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Let's talk trash

Here it is, ladies & gents, the garbagey scarf:


Much like lettuce in a salad is nothing more than a delivery mechanism for ranch dressing, this scarf is a presentation board for my paper beads. I will be updating my "FO" section shortly with larger pictures and a couple more angles. The idea was to make it as messy looking as possible, and I think I succeeded. It's got two yarns held together for the main body, a third for the fringe, several colors of silk ribbon, and 12 beads. I was thinking of naming it "Scram!" because it reminds me of Oscar the Grouch.


Also for your viewing pleasure, here's my shadow-knit scarf for the class that may or may not have any signer-uppers:


Of all the classes I'm teaching this fall, shadow knitting was the one I most looked forward to because I have a really good spiel on how to design your own pattern and a fail-safe way to explain the formula. Unfortunately this is one of the only classes with zero takers (so far). Possibly because no one is awake enough to learn at 10am on Monday mornings.


Other items of note:

-Our American distributor is not going to carry Jaeger yarns anymore, so everything that's left of them at the Woolie Ewe is 25% off. Get it while it lasts. 1-800-460-YARN

-The new fall yarns are arriving, and there is some really great stuff. Sublime's Wool Angora is SO SOFT! and Rowan's Kidsilk Aura is not too shabby either, even to those who hate mohair because it has 25% silk. And of course let's not forget Debbie Bliss's new Luxury Tweed, which has enough angora mixed in to take away the scratchiness of the wool. 

-Last night at the Marilyn Manson concert (yeah yeah, I know) I saw some kids wearing falls in their hair that looked possibly like handspun yarn. I was thinking about making myself one to wear around the store, but I no longer own any clothes gothy enough to go with it. Eh. At the very least, I plan to have a big pink & purple thing made up in time for Lucy Neatby to come to town in '08. I'm still planning to try to convince all my coworkers to dye their hair with Manic Panic when she comes.

-Plymouth yarn company has redesigned its OH MY yarn, and the improvements are wonderful. It's still got the same UberSoft feel, but it is now made up of plies, rather than the old i-cord construction that lent itself to unraveling. If you're wondering why you can't find it in the store, it's because they're making up a whole new batch and it is definitely worth the wait.

Same ole'

Yay! My paper beads are a hit at work. I had intended for them to be stitch markers, but the shop owner thought they would make great embellishments for knitted things, so we've been coming up with some really neat new pattern ideas to show them off. I've got the first scarf knitted for them, and as soon as I get the pattern typed up I'll put it on display in the store and take some photos to upload here. I'm trying to get enough beads made to send them to some magazines & websites in time for the holiday product reviews.

I've been neglecting my spinning duties (and blogging duties... sorry) in favor of these beads for a week or two but I've got some neat ideas swimming around in my head. I'm going to dye a batt inspired by the colors of my cat Hedwig:


I think the bright white will be pretty when carded together with some gray & beige. I've actually got a couple of baggies full of her fur from when we had her shaved, and one of these days I'm going to pull out my non-bulky flyer so's I can spin it.

***Edited to add:

I am really, very sorry about this. I hate being that crazy lady who thinks people want to read about her cat on a knitting blog, but I can't resist posting this photo too. This is Hedwig's brother Steve-O and his first attempt at a submission to We'll go ahead and pretend I'm posting this for more color inspiration on my white and gray batt:



Check it out everyone, socks in progress made by Vanessa using sock yarn from my store:



When I first started selling yarns, I would always comment that I'd love to see the finished product, but I never had anyone send pictures so I eventually gave up. But now it has come to fruition, an FO made by someone else but me. Yay! I really like this pattern, too.

* For no particular reason, here is a picture I took this morning of the brand new ducklings in our pond:


Back in the saddle

I'm happy to announce that I'm back on my feet, and the first thing I did was make more of those paper beads. Many of them were made into stitch markers for sale, but a few of them I made with the intention of keeping for personal artistic use. This set was made with two-sided red & white paper, so when I tore it, mostly white showed with red fraying edges. Then some silver wire, pink micro-beads, gray powder, and a melty coating. Voila mon beads (doo doo fah fah fah faa-aah):


These next ones were so fun to make because they remind me of my angsty cheese-cloth covered paintings from post-high school & college years. I made them with inked-up gauze and regular printed text. From across the room they look like cigarette butts, but up close they have a really interesting design. They're for sale in the store:


And of course, more bingo beads. These are my favorite because I MISS PLAYING BINGO! I forced Adam to go to one session in Vegas on our honeymoon, but other than that I haven't played since I left Houston. Anyway, these are for sale over in the store too, or you get one free when you buy any of my other things:



I am SO BORED not going to work this week; being injured really stinks. I meant to post this picture the other day but this is the first time I've hobbled all the way back into the computer room. (Now that I'm in this chair, I may not be able to get back out, haha). I'm surprised I'm able to work the scanner through my vicodin-haze.

Anyway, here's a picture of my latest crafty project:

I made these beads and turned them into stitch markers using a tutorial from Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. I rolled up strips of old bingo game boards, then coated them with wire, metallic fiber & micro-beads. I was really happy with the results of my first try, and I plan to make lots more when I'm back on my feet. I'm planning to sell them, but I also might do some kind of incentive like giving one away free with store orders. Email me if you're interested at and I'll send you one with whatever you buy.

I imagine those of you reading this are saying to yourselves, "Wait a minute--that means she not only PLAYS bingo, but she saves the used sheets too?" Yes, I am a nerd. You should all know this by now.


The Woolie Ewe's fall class schedule has been posted, including quite a few that will be taught by yours truly. If you live in the Dallas/Plano area and you'd like to take one of my courses, call the 'Ewe at 1-800-460-YARN to sign up. Here are the ones being taught by me:

Full 4-week Course:
Shadow knitting (a.k.a. Illusion knitting): Follow a pattern from our book, or learn to design your own. Monday, Sept. 10, 17, 24, and Oct.1, 10am-12pm. $125 for the course, yarn & book/pattern included.

Bead knitting basics: Incorporating beads into your knitted projects. Thursday, Sept. 27, 1-3pm. $20.

Continental knitting: Learn to hold your working yarn in the left hand. This style of knitting is usually considered faster, and can be useful when doing Fair Isle or Double Knitting. Monday, Oct. 8, One-hour class, any time. $20.

Knitting backwards: Knit without turning your work. Comes in very handy for Entrelac and short row shaping. Monday, Oct. 22, One-hour class, any time. $20

Building Blocks classes (FREE on Fridays, 1-5pm):
Buttonholes: Sept. 7
Correcting Mistakes: Sept. 21
Cast-on Methods: Sept. 28
Making i-cord: Oct. 5
Reading pattern abbreviations: Oct.12
Math class: Oct. 19
Know your yarn: Oct. 26
3-needle bind off: Nov. 2
Sewing in sleeves: Nov. 9
Picking up neck stitches: Nov. 16

There are some other great classes as well, such as Entrelac, 2 lace shawl classes, Vintage-style or Felted Christmas stockings & tree skirt, and naturally all the regular beginner courses too.


Update on the alpaca fiber: I threw it away. After wasting way too much time trying to get it clean, I realized that even the fiber I had finally managed to get white was pretty useless because whoever sheared the animal was obviously not a spinner. First, second, third and fourth cuts abounded, and I would bet more than half of the fibers in the bag ended up being an inch long or less. I got one measly skein out of the whole thing, which I ribbed into this little test swatch-turned-headband. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, My $61 Headband: