Tag Archives: Yarn

Coming to a Close (one about love and hurt)

11 Aug

Bobby Brown Berens Cervantes

I’ve put off this post for a while because I’m trying to figure out a way to cope – or not, so I don’t have to think about it. This past summer has been one of the most amazing, crazy, whirl-wind summers of my life. It has been one of moving to my dream city, starting a new job, going on an international adventure and becoming a whole new person. But I also came to the realization that one of my dogs, Bobby Brown Berens (I didn’t name him) Cervantes, my “special needs” dude, needs to be put down.

You see, he didn’t start out as my dog. Even though I was there on the day of his adoption he originally belonged to someone else who, at the time, was very important to my life. I was there when it became evident this guy was “not normal” freaking out with strangers and really never able to relax. I coached, encouraged and even became an animal behavior intern (a huge part because of him) to help this little guy understand how to live an abuse-free life. I dog-sat, fostered, nursed, played, hugged, loved and babied him to a better life. I gave encouragement when it became evident he couldn’t live life without medicinal assistance on a daily basis. He was my fur kid in every way.

When I finally found better employment, it was ‘cross country and one of the hardest things was leaving him. I had him almost full-time for a year by that point because his “real” parent was in grad school and couldn’t give Bobby the day-to-day attention he necessitated while adjusting to a rigorous schedule. I still remember pulling away from the apartment and the look he gave me in his parent’s arms when I pulled away to make my 1,700 mile trek to a new life. My eyes still fill with tears at this memory.


Back together. Jaci doesn’t mind, honest.

Fast forward nine months after I leave him in Texas. I got updates Bobby wasn’t himself, he wasn’t really walking right, seemed lethargic, etc. After a vet visit it was advised he see a specialist because a normal course of action never got him back 100%. Bobby’s parent couldn’t handle this turn of events with other life issues and wanted to give him up to a shelter. Knowing what would happen because I worked in one there was no question – Bobby would live with me. I readily spent money to fly him out to get “Bobs” back. He didn’t seem so bad, just not completely himself. Things rapidly changed and I ended up needing to take him to see multiple specialists this past year. Second opinions, Orthopedic, Neurologists, vet interns, there were a number of people. Things worked alright for a while, but each time he never got as better.

Due to all the craziness that surrounded my last job, I was able to keep up the status quo until we moved cross states to a new place. After the whirlwind of our move, I went on vacation for several days and this was the first time in seven months I left Bobby. When I came back and heard how he did and saw him, really saw the new him, my heart hurt. Over the next week it became evident Bobby was no longer Bobby but a shell of himself. He doesn’t walk anymore but army crawls to get where he wants to be – if he has the energy. I carry him everywhere and basic bodily actions are a feat we celebrate, he routinely chokes and gags swallowing, it’s a struggle to get him to eat and the list goes on. We couldn’t keep living like this, so I made the worst call of my life and set up the appointment for end-of-life consultation.

After going over all of his records and seeing him, the toughest decision of my life came down to a date: August 14, 2013. This is the day I go back to the vet and say good-bye. This is the day all of the love, effort, history and memories comes to. Some people think, “It’s just a dog! Sweet goodness, GET OVER IT!” But if you made it this far in the story, you can see every day was an effort of love, hope and renewal. Not just for this dog who got shafted from the first day of life until he was 1 year-old, but for me. This dog has been with me, appreciated and loved me more than most humans have for the past five years. Medically, it’s not realistic I will have kids; but I’ve loved and cared for my dogs in a way that’s honoring to God in looking out for those weaker than us.

He did get to enjoy some of my knitted items

He did get to enjoy some of my knitted items.

In the midst of all this, I’m riddled with guilt. Obviously because of what I’ve decided needs to be done but also because I never got around to designing the ultimate knitted “Bobby Hoodie.” He’s feels safe and protected wearing a dog hoodie to the point he actually relaxes and “vegges out”. I never could find one that fit him just right. I bought yarn, researched patterns, have part of one created and I planned on making him the perfect one it just never materialized. I felt bad (and still do), but I chose to live in the moments with him and laugh at all the crazy situations this dog still does to this very day. Like falling off the bed this morning: He flops around trying to get comfortable and got a little too close to the edge. I warned him and he just looked over at me in his big-eyed, clueless way. He must have forgotten where he was on the bed because not a minute later he leaned back to lay down and “ninja spun” off. Totally his fault how this happened but after his swan dive the look he gave when he shook it off trying to figuring out the dynamics of gravity cracked me up.


