation.  It was some time in July and they held a special reception last night for participants to see the work and speak with the artists. It was amazing. My piece made the front page of the pamphlet and is in the beginning of the work (if you consider the beginning to be where title and info is located). I was able speak with both Eric  and Heather and get my picture with each of them! It is really exciting to know whenever I go to the Knox, I’m part of an installation there. I will always be part of this amazing cultural and art space.

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The grey duck/fortune cookie one with mine…with a pop of hot pink and neon green…. it’s perfect. I suggest you go check it out! It is really awe inspiring to see that 150 people were brought together by this one piece about a love of art and Buffalo.

I launched my first sock club to an uproar of positive support. Thank you kindly everyone! I am very excited about it!!!

One more lovely photo before I sign off…. my very dear friend the Drunken Homemaker, made me the coolest project bag ever. She asked me an old t-shirt. I’ve had this Green Day t-shirt for years. I think I got it at the Pop Disaster Tour. I loved it dearly but it was spotted with acrylic paint. She whipped into this awesome sock bag!! If you’re looking for a nice X-mas gift, I suggest you go check out her blog & contact her.

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I hope everyone is kicking ass on their holiday knitting. If you will be in the Buffalo Area tomorrow I encourage you to check out the Queen City Market! It will be a blast! There is more info on the homepage of my website…. 716knit

 

It’s been about a month since my last post…well, I have been busy. (But I could have blogged)

Today concludes my birthday week which has been wonderful for the most part. The beginning of the week really started out like the typical birthday week…. I refer to my birthdays as “Buffy Birthdays” and it is not because I get to watch Buffy. I often don’t. It is due to the reoccurring theme of accidents, deaths, and terrible crap happening around the time of my birthday. This year I got lucky on my birthday…. the day was filled with good things! Yea!! My bestie and his lovely lady friend came and gave me this AH-MAZING Lush gift set. (I think I need to thank Lush this year for rocking my birthday….) and we went to my fav breakfast spot in Lewiston.

Rosa made me the most amazing mitts!!! She took Kate Atherly’s “MY Vampire Boyfriend” and flipped the pattern so I can make them toe-up (AWESOME SAUCE!) and gave me the mitts she modified from the pattern. I love them!
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I did buy some yarn for my birthday…. MarigoldJen’s DK MCN in the “Scorpio” colorway. I plan to make it a honey cowl.

 

ImageVendor Night at the Guild was amazing. If you came out to support local artists (and not so local) a very big thank you to you. My kits were well received.

One of my best customers wanted me to take a photo of all the socks she has been working on this year for her Christmas gifting. This woman is amazing. Beyond her amazing life, she is a legendary knitter. Prolific with socks and sweaters. She still has a few skeins to do and just ordered two more.

 

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Some other big news on the 716front… (and no, it is not snow)… I will be starting a club.
It will be a 3 month Firefly themed sock yarn club. I’m hoping to have the clubs up for sale in December. I’m going to limit the number of slots to about 15. I don’t want to become overwhelmed and be one of those shitty dyers. I just don’t. I’ve been burned several times before by indies who bite off more than they can chew. I’d rather disappoint a few people who couldn’t get in, than disappoint people who paid and aren’t getting anything. I don’t honestly want to disappoint anyone but I’ve made the choice and accepted the fact that I will. If this club works out and works out well I will expand the number of slots for the next one.

I will be at the Shea’s Shopping Soire on Wednesday night. Please come out and support local theatre and get some holiday shopping done early with local artisans!!

I leave you with some other goodies I have been toying with….

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Reasons I love this time* of year:

1: Fall weather = optimal knitting. When in public people look at you less like a crazy person and more like a practical young person being industrious.

2: My birthday is around the corner! Bonus this year…. a sushi joint is opening up approximately 13 minutes away from my house. Yes. I did a test drive. If there is no Canadian traffic I can get there quicker.

3: cold weather makes it ok to be a home-body. I’m not anti-social, but in the 716 it is hard to “go out” and have that not mean a bar or club or chicken wing restaurant.

4: While green is my favorite color, there is something magical about seeing leaves change colors then leave skeleton trees behind. It has always amazed me.

5: HALLOWEEN!!! I love the saying, “It’s not a holiday, it’s a life style.” So true. Sing it Postmarks.

 

I’m hoping to get my knitting into high gear (and the peanut gallery may say, “When isn’t it?!”) and trying my hand at designing. I designed a cowl, and pending test knitters responses, I think it was a success. I’m currently working on a shawl designed for hand painted or gradient yarn. I just started it yesterday but it is pretty amazing.

I’ve been dying like crazy…..

This is a stock “dye” photo…. but it’s fairly accurate to what I did today… just add about 5 more skeins…..

Here is a little sneak peek of the design….

special effects make it seem more mysterious. clearly.

 

And if you haven’t heard, the lovely and wonderful ladies over at the Stockinette Zombies are having a birthday bash. I dyed up the yarn….

soooooo much yarn.

And as a thanks they included me in the celebration with a fun box of goodies. Here is Mack wearing the yarn they sent and the birthday hat. It is nice to know my dog can and will wear a silly hat…. especially with my birthday approaching.

 

Now I’m off to check on if my yarn is finally dry and then to watch the debate. Hopefully no more cherished children’s characters will dragged into this mess…. Elmo will cut a bitch and you don’t even want to know what Oscar is capable of.

Knit on!

