Stitchy’s Dusty Old Blog

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 11 COMMENTS

Signup deadline is Sunday, October 9th, at midnight.

It’s getting to be that time of year again, when a knitter’s thoughts turn to folly and festivals. And you know what that means, right?

Rhinebeck Bingo!!

That’s right, folks, it’s the best excuse yet to hug perfect strangers at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. We’ve been playing for a few years now and I think it might be becoming something of a tradition. It’s a great way to put a face to the bloggers and Ravelers you’ve been following and befriending in virtual space, now it’s time to hook up in meat space!

There are three ways to join the fun; you can be a player, a square on the card, or both*. Players are not required to have blogs or Ravelry accounts, but you must have one of the two to be a square on the card. There will NOT be separate cards for Saturday Only and Sunday Only players. That was just way too confusing and one of my eyes twitched for almost two weeks after trying to make that work. It really unnerved the cats.

The names of participants will be randomly placed onto the bingo cards. Players will be sent a card electronically at least a week before the festival so you can scope your targets out beforehand. Hopefully they’ll offer hints about how to identify them. Just print it out, take it with you to Rhinebeck and let the games begin! It’s a guaranteed good time as you seek out the bloggers on your card.

Everyone participating will be entered to win something cool from an array of fabulous prizes. If you’d like to donate a prize, please let me know! I’ll be creating a list of prize donors soon. Dudes, people are donating some amazing stuff.

I will also be making 2.25″ buttons for everyone so you can easily identify fellow bingo buddies. If you still have yours from years past, you can use that one again if you prefer. You’ll be able to pick the up at RedMaple Sportswear, your Official Rhinebeck Bingo Headquarters. I will add their booth number when I have it. Or just look for the disco ball. They will also be giving all bingo participants a Buy One/Get One Free coupon on their organic cotton socks. They’ll have a list of participants in their booth, so see David or Mel for your coupon!

Keep an eye out for info about meet-ups as well as a growing list of participants and prize donors. I’ll post any updates on the Ravelry group as well.

*Everyone will get a card, even if they sign up as “just a square”. That way, if you change your mind, you’ll have one. And I don’t have to keep a third list, leaving me less room to screw something up. Win-win!

T-shirts and hoodies are available! They use the original designs that I commissioned from Franklin Habit back when I first started the game in 2006, I believe. They are SO cute. It was really nice to see them again. Franklin and I will be splitting the proceeds, but I tried to keep the prices as low as I could.

Please be aware that the design contains a white background, so that will show if you choose a colored shirt. I tried to make tote bags, but it wouldn’t let me do it using the type of image file I have. I need to do some investigating.


If you’d like to enter, here is the email address: rhinebeckbingo at gmail dot com
(take that, spambots! No bingo for you!)

So, send me an email with:

-your name (no last name necessary. If you provide it, I won’t post it)
-preferred email address (I know, this seems extraneous, but I hate digging around in the header of the email. I’m lazy. Whaddaya gonna do?)
-Ravelry name (if you have one)
-blog name and address (if you have one).

I will keep a list of players and squares here. I’ll update every couple of days, so check back often to see who’s playing!

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 1 COMMENT

It’s almost here! Sock Summit 2011 is nearly here! I and my lovely compatriot, Caro of Splityarn, will be sharing a booth in the marketplace and I can’t even tell you how excited I am. We’re in Booth #518, you can see the entire list of vendors here. I have been basically working and sewing and that’s it for the last month. It’s been like a sweatshop in my place. There was a work slowdown in the middle when I was threatening to unionize, but I hired some anti-union thugs to beat some sense into myself. Since then, production has stepped up considerably.

Chi Chi even pitched in. Cat hair doesn’t put itself on all of my stuff.

And Dot helped me manage my To Do list. It’s weird how many treats I had to buy to get ready for this show.

Caro and I are leaving tomorrow so we can set up our booth and get ready for a crazy few days of meetin’ and greetin’ and sellin’. Hopefuly loads and loads of sellin’.

Here are somephotos of some of the stuff I’ll be bringing. Whatever I don’t sell will be added to my Etsy shop in August. A quick note about my shop, I will be closing it tonight and it won’t be back up until mid-August sometime. I’m adjusting some prices and the cost of the bags will be going up when I re-open, so if you want something in there, you might want to grab it now. It’s been a while since I’ve tweaked the pricing, but I think it’s time.