Those eyes say it all.

I know this is a long post but it’s my way of saying “good-bye” to Bobby and encouraging others not to worry about what you didn’t do, make or create as long as you spent time with the one you loved. The memories of giving your all and being there is something that goes beyond a hand-knit sweater. Don’t sweat the yarn but cry at the laughs and good times.

Still creating, but not missing the important parts of life,

-Stacy C.

A Yarn Refresher of Sorts

30 Jun

This has been quite a month. One would think after all the moving that I would have a down month – psych!


What would be a travel trip without some yarn bombing?

Though the highlight of my June were the four days and three nights I spent in Bermuda! It was seriously life-changing. I went on my own because none of my friends could get their calendars to sync a good time when we could go. I decided I wouldn’t let something like that keep me from a tropical holiday. BEST IDEA EVER!

I had such a fun time meeting people, hanging out with locals and enjoying the beauty. But I also learned a lot about myself. The biggest thing was that I used my crafting as an excuse not to go out and do more adventurous things. That might read really weird, but when I thought about it more, it made sense.

The only people I hung out with were from my church or were part of a craft group. There’s nothing wrong with that, truly, but it wasn’t the only thing I wanted to do with my free time but what I thought I should be doing. I’ve always tried to live my life as a “good” person and I thought part of that meant living in this box. I realized good people can have fun dancing, go on adventures, not worry about every little action and just have FUN!

I’m still doing my yarn work but I’m not as focused on it. It occurred to me that part of the reason I was so “obsessed” was I was trying to keep my anxiety in check. Not worried anxiety, it turns out, but antsiness because I was telling myself I was having fun and that wasn’t always the case.

Don’t get me wrong, I love knitting and crochet and how my mind can work on a project and make a beautiful creation, but it doesn’t need to be such an intentional distraction. I think when we love, or think we love, something it’s good to take a step back and analyze why we are so dedicated. Yarn crafting will always be a part of my life, just not as busy work anymore.

Yarn on,
-Stacy C

It’s all Fun and Games until Someone Loses a Scarf

7 Apr

My “Fairy White”

Easter has come and gone and I’m updating you on some tom-foolery that oddly involves yarn and handmade items. Some of you know about my super awesome Black Friday experience at Fibre Space. It was the first time I’d ever woken up at 4 a.m. to go out and shop–but it was for yarn, so totally acceptable. I could have sworn I had written a post, but you tend to be a little delirious when you’re reliving a half-awake life experience.

Anyway, the only thing I had bought for myself at that wonderful yarn sale were two skeins of Spud and Chloë, Outer in sandstone. It was so beautiful, super bulky and perfect for the Vite Cowl I had wanted to make for a while. It was also my sanity project hanging out with my parents over Christmas. I wore that thing all the time because it was the perfect color of off white… You get the idea, I loved that scarf and we had a history.

Well, this Easter I went back down to D.C. to hang out with some awesome people. We decided on Good Friday to go out and have some dinner, hangout at a sports bar, and then go to this crazy weird club. Things were going all well and fine until we got to the club. Let’s just say the night got NC17 REAL fast with some of the shenanigans going on in there!

I won’t shock you with too many details but I can tell you I experienced a co-ed bathroom for the first time. I didn’t know it was one until I went in there. I rolled with it, but was SO confused for a good minute. When we went onto the techno floor all the bartenders were shirtless, but when you went up to the bar to order a drink it turns out, they were ONLY IN BOXER BRIEFS (that deserves all caps for the shock it gave me)! We decided to stay and dance, making coat check and ideal solution for our stuff. I put my lovely scarf into the sleeve of my sweater (stupid move). When we were ready to leave I got my coat back and we walked out into the night. No one puts their coat on right when they get out of a club you’re hot and sweaty and… stuffs. When we got onto the metro, I realized MY SCARF WAS GONE (also, deserving of caps)!