 

 

*”this time” referring to October 10th – end of the year*

You know you are in the company of solid knitters when you are congratulated like you just finished your MBA from Harvard when in reality, Raverly now has one of your photos on their object or yarn pages.

I was lucky enough to have Caitlin French ask for the photo I posted of her pattern, Holes to Make Lace. It is knit out of Vberry’s Crested Worsted. The model, of course, is Mack. I find taking pictures of my self that are capable of hi-lighting the knitted object and myself in a flattering way are next to impossible to do. I then use the next cutest thing. Mack. So if you want a super quick and easy shawlette to knit for yourself or holiday knitting (it is nigh!!!!) I recommend this pattern. I had extra yarn so I increased the ribbing rows and did 2 rows of yarn overs then a few more ribbing rows. I also suggest you go check out V Yarn. She is a great indie dyer.

Also, there is a blog I’d like to shamelessly promote….. Live Loudly, Smile Brightly, Love Unconditionally. My good friend Niki is blogging. She’s awesome and if you are into Lolita, she is kind of a mega guru.

I’m a worthless blogger. I swear. I have great intentions then they fail.

I am going to try and actually blog about knitting, yarn, dyeing, Mack (of course), and the occasional crazy of my life from now on. From a business stand-point, blogging makes sense.

So as some of you may know…. I have spent the last 3 weeks dyeing a significantly large order for the Stockinette Zombies.  To quote Tank Girl, ” It’s been swell, but the swelling’s gone down.” I love Megan and Amy and if you have a chance, I strongly recommend their podcast. I have just come to terms that once I dye more than 50 skeins of a given colorway in a week, I have to cleanse my palate. I didn’t have time for it, between a part time job, helping my mom (note to folks getting foot surgery: if you get both feet done it will take so much longer for you to heal), and trying to do a few knit-a-longs. However, Friday the almost 30 pound box was packaged and shipped! So what did I decide to do? Yep, dye.

I had a request for a prize for Team Hellmouth, which is always an honor to be asked to do. I was sent a picture and it turned out wonderfully. I was some-what emo that dye day and had received some bad news so I was feeling down and wanted to dye something about it. So my first “bad day dye job” turned out amazing. I equated my feelings to the moment when Buffy gave up. “The Weight of the World” is a great episode.  Here is the inspiration and the finished product….

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I called the colorway, “Stay Calm.” A great Giles quote, but something I can remind myself to do when I wear it. I think this may become the Whitman Shawl by Corrina Ferguson. Yes, I understand the irony. If you know me, you know I detest Walt Whitman….. but this shawl is lovely.

And so with family about to come over and Mack pawing my leg for his supper, I shall leave you with two photos. A purchase I made in Burlington, Canada that got me in the holiday spirit and a sneak peak of what may be new from 716knit….

ImageImageif you can’t tell….those are gradients….

Yes, I know May is not over. I am calling it quits in the MadMay dash though. I exceeded my goal, so I am a tre happy knitter. My goal was to knit 5 skeins. I knit 7 skeins. Out of ToshDK I did 2 Pasha hats, a Zuzu’s Petals, and a larger version of Dragonfly Wings Shawl. (I love Boo Knits…. I think her patterns are amazing and using 2 skeins of DK for that pattern was boss!) Out of Tosh Merino Light I did a shawl as a birthday gift (yes…. i gifted tosh…remove jaw from floor) and did the Dragonfly Wings Shawl for the Great Lakes Fiber Festival. That last shawl I knit in 3 days…. it was a last minute decision and I committed. Totally worth it. I received numerous compliments on the shawl.

The Great Lakes Fiber fest was amazing. It was worth the 4.5 hour drive. I had a list and really “needed” to visit only 2 shops. Well… I did. I got everything on my list …. and then some. I got some awesome spinning fiber, yarn from Creatively Dyed (LOVE TIMES A MILLION!), yarn from Wolle’s colorchange creations, and then some other indie dyers. It was great. I got to see a Cane Corso who frequents shows with his owner, who is an indie dyer! It was great! I went with my mom and of course she found yarn that I knit up for her. She also got this amazing, hand woven, wool rug for $20!!! Seriously. It was a steal. The real highlight was on the way home. We stopped at a Panera and I saw a little kitten run across the parking lot. Of course I has to stop and try to get it. Well, it goes to hide under a car when my mom notices that there are 2 kittens under. Long story short, I was able to grab one  while the other was chased down by about 7 people through a parking lot and the landscaped patio of Panera. No kitties or people were hurt. Turns out the owner (who did come out to see why I was looking under her truck) told my mom she had driven up from Nashville (We were in Ohio at this point) and they must have snuck out of the house and under her truck. She called her house and sure enough, 2 of her 4 kittens were missing. It felt great to help those kitties and it felt even more amazing to know that I wasn’t the only stranger who was willing to help. I was amazed at how many people came to help. It’s moments like these that give me hope for the future.

Also…exciting news…. I put up my first pattern on Ravelry!! The Slayer Shawl is now available for purchase! Yeaaa!!!

And I will be doing a trunk show on June 14th (a thursday) at 6.30pm at Have Ewe Any Wool? on Main Street in Snyder. I’m very excited and will debut a new and exclusive colorway!!

I leave you with fibery goodness and lovelies.

Alpaca love

This one fell in love with me

 

cashmere goats

Mom and Alpacas

 

Yummy, yummy yarn and fiber