Here is a sampling of some of the new stuff. I think you’ll like it as much as I do!! (these photos were taken before I added the drawstrings)

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 1 COMMENT

***Warning – this is really long, but I promise, there are a lot of good links in here!***

It’s gearing up to be a wildly fun and productive summer! Spring has already lit a fire under my butt. I’m like Wile E. Coyote strapping himself to a bright red rocket and getting ready to blast off into the great unknown. Must. Go. Fast! I guess that makes the fiber community the Roadrunner? Not really sure how that all works out. Does Acme even make yarn?

First, I am so excited! Wonder Mike over at Fiber Beat interviewed Caro and I at TNNA Winter in Long Beach and it’s live, so go listen! Mike did an amazing job editing the interview and adding just the perfect songs and musical interludes. I want him to follow me around all the time from now on so he can make me sound articulate and not-at-all-like-a-dumbass. Thank you, Mike, you are a Master Podcaster!

Last week, I went to TNNA in Ohio with Caro (Splityarn), Amy (StashKnitRepeat) and Pam (FlintKnits) and it was such a great trip. I also got to spend some quality time with Jenn (Nipperknits), Elinor (ExcerciseBeforeKnitting), Miriam (MimKnits) and a whole host of other people. It really was the most amazing array of people you could imagine. I’ve been knitting and blogging since 2004. You guys, it’s 2011! That’s . . . ermmm . . . a number of years. A whole bunch of them. And it’s been amazing to watch my fellow fiber enthusists change and grow over those years.

(I’m going to do a big name/link drop at the end of this post and hopefully I won’t forget too many people. I always forget people, but if we met and laughed and possibly hugged, chime in to remind me because I’m really bad at remembering things.)

You couldn’t ask for a group of more brilliant and talented people to spend time with. I’m always amazed at the brain power we have managed to capture in this community. Luckily, we have decided to use that power for good, otherwise we’d be flying around in an intricately cabled cashmere Death Star. Take that, Rebel Alliance! Did you feel that disturbance? Yeah, that was us tangling up Alderaan with our sonacrylic ray beam. What are you gonna to do about it, huh? Bring it.

Festivals like Rhinebeck or NHSW are great for meeting and reconnecting with friends, spending the mortgage on yarn and generally relaxing among pals. Unlike those events, TNNA is an industry convention. That means people are there to buy and sell for retail shops, to network, to make contacts, to get business done. I can’t even tell you how invigorating it is to be able to consider knitting my “business”. I’m trying to figure out a way to make it pay the bills and software is still my primary business, but I’m really do lucky to be part of this industry. When I was a kid, my dad used to go to conventions for his work, but I’m pretty sure there wasn’t nearly as much hugging and squeeing at the industrial brush convention. I could be wrong, I’m just assuming.

I knew it was going to be an amazing time when it began with a Designers Dinner hosted by the lovely Marly of Yarn Thing. It was one of those times when you look around at the other guests and think “How the hell did I manage to get invited to this?” The room was packed with people I’ve admired for ages and I considered myself a fangirl. And now I was there as a peer. Weird. And awesome!

Also? We all got freakishly good swag bags brimming with amazing things that Andi at Knit Brit has actually listed out and is giving away in a contest. And Namaste bags! I know!!! There were all kinds and colors, deals and trades were being made and everyone left with a glow that can only be had by cradling a new Namaste bag. I got the lime green Bitty Bag, which is just the right size for me. I lurve it.

Here are some of the highlights in no particular order because the whole thing is one big blur. (those of you who remember Romper Room, this is the part where I check you out through the Magic Mirror)

First off, I got to meet Bonne Marie Burns! She and Marnie MacLean are the two people single-handedly responsible for getting me interested in knitting in the first place. Their designs and blogs captured me immediately. I was truly star struck and Bonne Marie was just as sweet and funny and savvy as I had hoped she would be.

We magnanimously shared our flight from and to (well, I took a later flight home in exchange for a voucher) Boston with Clara Parkes (Knitters Review), who totally cracks me up all the time. Hob-nobbed with Carol Sulkosci (GoKnitInYourHat) – I love me some Carol. She’s wicked in the best way possible. We got caught up on Shannon Okey’s (Knitgrrl) continuing plans for world domination. We think she’s really on to something good with her new publishing venture. After years of following her online, I finally got to meet Jessica from Rose-Kim Knits! She’s been making Thursdays better for a helluva long time.