I was crushed. I had no idea it would just disappear. I tried calling the club the next night, but you had to go in to claim anything and I was leaving the next day. An acquaintance when down to see if they could find anything but never go back to me. I can only hope my beautiful scarf found a new loving home. Tear*

My new “precious”

After that travesty, we headed to Alexandria and–obviously–I went to my favorite D.C. haunt (Fibre Space if you haven’t figured it out by now). I consoled myself with some Capital Luxury Lace by Neighborhood Fibre Co., in Victorian Village. It goes great with a ton of my spring and summer wardrobe. I also bought some Spud and Chloë sweater in sandstone. I decided the thinner yarn would be better for wearing in warmer months. The new Spud and Chloë inspired a design that I’m working on with owls. If I had to lose my scarf, I found a great way to try and get over the pain.

Back to my Hogwarts Express Special, -Stacy C.

Happy Anniversary!

29 Jan

Hello readers,

Today is a day of celebration because I realized (belatedly) that yesterday was the second anniversary for this blog! I feel like this anniversary means a little more than the last. Sure, it means we’re one year older; but it’s more about the longevity of this project and how far the owners of this online journey have come in the art of yarn making.

Yeah! Our Anniversary!

Here’s a few facts to show you how far our adventures have taken us: 59 posts (including this one) – a little more than one every other week (not bad for people with full-time jobs, hobbies and children of multiple species), over 7,000 visits to the site (you read that right), over 100 comments and many people occasionally tuning in to this little periodical.

I’m happy to write as many posts as I have, it would be more if I could occasionally be more motivated or pushed. What is written on this site is only a fraction of the fun and adventure we’ve had over the years and I’m thankful that some people find this space so interesting.

Two years is a good marker – longer than some marriages! Raise your cupcake and toast to fiber and happiness!

Mmm, cupcakes! (Vegan in my case.)

P.S. that is Susann’s picture I stole from the webs. She takes better pictures than I and I’m sure to hear about it later. This is what happens when I wait six months for a “I’m working on it” post :-p heheheeee…

Keep on creating,

-Stacy C.

Faux Crochet Entrelac (Like Faux Fur, but BETTER!)

29 Nov

Hello readers,

Beautiful Cowl-ness

I recently had to insert a project into my Christmas knitting extravaganza to make a birthday present. I needed something quick and cute and decided to make a cute cowl. I used used one of the cable patterns from the Sólás Caomh by Jodi Euchner and modified it to be cowl-friendly. I used some Lion Brand Yarn in Homespun Ambrosia to help me stash bust – it was the perfect hue for the birthday girl.

Faux Cable Cowl Pattern
Be sure to make your tension loose and be generous with the yarn being used in each stitch. If you pull tight and uniform, you will have a lot of gaps between the cables and it won’t feel so warm.

Using Bulky Yarn (weight 5) and a J hook (6 mm)
Glossary: BPdc – Back post double crochet; ch- Chain; dc – double crochet; FPdc/tr – Front post double crochet/triple crochet;
hdc – half double crochet; sk – skipped; sts – stitches
(Trebles used in this pattern are American terminology so you would wrap the yarn twice around the hook before making a stitch)

Loosely Ch22

Row 1 (WS): DC all stitches

Row 2 (cable row): Ch3 (count as first stitch here and throughout the pattern), DC 1 in the next stitch
*Sk next 3 sts
FPtr in the next 3 sts
Working in front of sts just made FPtr in 3 sk sts*
Repeat from * 3xs
Dc 2

Row 3: Ch 2, hdc 1 stitch
BPdc in 18 sts
Hdc 2

Row 4 (cable row): Ch 3, dc 1 stitch

A stylish Nanook

FPdc in next 3 sts
*Sk next 3 sts
FPtr in next 3 sts
Working behind sts just made FPtr in 3 skipped sts*
Repeat from * 2xs
FPdc in next 3 sts
Dc 2

Row 5: Repeat row 3

Row 6 (cable row): Ch 3, dc 1 stitch
*Sk next 3 sts
FPtr in next 3 sts
Working in front of sts just made FPtr in 3 sk sts*
Repeat * 3xs
Dc 2

Row 7: Ch 2, dc 1
BPdc 18 sts
Hdc 2

Row 8 (cable row): Ch 3, dc 1

The Birthday Girl strutting her handmade chic

FPdc in next 3 sts
*Sk next 3 sts
FPtr in next 3 sts
Working behind sts just made FPtr in 3 sk sts*
Repeat * 2xs
FPdc in next 3 sts
Dc 2

Row 9: Repeat row 7

Repeat rows 2-9 however many times you want. I did mine 12 times.
Finish – slip st ends together inside out to make a seam. Light blocking needed for this yarn.

A couple of other fun ideas you can do is end with multiple dc rows to sew buttons on and make it a cowl. I didn’t put a border on it because the scarf is just supposed to look like the interwoven cables. For those of you who HAVE to have some kind of gauge, a row should be about 1.5-2″ long for the right side and about 1-1.5″ long on a wrong side.

If you use this pattern, PLEASE, let me know what you think on my Ravelry pattern page. I really want to know how you peeps are rocking this design.

Workin’ my Crochet Creativity,
-Stacy C.

Seamless Yarn Joins – you Wanna Know This!

30 Aug

Hello my people,

I want to share with you a little trick I picked up from Debbie Stollar of “Stitch N’ Bitch” and “Happy Hooker” fame. (Side note, don’t Google search “Happy Hooker” without “Crochet” as part of the wording. Trust me, it’s not geared toward yarn making.) I love this tip SO MUCH I have to shout it from the roof-top! (AKA, writing a blog post I hope someone reads.)

This tip will work with any animal hair yarn. A good rule of thumb is, “Can you wet felt with this yarn? Then you can – or can’t – seamlessly join it while working with it.” I have some pictures in this post to aid with the step-by-step process:


Here we have two different color 100% wool strands. No matter the weight, if you can felt with it, this trick will work. First step is to wet about 1/4 inch of each end.


Then you overlap the two ends over each other about 1/3 of an inch.


Take the overlapped, wet ends into the palm of your hand and slowly roll it around. Think of those Play-doh snakes you made when you were younger, too slow and it would stay too thick, too fast and it would get real thin and break. You want to roll it around enough to bind the ends together, but not so much it breaks or so little it doesn’t work. It’s helpful to count to 10, check and repeat a max of two times.


As you can see, the two strands are bound or “felted” to each other. Continue using the yarn as usual. If you are a super tight knitter – cough*, cough* Susann – you want to knit looser than normal for the stitches involving the bound yarn, to make sure you don’t pull the felted ends apart. You can also wait for the ends to dry (about a minute) before using them to be extra sure of tightness.


Voilá! The yarn is incorporated into the yarnwork just as if it came from the original skein.

As easy as it is to use this trick, it’s super fun too. I feel like a magician making my projects from potion-fixed yarn! Yeah, it sounds weird, but just try it, you will agree. For my more seasoned readers, this might be a rote and boring post; however, I did find that the more plyed (twists or strands of fiber wound together to make your yarn) your yarn is, the less this trick works. You can still use this trick on 2-ply yarn, but anything more than that, it doesn’t work because the fibers are so wound to itself, simple rolling won’t get the other strand to bind. Single ply or “roving” yarn is the best for this trick.

Project Hyper and Getting Back to it,
-Stacy C

Injured List = Awesomeness

17 Aug

Hello my fellow yarn freaks. Who rocked Ravellenics 2012?! I had a blast competing in my first Yarn Olympic Extravaganza and it will go down in the history books (for me).

I turned in FIVE projects! I had to modify submitting one of them, but I was really happy to earn four medals (I could have earned more if I had figured out the medal entry racket). BEHOLD! My lovely Yarn Olympic Entries!

You can check out all the patterns on my ravelry.com projects for the socks, white sweater, hooded sweater, hat and bag.

There was a lot of blood sweat and tears that went into these projects and I knitted like a MANIAC to get everything done. I actually thought I would finish the bag and have time to start a pair of socks for my dad. HA! Such big, naive dreams going into this; but I did accomplish a lot! In fact, I was “training” by knitting my Color Affection (bad ending, poor pattern construction – another post) and in my rush to finish it before the games, I gave myself tennis elbow. Yes, that’s right, I injured myself four days before the games. I mean, who gets TENNIS ELBOW by knitting? You would actually be surprised at the possibility when you don’t use stress relief tools.