Amy Detjen is always a delight to run into, her smile is infectious and I can’t wait to have cocktails with her in September at The Creative Connection! (It will happen, Amy. Oh yes. It will.) And continuing with the contagiously delightful, Amy Singer (Knitty) was there and though I’ve met her briefly before, we actually got to hang out at the Columbus Airport for a long while and it was really great. We also enjoyed the company of Chris Bylsma, who I am now in love with. That woman is sass on a silver platter.

The winner of the “Blew My Mind” award goes to Alisdair (Fallingblox Designs), a fellow Common Cod Fiber Guild member, who is coming out with a book called Extreme Double-Knitting in the next few months and it’s stunning. Stun. Ning. He’s doing the book with Cooperative Press and they had pieces from the book there. I cannot wait to get my paws on this book. I’ve been wanting to try double-knitting for a while and this is just the thing to get me doing it. Very exciting! (Alisdair was also hanging out with us at the airport, it was quite a knitting group we amassed there.)

I met a whack of amazing people for the first time, including Andi (KnitBrit) – who I ran into every 5 seconds and was happy about it every single time, Mercedes (Kitchen Sink Dyeworks) who dyes amazing yarn in bold, bright colors, and Daniel Yuhas, a soon-to-be published designer with a website called Molting Yeti – I love this guy!

I was also super excited to meet Heather from Army of Knitters. Her designs make my heart go pitter-pat in a big way. She then introduced us to Ragga (Knitting Iceland), who does knitting tours of Iceland! This makes me love Heather even more because Ragga is also darling and does knitting tours of Iceland! We are totally going to go on a knitting tour of Iceland. I can’t wait!

We literally chased down Linda Permann (LindaMade) to check out her gorgeous crocheted sweater, which turned out to be called Peanut Butter! It is now on my To Do List. (hope we didn’t scare Linda with our lion/gazelle technique.)

We fondled lots of good yarn in brilliant colors. Alisha (Alisha Goes Around) is a firecracker to the tenth power and I can’t wait to use the super-soft superwash BFL in Charcoal she gave me to create my first actual clothing design that doesn’t use beer cans. Then I fell head over heels for Merri Fromm from Blue Sky Alpacas. She totally gets our retro asthetic, was so sweet and charming and she gave us a bunch of amazing yarn to play with! I’m working on a bag design using some of their seriously chunky wool/alpaca. I swatched it and it’s 3 stitches to the inch using 10.5 needles. Boo-ya!

Speaking of needles, the lovely and generous ladies at HiyaHiya gave me a bunch of needles and crochet hooks, including the thinnest knitting needles I’ve ever seen. At 1.2mm, they’re so delicate and the cable join is so smooth, I can’t wait to try out something special with that cobweb cashmere I’ve been squirreling away.

Whew, I think that’s a pretty good rundown. It’s impossible to list everyone. Just know that the future of the fiber industry looks very bright. So much passion and talent and know-how. From the folks at Ravelry to yarn shop owners to indie yarn dyers and designers, our fiber world is a force to be reckoned with and with so much momentum, I think the next few years are going to be really interesting. I forsee a lot of changes and innovation coming that will benefit us all. It’s a good time to love yarn!

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants ADD COMMENTS

*Don’t worry, your calendar isn’t broken! I’m migrating some old posts from my Museum of Kitschy Stitches blog to this one as part of a reorganization scheme.*

Are you in New England? Need more yarn. Of course you do!

Join the first annual Great Rhody Yarn Crawl this weekend for an amazing list of yarn shops, prizes, vendors, and even a good cause! Crawlers will earn an extra raffle ticket for each shop’s raffle by making a donation to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Donation boxes will be located at each stop of the yarn crawl.

You can find their Ravelry group.

I’ll be one of the vendors and will have the books for sale, as well as the trunk show in hand. I will also be selling some of my wares, including drawstring project bags (I just made some that are 14”x14”, they’re perfect for sweaters on the go).

Unfortunately Caro can’t make it, but I did make her sign some books in advance, so she’ll be there in Sharpie.

The vendors will be in the Slater Mill Museum, an old textile mill with all kinds of cool old machinery to look at. I am also considering bringing my brand new toy – a circular sock machine!

See you there, it’s going to be amazing. The organizers, Traci and Chrystee, have gone above and beyond to create something really special. Don’t miss out!

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 14 COMMENTS

In light of recent life events, I decided a makeover was in order. My skills at applying makeup typically leave me with the choice of any of these delightfully horrific looks.

So I scrapped the idea of working on my facial region and went to IKEA. Any place you can buy a sofa and some meatballs is A-OK with me! I went a little bananas because it’s the first time I’ve actually “decorated” and it was a blast. I did pretty well staying within my budget, too. Yay, me!

I don’t have any “before” pictures, but the living room was Cottage White, a couple of random curtains on random windows, and the biggest, ugliest couch you’ve ever seen. We actually bought it 6 or so years ago, when I was pregnant that last time. While at the furniture store, I imagined an entirely different life lived on that couch. But it didn’t happen and frankly, it was really cathartic to get rid of it. My brother helped me saw it into pieces because it was too big to carry out whole. It’s still waiting to be thrown off my back porch, so there’s still fun to be had with it. I love pitching stuff out of the third-story window, it’s as much fun as you’d think it would be. Heavy stuff makes a very satisfying ~thud~ on the dirt yard below.

But here it is now, all chic and clean with French Silver walls and bright white trim. And expertly modeled by Dot, my very own little Vannah White.

The image in the giant frame is one of those big-eyed girl “paintings” from the 60s or 70s. It’s called “Ingrid” or “Inga” or somesuch, but to me, she looks like Bjork in a pink headband and fuzzy sweater. I cut out an oval mat from black foam core and then glued pink rik-rajk around the edge for extra fanciness. It’s ridiculous and girly. The polka dotted Fatboy beanbag chair is going to be replaced with this Marimekko one with red poppies soon. It’s comfy and my niece and nephew love it. So does my brother, so he’s getting the polka-dotted one. He’s always been a bean bag guy.

You can see the new chandelier in this photo. I thought it was very Audrey Hepburn. Or a very stylish hat. Maybe a stylish hat for Audrey Hepburn.

I also created a new reading nook. My apartment is set up in a really weird way. There’s a big central room with doors all around leading to the front hall, my bedroom, sewing room, living room, office and the hallway to the kitchen. It’s the largest room in the place, but also the most useless because every wall has at least one door. There’s not much wall space, no windows and it’s just kind of awkward. But my friend Victor helped me visualize a way to make at least part of the space useful. I love it to pieces and often just relax in silence on my faux knitted couch (it’s printed with a knit pattern!)

It features my other lovely model, Chloe – the Cindy Crawford of the house.

That shelf is full of knitting and craft books and magazines. The fabric on the wall is a vintage piece called “Forest Friends”, you can see details of it here. It’s totally cute. And the embroidered bird is one I made a few years ago. It’s a 1970s pattern that my mom actually made for our house when I was a kid. His name is Mortimer and amazingly, I found the exact same kit on eBay, so I had to get it.

I also repainted my office a bright aqua color and hung some vinyl bird decals and groovy records from the 50s and 60s on the wall. I tried to photograph it, but I couldn’t quite catch the light right, so I’ll have to try again later.

I’m on kind of a bird kick with this redecoration, so my mom got in on the action. Check out this amazing quilt she made for me! She didn’t know how to applique, but taught herself to do it so she could make this for me. I’m crazy about the way she made their eyes and legs different. Her attention to detail is a Thing of Wonder. My momma loves me, and I love her. I’m so glad I got her crafty genes.

Now the trick is to keep it away from Dot. After I use it, I always put it back in the zippered bag it came in. Victor came up with a good plan for it. He’s going to help me hang a clothesline on the wall to hang it on when not in use. And he suggested pairing it with these bird clothespins for cuteness sake. The guy is good, I tell ya’.

So that’s my newly improved pad. It’s nice to have it decorated in a way that always makes me smile. I’m trying to be good about not going overboard, so I’m going to make more things for the walls to save money and personalize it even further. I think the sewing room and kitchen will be next. They mostly need organization, but we’ll see what IKEA has to say about that.