THEN, on Tuesday before the games, I burned my left forefinger straightening my hair. Yep, I had an elbow injury and finger injury on the same arm, all three days before casting on. I was not happy. I couldn’t believe that I might be on the injured list! I took a little time to let it rest, but it most likely wasn’t long enough. I kept at it all during the two weeks and almost killed myself turning in the last of my projects on deadline day. It wasn’t because I had procrastinated, it was because I underestimated the time and effort it would take to heavily modify a pattern for pair of complex socks to fit a man’s size 12. I better get like 100 hits the first day for that post! Let’s just say, that they took a lot of math, research and brain work before and during the project process for the final product. Needless to say at the end of the games, my tennis elbow came back. Sigh* I gave it a day or two to rest, but yarn, it just calls to me. At least I’m not knitting/crocheting like my life depends on it anymore. But I will tell you what, if I was athletic as I am crafty Michael Phelps would eat my medal dust!

Off to play with my decadent plum variegated cowl,
-Stacy C

A Magical Yarn Creature

26 Jul

I was looking at a website about a luxurious yarn club (I was dreaming) and came across this information on Angora Wool, “Angora: Did you know that an angora rabbit will sit peacefully on your lap while you spin fiber right off of it’s back? I’ve seen this myself several times. Of course most commercial yarn is not processed so laboriously.”

Of COURSE I had to go on YouTube and “see” this for myself. Check it out:

A furry animal, sitting on your lap, while you make amazing luxurious yarn hanks?! I think it’s the perfect furry animal/yarn combo EVER. If collecting my dog’s hair was only so easy – and acceptable yarn texture. I often exclaim to my dog after vacuuming, “Where’s the Yeti you’ve been hiding while I’m at work?!” She doesn’t own up to it. She just stares at me with her “I love you, give me a treat?” eyes.

I want to knit with Angora now more than ever. Wait, instead of buying my own sheep for awesome yarn, I can buy a rabbit! (Bad idea music cue.)

Getting my tennis elbow in check for the Ravellenics,
-Stacy C.

Color-blocking Necklace Pattern

16 Jul

I love to do simple, but chic crochet jewelry. If you’ve seen my Etsy shop(shameless plug), you’re aware of that. Well, I do want to share some of my knowledge with the rest of you and have a simple pattern for my color blocking necklace crochet necklace:

Color block necklace

Hook: 5 mm (H)
Yarn: Pictured, Pattons Silk Bamboo (pink) and Fantasy  Naturale (blue)
(Sport, worsted or Aran yarn works [3-4 weight])
Gauge is not important for this pattern. But you can adjust Ch stitches to desired length.

The whole shebang

With MC chain 180 st
Sl st into first ch st to make a loop
Continue chaining for another 180 st
Make between 4-6 chained looped being sure to sl st for each one
weave in ends

With CC 9-11 st (the number is dependent on the “girth” of your necklaces)

For the back “closure” strip
SC 3 rows

For the side strip
SC 11 rows

To sew color blocking strips to necklace, wrap the strip around the entire “girth” of necklaces and sew the ends closed. While you are sewing them closed, be sure to put the needle through several chained stitched each time to ensure the strip stays in place. Weave in ends.

Hope you have fun with this and rock the sidewalk runway!
-Stacy C.

Hard Lesson Learned

16 Jul

Anyone who works with yarn knows it comes in balls. A lot of times, when a yarn maker starts out, they tend to buy skeins of machine wound yarn. Well, what happens when that skein “vomits” so bad near the end of it’s wound life you need to “rewind” it? Or when you buy an amazing hank of yarn from, say, a wool festival and you want to use it but it’s not wound? You have to get to work and wind that sucker!

If you’re like me, you might not have a ball winder and are coming to find some kind of help (and possibly solace) for your yarn predicament. There are two things you can do for that yarn to get into working shape, wind by hand or by ball winder.

The first method I suggest for small skeins of yarn, like a mostly used skein that is getting tangled near the end of a project or one that is only a couple hundred yards long. This link from wikihow shows you a couple of great methods for using your hands. Funny story how I learned the limits of hand winding. As you know, I went to a festival and bought some lovely local yarns. Well, most of them were not wound and I decided I would wind 500 yds of fingering lace on my own… Do you know that it took me two and a half days, of 8-9 hours of effort each day to get that hand untangled after successfully winding about 75 yds?! It did. And It was really hard. But I loved that yarn so much I worked through it. But I told myself, “NEVER AGAIN!”

The next method is THE way to handle yarn that is being ripped from large projects, multiple skein project or for those lace weight hanks that seem small (refer to ball winding fiasco above). I decided it was time to check a ball winder out for myself and was able to borrow one from a friend. The one I used is from KnitPicks.comand is very affordable.

A two-in-one handy tool!

What’s cool is it has an option for either hand holding or using a table clamp. (No, I wasn’t paid for saying this, but it would have been nice if I had.)

Tension is THE key for either method. If you’re “rewinding” yarn from a frogged project or the last couple yds of a project, you’re find. But if it’s from a brand new hank, don’t go all slacker (pun intended) on winding. That fiasco mentioned before? The tangles from hell happened when I tried to just put the hand on my shoulders like a purse – dumbest idea EVER! While I still don’t have a swift (it’s on my christmas wish list), I was able to find ways around the house to give me the necessary tension, you’d be surprised what you can find. Check it out:

Rocking to audiobook,
-Stacy C.

Better Than an Amusement Park

23 May

Hello my fellow fiber lovers,

I know it’s been a while. I’ve had to work weeks on end with very few days off and that meant either my knitting/crochet suffered or the blog. I know you’ll understand why I chose the way I did. ;)

I decided to take a break and I just had to let you know how my first fiber “festival” went! It was a land of wool and yarn-ness. But before I get ahead of myself I have to tell you the company I kept was so GREAT! I went down with three other people from one of my local revelry meet-ups. Two guys and two girls. That’s right, GUYS went along (one was a man and woman married couple! Talk about mates for life :-D). It’s so great to have mixed company who love something as passionately as you do. I learned about the crochet “flip” (blog post soon about that one).

When we got there I was please at how many booths and different types of wares available. I was so over stimulated I kept walking around half finishing what I was saying and ping ponging between booths. It was quite humorous for my friends. We even met up with more people from our group who decided to spend a couple of days at the festival (I would have exploded).

The Score

If you ever get the chance to check out a fiber event, I highly encourage you to do so. It was a great atmosphere, I learned about a lot of great small yarn making companies, how yarn is made, how to make yarn AND there was more lamb than a Greek wedding! To be fair, not all the yarn I got from my excursion was for me. And in all of the yarn excitement, my group is doing a KAL (Knit-A-Long) this July. Stay tuned.

Working on my lace tutorial,
-Stacy C.

Mommy, Where do Skeins Come From?

3 May

We all wonder at one time or another, how a beloved skein makes its way to the coveted stash. Yes, we buy it and bring it home, but how does it become the thing of dreams and fixes?

I’ve been wanting to know for a while the whole process of how fiber becomes a yarn. I’ve thought about trying to convince History Channel’s “How it’s Made” to do a series on it (still, I just might). But in preparing for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, I became a little more knowledgeable about the whole thing.

Looking at the Green Mountain Spinnery, I came across this tour video: How Yarn Is Made. This is a much smaller operation than where I buy most of my yarn, yet it’s still insightful into the billion dollar a year industry.

While I don’t want to look at actual livestock during the festival (I mean, I DO have about 100 wool vendors to check out. I know my priorities!), I might pass by and thank the sheep for contributing their hairs.

Preparing for Yarn Day,
-Stacy C

Yarn Farts – Kinda Like the Brain Ones

2 May

Well my yarn peeps. I kind of feel like I’m letting you down.

“Why?!” “What do you possibly mean?!”

I wanted to write another post last week and then have one fresh and ready yesterday. I have ideas but I haven’t gotten around to finishing the projects…


Lace, so pretty it sucks you in.

It’s like this: I’m not really trying anything new right now. I feel like I don’t have much to add to the blog I try to keep fresh and insightful; however, I’m having a lot of fun re-using patterns. I don’t normally re-make the same thing, but with my Etsy shop I’ve had some success posting similar items. Also, I want to revisit some techniques to get better and more proficient.

Right now I’m making a leaf lace scarf and revisiting the concentration that is the dainty knitting project. I have to count EVERYstitch and follow the pattern like a TelePrompTer. Not easy – but challenging! Now I know why it’s worth buying the completed delicate knit items from stores. But then I know what the third world workers feel like… It’s an internal conflict.


It's a start! But SO slow.

Also, I’ve been kind of busy making items for the procreated. What’s with everyone having babies?! I don’t like to make baby clothes, so I tend to make blankets or booties – again, takes time and/or concentration.

Not getting stuck in a rut is important, but I’m reassuring myself it’s ok to revisit a skill – like perfecting a game level! Ok, watching seasons of “The Guild” on Netflix was a mistake for this non-gamer.P.S. Going to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend. MUCH will be written about that adventure.

Back to my lace sweat shop,
-Stacy C

Yarn Pilgrimage to Space!

16 Apr

Hello again my fellow addicts,
I’m finally sitting down to write part two of my yarn-filled Easters (yes, it’s spelled plural). On Good Friday, I was in Silver Spring, MD, hanging out with a friend and I just HAD to go to to Fibre Space in Alexandria, VA (no, I really didn’t go to space but this is about yarn, just keep reading).

Fibre Space – the next frontier! Copyrightr fibrespace.com

I first heard about this wonderful yarn store in August 2011, when I contacted Neighborhood Fibre Co. looking for the Penthouse Silk Fingering Yarn in Kalorama Circle. She was out of the yarn I was looking for to make a patternand suggested I try this shop. Well, at the time I was living in Houston, TX and sad I couldn’t go check out this wonderfully hip-looking yarn store. After moving up to the East Coast, I still hadn’t gotten around to visiting until this Easter weekend. WHAT A GREAT TRIP!!! Technically I traveled 4.5 hours to get there and I would do it again!

The drive down the George Washington Memorial Parkway is gorgeous this time of year with all the blossoms, the potomac and historic buildings. Finding parking wasn’t too bad in the middle of the day. I parked about a block away and paid the maximum two hour limit (less than $4.00).

A shop with a view. Copyright fibrespace.com

Yarn wall I could stare at for hours – and kinda did… Copyright Fibrespace.com 

The shop is quite bright, homey and hip. I love how the yarn is divided with great accent furniture pieces on worn hardwood floors. I especially liked seeing the little canine “workers” in the store as well – being a dog lover it’s nice to see such a great shop as a welcome atmosphere for the four-legged crafters. Looking through their stock was really easy, everything is broken down by fiber weight, in order, with easy to read signs at the top of each section. I was so excited I actually forgot to take my own pictures of the shop – and I didn’t want to look like a creeper – so I have posted some of the shop photos from the fibrespace.com website. They are very true to the shop view – awesomeness is not falsely represented.

There’s a great seating section where you can sit, knit and talk to other shop visitors. I was able to help out a new knitter who was a little lost and the shop was overflowing with yarn addicts. It was fun just sitting and feeling the creative juices from the shop and enjoy the helpful employees.


I went in looking not only for the Neighborhood Fibrer Co. Penthouse Silk but also for Madelintosh DK in Grasshopper -

The Spoils!

unfortunately, they didn’t have what I was looking for in stock, but that didn’t stop me from finding some other great fibre purchases!

I was able to put on order the Neighborhood Fiber Co. silk I wanted. I was pleased to find out that when it comes in and I can’t make the trip, they are able to ship it to me for about $5!

I love visiting esteemed yarn shops and this was no exception. I can’t wait to go back to visit and if you’re ever in the D.C. area, you shouldn’t hesitate to visit!

Playing with my new treasures,
-Stacy C.

Taking Basic Crochet Slippers a Notch Above the Rest

2 Apr

Hello readers, I was hoping to squeeze this last post in March to close out Crochet Month. Well, we’re ending it on April 1, around here! This doesn’t mean the last of crochet on this blog, not by a long shot, but I’ll stop mentioning the featured style for another 11 months! :-D

Spring into the season with these babies!

Today, is another highlight on a relatively easy crochet project, Crochet Slippers by Zoom Yummy, that I made in Red Heart’s Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in Beach Glass and Caron Simply Soft in Chocolate. (Of course the final project is available for purchase in my Etsy store… :-D)

Let me just prefice this post by saying the original blog post is very helpful with all the pictures for the different steps; however, I’m the kind of person who see it all in one place when I’m actually in the middle of the project and understand how the rounds are supposed to look. I decided to condense it all in this post before I go on to giving any tips and modifications. Please note, I didn’t change her pattern at all, this is exactly from the original post and all credit is due Zoom Yummy for the following:

Round 1: ch 5, join with sl st

Round 2: 3 ch, 7 dc into center of ring, join sl st

Round 3: 3 ch, 1 dc into 1st st, 2 dc each stitch after, join sl

Round 4: 3 ch, 1 dc into 1st st, 2 dc into each stitch after

Round 5-13: continue crocheting in spiral, 1 dc into each dc

Round 14: TURN, 3 ch, 1 dc into second stitch frm hook, make 20 dc (1 dc into each following dc)

Round 15-21: turn, 3 ch, 1 dc into second stitch frm hook, continue 20 dc (same as 14)

Round 22: turn, 3 ch, 1 dc into first stitch frm hook, continue 21 dc (1 dc into each next dc), another 1 dc into last stitch

Round 23-25: turn, 3 ch, 1 dc into second stitch frm hook, continue 22 dc (1 dc into each next dc)

Round 26: turn, 3 ch, 1 dc into first stitch frm hook, continue 23 dc (1 dc into each next dc), another 1 dc into last stitch

Round 27-28: turn, 3 ch, 1 dc into second stitch frm hook, continue 24 dc (1 dc into each next dc)

Finish off and weave in ends

Fold end in half and see it together. Make sure it’s turned out, then face seam facing forward.

Edging: tie yarn to the edge of the slipper, this counts as the first stitch.

2 ch

Then make 1 sc into the next bigger “hole”, make 1 ch, repeat

Finally make 1 sl st to join with the 1st

Finish off and weave in ends

Of course these are available in my Etsy shop!

Hope this abbreviated version helps the cliff noters, like me. Now on to my assessment and modifications: You’ll note the pattern doesn’t tell you what weight yarn or hook to use – even what size this final product makes.* This was hard, because I really had to look at multiple finished projects on ravelry.com to get an idea of where to even start. I made this first pair by using a yarn weight of 4 (or worsted), size H (or 5 mm) hook and ended up with a 8/9 in women’s sizes.

Additionally, to make this size, I jumped from round 10 to 14, cut out round 25 and 28 and still ended up with this bigger size. If you want to follow the pattern to a T, I suggest you use a yarn weight of 3 or even a 2 (DK or Sport weight) and possibly a smaller hook. My stitches are in the middle of tight and loose, they might slightly lean toward a little lose when I’m tired, if that helps you better gauge my assessment.

A couple of style modifications: I noticed that after Round 4, when you start another round and ch, using more than 1 or 2 ch stitches made the round more hole-y. I like my slippers to be tight for a little more warmth and only ch 1 before each row until Round 14. For the edging, I noticed the ch, in between sc stitches made the top wider. Except for the beginning pair of ch, I only sc stitch around the top.

Real classy

Pattern clarification: there was only one part where I got hung up on the pattern and that was how to start the edging. This is

where the pictures came in very handy, I threaded the yarn through, with the tail inside the slipper. Then, I made a slip not making sure the loop wrapped around the slipper. If you look closely at the slipper, that is how the loop counts as the first stitch, by wrapping around the edge stitch.

This is a great pattern, I know I pointed out a lot of hang ups and problems, but the pattern is a base – a starting point. What makes vague patterns great is you can make the finished product your own. But if you’re like me and want to know how to start; or pattern watchers who need to follow every step, this post was to help you own the slippers you make.

Working my Fancy Foot Style,

-Stacy C.

*I have since seen an adjustment with pertinent information to the pattern size. “(Oh, one important thing! These slippers were made to fit my feet, which are size 40 – Europe / 6.5 – UK / 9 – US. To adjust the size of these slippers to your feet you may need to change the number of rounds between the round 5 and 13 and the number or rows between the row 15 – 21 of this post. AND… I used worsted weight yarn and G – 4 mm hook to make the slippers.)”


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